This was asked (and now closed) earlier:

Is it possible for an atheist to be moral?

I really had to close this question down to keep the precepts of your own FAQ even remotely defensible.

The wording is roughly:

We are here to talk about Christianity … Users do not expect to be challenged on their belief system, and questions asked under false pretense just to "make a point" or to challenge those tenets will be closed as Not Constructive.

This community cannot stand under the umbrella of such protection and use it to strike out at other belief systems. It doesn't matter that you're looking for the "Christian view" on Atheism, or Judaism or any other religion. If I tell your brother that he is not allow to hit you, that doesn't mean it's okay to strike at him with impunity.

This community is going to fight long and hard to keep non-Christians from using this platform to constantly challenge and taunt you about your belief system. When it comes down to it, if the question is NOT about Christianity, it should be off topic.

  • 2
    You're absolutely correct and I completely agree! From this stance, we also need to stop questions regarding comparisons to all other religions. This site isn't well suited for such discussions. (I'm glad we have beta to be able to hammer out some of these details.)
    – Richard
    Sep 21, 2011 at 0:55
  • We need to address these few as well: islam
    – Richard
    Sep 21, 2011 at 0:57
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    @Richard: I disagree on the comparative thing being a problem. I don't think that is at all the same problem that Robert is worried about here. There are many cases where the best way to define something is to examine what it is not. I will try to work up an argument/discussion on this issue in a few days, but I would request no action without some review on this first.
    – Caleb
    Sep 21, 2011 at 7:52
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    @Richard I agree with Caleb. My intention was NOT to elicit an all-out moratorium on mentioning other religions. My concern was using those questions to pass judgment, dump on, or even question the legitimacy of other cultures. We ask folks not to use Christianity SE to challenge your belief system. That courtesy will have to work both ways. So when someone asks various shades of "Is <other group> moral/wrong about/hated by God/damned to hell/the cause of world problems/etc.", I would simply say that it's off topic for this site. Sep 21, 2011 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


I agree with user unknown's comment on the original question:

How is the question a question about Christianity? Are you asking about a canonical answer between Christians, how they think about it? Is this a scientific question about human behaviour and sociology, religious preferences and moral acting, or is it a question how to read the bible, to come to an answer in Christian faith? Or do you expect both answers to match?

This question would have to be substantially rewritten before it would be a good fit for this site.

  • The question is probably predicated on the fact that all true Morality is directly an emanation of the Attribute of God. There is No true morality outside of Godliness. Eh? What do you think? Peace.
    – ray grant
    Feb 29 at 1:10
  • That's an argument which could be made, @raygrant, but that assumption should be explicitly stated in the question.
    – TRiG
    Mar 11 at 16:49

Here's how I'd edit it:

Is morality possible apart from God?

Can an individual live in accord with Christian morality, exemplified by the commandment to love others as Jesus loves you, but be totally ignorant of the Gospel?

What distinctions could be made between someone ignorant of the Gospel and someone whose reason has led them to reject Christ?

Any problem with that?

  • 2
    I wouldn't think this is off-topic, but I'm not sure it's a very good question either. It should be very obvious that morality is possible apart from God, for anyone that knows a notable amount of atheists IRL. If this was turned into something more specific, I'd be happier with it (e.g. what does the Bible/Catholic Catechism say about this). Sep 21, 2011 at 22:30
  • @dancek, I agree, I just thought that would change the intent of the question (and invalidate all existing answers) too much.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Sep 22, 2011 at 13:02
  • You're probably right. I'd say it's time for a new question then. Sep 22, 2011 at 13:04
  • @PeterTurner This question is valid, and raises an important point: the BASIS of morals to make them legitimate. Since moral living is fundamental to PERSONAL conduct as well as social felicity, it is understandable why men would not want the issue to arise (offensive to Fallen nature, I do declare).
    – ray grant
    Jun 10, 2023 at 21:12

Is Morality possible apart from God?

Actual versus Logical The question raises a valid point for research---and answering. It is obvious that we all actually know lovely, neighborly atheistic individuals who exhibit a modicum of morality.

But the point worth contemplating is: do the Atheists have any logical basis for their morality (like Christians do). Do they have apoint of reference that justifies their deontology?

If not, their moral system is an unfounded presupposition...perhaps leading to a relativism that cannot sustain a civil society in the pinch. So this is an important question posted here. Absolute Truth is needed for a stable society. Deontology formulated by Man vacillates too much, usually based on the current, dominant philosophy.

We came from nothing...we are going to nothing...and in the mean time life has meaning. This is hardly a logical, reasonable basis for morals.

Isn't the Christian God, who reveals His deontology to man, the needed basis? Isn't God the only true Source for understanding how men ought to behave? Yes men can borrow from Christianity their morals but the fact remains, they are smuggling them from God (wittingly or unwittingly). Without God--and Absolute Values--morals are not possible. Morality flows from the attributes of God's personality.

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