It’s common for some anti-theists to claim that believers would be anti-moral without the Bible because Christians get their morality from the Bible. It’s a clever misrepresentation that fails to acknowledge the difference from having a moral guide with being anti-moral. When a Christian says the Bible qualifies his or her morality, they are not saying they have no belief about what is or is not moral, they are saying morality cannot be objective without God. Too be clear, the difference is that the Bible gives us a guide beyond personal desire to say what is good, and what is evil. The anti-theist argument here is bad logic.
Some cite scripture as they attempt to prove their false idea that Christians would always choose immorality over morality without the Bible. One such social media post quoted the book of 1 John which tells us, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not.” This scripture clearly speaks to the desire of Christians to do right in the sight of God, and to the forgiveness we have when we fail. But this scripture does not say what decision a Christian would make without God’s guidance, that’s an anti-theist assumption that leads to circular logic. There’s nothing in this snippet from 1st John that speaks to the decisions any individual would make. The anti-theist’s conclusion can only be reached from this scripture if they pre-suppose that Christians would ALWAYS choose the immoral act without a guide. In short, if you strip their claim about 1st John to its bare essence, they are saying we know Christians would be immoral without a book because they are immoral without a book. That’s gibberish. The book of 1 John is just one of many scriptures miss-used by those who are fundamentalist in their approach to “prove” an anti-God ideology.
A gage does not change the thing it is measuring; it defines it. For example, I would consider myself slightly overweight. That’s my opinion. But when I step on a scale it confirms it; I’m fat. Would it be logical at all for me to say I wouldn’t be fat at all if I didn’t step on that scale? The scale gives me a way to justify the statement, “I’m overweight.”
Can you objectively qualify something as moral or immoral without a higher authority (like a government, or agreed-upon moral code) or without appealing to something like, “you just know,” or “I just believe?” And if you appeal to a higher authority, wouldn’t your appeal be nullified if an even higher authority contradicted your original authority’s decision? At some point, you have to appeal to the highest authority, or there is no justification at all beyond personal opinion.
Does the false claim that Christians would be anti-moral without the Bible spring from an intentional act by those who are fundamentalist in their anti-theist belief, or from something else? What are your thoughts?