I woke up one day to find I had lost my morals. Oh, I didn’t know it at the time. Looking back, I could not even tell you what day it exactly was. But to my chagrin, I realize now that sometime ago they left me.
I felt the same. Dressed the same, went through the same morning routine. And I sat down before my computer with my coffee, reading the happenings of the night before. And I read a theist say:
“If I was an atheist, there would be nothing to stop me from robbing a bank, and murdering the guards.”
This, of course, did not move me in the slightest. While I am an atheist, I certainly have no intention of ever committing such acts. My retirement plans most definitely do not include prisons and long, hot showers with an angry mob of men. All I could think is that I am glad this theist believes in a morality based upon some God-concept, or else they would be a raving lunatic. I could only imagine the frustration they felt, sitting in church Sunday after Sunday, champing at the bit, wishing to kill someone and being restrained by that moral system.
And more and more, as I read on-line, and books by certain authors, I read how they, too, if they were atheists would have the opportunity, and even the desire to completely disregard morality, and become raving criminals. It amazed me how many of these people seemed to be so restrained by this pesky moral system that kept them from doing all the wonderful evil things they seemed to enjoy. How this moral system was the only basis by which they could lead productive lives.
It struck me: “Hmmm. I am an atheist. Apparently to all these people that grants me a license to do what I want, when I want and how I want. Aren’t they afraid of the justice system? I am. Don’t they consider other humans, regardless of some mandate of some humans telling them what God says to do or not do? I did and still do. But if all of these people are telling me this is what an atheist is supposed to be—who am I to disagree? I am somewhat new at the occupation.”
I looked at my wife. Now that I am an atheist, and have lost my morals, it seems I must want to rid myself of this nasty institution of marriage, and get a divorce. But I don’t want a divorce. Regardless of what some musty book says, or what some fellow in a suit tells me on Sunday Morning, I love my wife. I want to stay married to her, because of who she is, because of our commitment to each other, not because I “have to.”
I am sure I am a big disappointment to all the other morally depraved atheists by actually staying in my marriage, rather than abandoning it for a life of casual sex, TV dinners, and lonely bottles of wine.
I still give to charities. I hope no other atheists read that. I would be in severe danger of being kicked out of the atheist-club, I fear. No self-respecting, non-moral person, having ever lost their absolute and God-given determination of right and wrong would EVER bother to do that! There is no law requiring it, no prison sentence hanging over my head. Why, there is no self-gratification in that at all.
I could swear I still have morals, but theist after theist after theist insist I do not. I must have lost them somewhere. Sigh.
Sometimes I am asked, “What are your morals, now?”
“Oh, I think the Golden Rule---“
“STOP! That is in OUR Moral System. You cannot borrow from our worldview!”
I can’t? I had no idea that moral worldviews were copyrighted, patented and protected. What else am I prohibited from borrowing? I am especially fond of the number “four.” It is in the Bible more than 250 times. Can we no longer use that number either? Is that borrowing?
In the recent Supreme Court cases, there has been uproar about the appearance of the Ten Commandments in Government buildings. We have heard how the law is “based” on the Ten Commandments. I would have thought by now some clever Christian group would have patented the Ten Commandment Moral System, and raked in the royalties every time a law was passed.
“New legislation on tax cuts for the rich? That’ll be $450,000 for use of our patent on the Ten Commandments.”
And how exactly can I “borrow” from a moral worldview?
“Hey, neighbor, little low this month. Can I borrow a cup of charity?”
“Aren’t you an atheist?”
“Well, I am a Christian.”
”Whoops, sorry. I’ll try a house that actually has some charity.”
Personally, since many theists presume I have no limitations whatsoever on my actions, I would think they would be relived I use any part of their system at all. They are free to use mine—I wonder though if actually caring about other humans is too hard?
Or, I have been informed that once I lost absolutes in morality, I am left with no morality at all. Now, to me, I figure relative morality is just as binding, but apparently that is because I have lost all morals, and have no clue what I am talking about.
If some fellow is robbing me, and I explain how that is immoral, do I really care that he determines it is immoral because of relative morality or absolute morality? I think not. If I say spouse abuse is wrong, because of relative morality, does that make it less so than the person that says it is wrong because of absolute morality?
Apparently, once one loses one’s morality, there is hardly any sense in attempting to regain a portion of it. You can see how I never knew I had lost my morals, and could not comprehend the predicament I was in.
Recently a new wrinkle has appeared, revealing what dire straits I found myself. In debating with theists, I am informed that because I have no absolute morality, I must have no absolutes, so everything is relative, so everything I say has no meaning.
Wow! I really, really, really did not mean to lose my morals. I did not know it would be so debilitating. I look down, I can still dress myself. I think I can still determine the volume of a cube. I operate my motor vehicle, and other drivers are not honking and flying out of my way because of my inability to function. I can still read the Bible and see what it says.
I had no idea those items were tied into my morality. I truly must appear as a raving lunatic to all those individuals.
Further, I have been informed that the reason I deconverted was because of my sin and depraved nature. Finally! A glimmer of hope. See, I thought I had lost my morality. Turns out that I never had morality in the first place. Why--I haven’t lost anything at all!
I am so relieved.
Therefore, with a smile on my face, I can face the world. I help other humans, I try to be as gracious as I can, and I apologize when I have hurt others. I help others less fortunate than I; I enjoy life, love, family and friends. All with my complete lack of morals firmly in place.
So, to all of you claiming I have no morals—you are right; I don’t. Not a one. I can do what I want, when I want, where I want. Instead of having morals imposed on me, I choose to impose morals on myself. I did not lose morals, I gained them.
If you are helping me to look for my morals, just ask me. I will tell you. If you believe that I don’t have any, or didn’t have any, or have the wrong kind, or simply don’t know what I am talking about, that’s O.K. I have plenty of charity. You can borrow a cup of mine anytime you want.