An atheist says a husband being the head of the wife is evil

by Matt Slick

DarkLady is an atheist.  She likes to hover in the discussion room and talk to Christians.  I was watching the conversation she was having with someone, and she stated that a couple of verses in the Bible were bad.  She was referring to Eph. 5:22-23 which says, "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."  That is when I jumped in.

Matt Slick:  Dark, is that bad? [saying husbands are the head of wives?]
DarkLady:   Yes
Matt Slick:  Why?
DarkLady:  I believe in equality between the men and women
Matt Slick:  Dark, that's nice . . . but it isn't an answer.  I asked why was it bad? Is it bad because of what YOU believe?
DarkLady:  Yes
Matt Slick:  Are you saying that what you believe is what makes something good or bad, so what is ultimately bad is based on what "you" think is bad? Is that right?
DarkLady:  For me yes
Matt Slick:  Dark . . . so in other words, for you something is bad ultimately if "you" think it's bad . . .
DarkLady:  Yes
Matt Slick:  Wow . . .
Matt Slick:  And is there any reason that anybody should take your opinion of what is bad seriously? You said that it is bad. To say that it "is bad" means that there is some ontological thing that qualifies as being bad. But if you don't have any standard by which you can judge what is bad, all you have is your opinion.
DarkLady:  Ok
Matt Slick:  And there is no reason why anybody should adopt your opinion about something being bad or good. So, dark lady, all you're saying is that you don't like it . . . that's all . . . nothing more . . .
DarkLady:  Properly not.  No I'm saying its bad.  And it is.
Matt Slick:  You are entitled to not like it, but you don't have the authority, wisdom, or knowledge to be able to assert what is morally good or bad.
DarkLady:  Its even evil in my opinion.
Matt Slick:  Ok . . . so the husband being the head of the wife is evil?
DarkLady:  Yes
Matt Slick:  Wow . . . this is really interesting.  Of course you can't justify what is or is not evil; again, all you have is your opinion; and I find this to be rather fascinating that you are so entrenched in the reality of moral obligation that you're able to proclaim what is evil.
Matt Slick:  Now, do you know what it means when it says in the Bible that the husband is the head of the wife?
DarkLady:  Well I don't believe that the bible has any authority anyway
Matt Slick:  Do you know what it means in the Bible when it says that the husband is the head of the wife? Biblically, it means that the husband is the one who is an authority--the final authority in a marriage relationship and the success and/or failure of that relationship primarily falls upon him.
Matt Slick:  It is like the captain of a ship. Though it runs aground after he has put it into very good hands--let's say of his first mate--he is still the one responsible. The first mate of the ship is to submit to the authority of the captain.
Matt Slick:  The first mate of the ship is not inferior to the captain. It is simply a difference in position.
Matt Slick:  Dark, so do you think it is evil that a man is responsible in a marriage relationship?
Matt Slick:  It does not mean that the wife is not also responsible; it just means that the man is ultimately the one who is responsible. In the garden of Adam and Eve, Eve sinned first; but God approached Adam and addressed him first because he was the ultimate responsible party.
DarkLady:  Both partners should be responsible
Matt Slick:  Dark, when you say "should," all you're doing is giving me your opinion.
DarkLady:  That's right
Matt Slick:  Please don't misunderstand me. I support your right to express your opinion even when I believe you are wrong.
DarkLady:  AAnd all you have is yours.
Matt Slick:  But you have nothing to offer me of any value as far as establishing any moral standard.
DarkLady:  Nor do you
Matt Slick:  Dark, I'm giving you what the Bible says.
Matt Slick:  But you are the one complaining about the Bible and saying that certain passages were evil.
DarkLady:  I don't agree with the Bible or that it is any importantance at all.
Matt Slick:  The problem is that you have no basis other than your subjective opinion on what you think qualifies as being evil.
DarkLady:  Nor do you
Matt Slick:  Dark, so all I'm saying is that, well . . . all you have is your opinion.
DarkLady:  Yes
Matt Slick:  Dark, Dark, so you admit that's all you have, thank you . . .
DarkLady:  As do you Matt SlickIf you admit that all you have is your opinion, then why do you speak as though your opinion is authoritative?
DarkLady:  Why not?
Matt Slick:  Dark, Dark, because that is arrogance. Are you arrogant?
DarkLady:  No its education
Matt Slick:  So education justifies your arrogance.
DarkLady:  Knowledge.
Matt Slick:  I see.
Matt Slick:  Are you so arrogant as to say and make pronouncements about what is truly evil and not evil?
DarkLady:  Yes I can.
Matt Slick:  So you think you're educated, and that's what gives you the moral right to proclaim moral truths . . .
Matt Slick:  I suppose that your opinion that you're educated is what gives you moral right to proclaim moral truths is nothing more, again, then your opinion . . . and a demonstration of an even deeper level of your arrogance. This is what atheism leads to--the ultimate in arrogance. You have no right to make moral pronouncements as though they are universally true.
Matt Slick:  You have the right to state your opinion. I have no problems with that.
DarkLady:  Fine
Matt Slick:  But for you to say objectively that something "is" evil is to say the least, laughable. If you want to say that something is ontologically evil, then we could discuss how you can have something that is morally bad . . . by nature.
Matt Slick:  Dark, Dark, wouldn't you agree with me that we are both interested in what is true?
DarkLady:  Well I sure am.
Matt Slick:  I mean, truth is important. Truth is what conforms to reality and/or logic. Would you agree with that?
DarkLady:  Look matt we disagree ok? I have no problem with that.
Matt Slick:  Dark . . . I'm getting somewhere about truth--the truth of moral statements
Matt Slick:  I am communicating with you. That is a true statement. It comports with reality.
Matt Slick:  2+2 equals . . . 2+2 equals four is a true statement because it comports with logic. Therefore, we can easily see the truth relates to reality and/or logic. And truth necessarily is a description--a statement about something.
DarkLady:  We will never agree because you call the Bible as truth.
Matt Slick:  Dark, I'm not bringing up the Bible in this . . . You are . . .
Matt Slick:  The thing about truth is since it comports with reality and/or logic, what gives moral truths their truthness?
Matt Slick:  What does a moral truth statement comport with?  Is it a logical moral truth?  Is it a truth that comports with the existence of something in the real world?  Neither.  How then does truth, moral truth obtain its universal truth quality?
Matt Slick:  Dark, what are you asserting when you say that something is morally wrong? You are making a moral truth statement. I must ask you what does your moral truth statement reflect?  Does it reflect reality--the reflect logical necessity?
DarkLady:  Well I'm afraid you just lost me with all that.
Matt Slick:  Or are you appealing to something other than a proper reflection of reality and logic?  If you want to appeal to the nature of something being true morally, then what you are inadvertently doing is appealing to a moral truth giver . . . because morality can only be true when you can bridge the gap between "is" and "ought."
DarkLady:   We will just have to agree to disagree
Matt Slick:  For example, the "is" in our situation is that I own this discussion room, and I could tell you what "ought to be done" in it.
DarkLady:  Yes
Matt Slick:  The is my ownership. The ought is what I decide to do with that which I own. Therefore, the moral truth is a revelation of what I desire.
Matt Slick:  The only way my moral truth--my moral desire--can have any weight is if I own that with which I am proclaiming the "ought."
Matt Slick:  But you, as an atheist, have no way to bridge the gap between "is" and "ought."
Matt Slick:  What you are inadvertently doing is shooting yourself in the foot by not understanding the nature of moral truth. And, there's another problem for you . . .
Matt Slick:  You are inadvertently supporting the idea of a universal moral truth giver the one who "is" the Universal Truth. So, by your asserting an objective absolute moral truth about something which cannot be based upon your mere subjective atheistic opinion, you are asserting inadvertently the idea that there is a God--the one who is the Universal Moral Truth Giver.
Matt Slick:  So, Dark, you have not thought this through well enough. And when you try to tell me that something just "is" wrong, it is obvious that you have not thought this through sufficiently. You don't even realize that in your moral assertions you are, without your knowledge, supporting the idea that God exists. Otherwise, you have no way by which you can assert that something just simply "is" morally wrong. You would be required to appeal to something outside of yourself for such an assertion to be valid.
Matt Slick:  So as I said before, I support your right to your opinion. But it is nothing more than that. I do not mean to be offensive to degrade your opinion. It's just that you have no right to assert that it "is" what is true for others. That is, as I said before, arrogant.
DarkLady:  Well like I said we will have to disagree on it.
Matt Slick:  :) :) Of course you have to respond with that. You don't have anything else left.
DarkLady:  Not a problem with me.  I know what I know.
Matt Slick:  You know what you believe.

At this point it was obvious she didn't want to continue the conversation.  All she had to offer was her opinion.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.