Questions for atheists based on the morality of reducing harm

by Matt Slick

Atheists routinely try and base morality on the idea of reducing harm because the majority of people don't want to be harmed.  Therefore, they say that reducing harm is morally good.  If that is the case, then I have some questions.

  1. How do atheists define harm and what justifies their definition as being the right one?
  2. How is appealing to the majority desire not committing the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum to determine morals?
  3. If it is a logical fallacy, then why do atheists appeal to it?
  4. Why "ought" atheists work to reduce harm?
  5. How is it not a double standard when defining good as that which reduces harm, and that which reduces harm as good, yet atheists complain when Christians say that God is by nature good and what is good is what reflects God's nature?
  6. If reducing harm is morally good, then shouldn't atheists work to stop abortion since it causes the greatest harm to a life by killing unborn babies?
  7. If reducing harm is morally good, then shouldn't atheists be morally obligated to join the military and go to war with radical Islam so as to stop its spread and thereby reduce harm to millions of people?
  8. If reducing harm is morally good, then does it imply that the ends justify the means as long as harm is reduced?
  9. If the ends justify the means, then are lying, adultery, cheating, stealing, etc., all okay if they reduce overall harm?
  10. If an atheist believes that religion causes harm, then shouldn't he use lies with religious people in order to undermine their religious presence and expansion and reduce harm?
  11. If reducing harm is morally good, then how many hospitals have atheists built, or wells have they dug, or cultures have they taught agriculture, and provided electricity to, etc.?
  12. Since Christians build hospitals, dig wells, visit 3rd world nations and upgrade their technology, thereby reducing harm, then why are atheists increasing their attacks on Christianity?
  13. Why do atheists work to get the 10 commandments removed from public areas since those same 10 commandments reduce harm when followed?
  14. If atheists are routinely getting the 10 commandments removed from public places, then are they advocating lying, stealing, adultery, and theft since they don't want those prohibitions posted publically?
  15. What is it about not lying, stealing, murdering, and committing adultery that are unconstitutional? (This question only applies to the U.S.A.)
  16. If reducing harm is morally good, then shouldn't atheists appreciate Christians who seek to reduce the greatest suffering of people by trying to get them saved in order to avoid eternal damnation?
  17. Would it be okay to rape a woman in a coma if she doesn't know about it and no one ever finds out since no one is harmed but it gives the rapist pleasure?

If you are an atheist and want to respond to these questions, please send your answers to Thank you.


About The Author

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