A lot of people, ignorant people, many of them Christians say that atheists, simply because they're atheists, don't have any moral code by which they live. A recent example is a case where teenagers in a small American town were partying all weekend and a 16 year old girl was sexually assaulted. It was pretty harsh. At one point during the weekend some of the men thought she was dead and laughed about it. They urinated on her supposedly dead body.
In my moral code that's just plain wrong.
But maybe it wasn't in theirs.
We can't really know.
Some have said this took place because the men didn't have a moral code. On atheism, the worst these men were doing is giving the finger to social convention and law.
But to say they lacked a moral code? Of course they have a moral code.
. Their moral code may have included drunkenness and sexual assault. This is how some people “know” they are good people. They set the bar low enough so that most of the time, not all of the time, but most of the time they adhere to their man-made code. I've said before that in my 10 years counselling in the Federal Prison system, not once did I meet a man who thought he was a bad person. He could always point to someone who he thought was a worse individual and therefore he was able to pronounce himself good.
. Their moral code may have said that what they did was wrong but they ignored it. This is what happens when Christians sexually assault someone. They know it's wrong but they ignore that code in order to get what they want in the moment. Just because someone carries a compass doesn't mean that person is going to trust it or use it. Many people, both Christians and non Christians are tripped up by, “Anything that feels this right can't be wrong. Right?”
. They may change their minds regarding right and wrong because of some new information. Another recent case sees a Senator in the United States who believed homosexuality was wrong until he found out his son is a homosexual. Then he amended his moral code to now include homosexuality.
As humans, we are capable of believing whatever it is that we want to believe. This has led us to a point where the Prosecutor in the sexual assault case has concluded,
“Such incidents stem from a larger social problem -- a rampant lack of respect and human decency.”
Well, again, on atheism that's just his opinion. When one's moral code says, I won't lie unless I have to, I won't steal unless I deserve to have what I want, I'll keep my promise to love you forever until you no longer please me, I won't sexually assault someone unless me and my friends are really drunk and we meet a woman who is also really drunk, then, we might even piss on her and laugh about how she appears dead.
There are probably more variations on the moral code issue but to say that someone doesn't have a moral code is silly. What the writer meant is something like, “These men didn't adhere to MY moral code.”
Such is life in a world where moral relativity and subjectivity is the striven for norm.