You just want to sin

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For more information, see the Atheist Debates video on Y'all just want to sin.

Theists who accuse atheists saying "you just want to sin," are suggesting that the atheist fears living with the moral requirements that come with religious belief. It is related to the accusation that atheists are just in denial, with the added implication that the denial is driven by hedonistic desires. This assertion is easy to counter.

"Although few would admit it, our rejection of religious and moral truth is often on volitional rather than intellectual grounds-we just don’t want to be held accountable to any moral standards or religious doctrine.[1]"

The argument can be used for poisoning the well:

"The well known atheist and Jesus myth proponent Richard Carrier recently admitted to being polyamorous. This means that he has openly admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple people at the same time. This admission and Carrier’s lifestyle have implications for his historical Jesus scholarship. This admission now gives Carrier a reason to find Jesus as a myth.[2]"

Counter arguments[edit]

"[Apologists] don't offer any evidence of this. And they ignore the actual merits of our position. And attempt to back up this entire dismissal by appealing to scripture, which is of course circular. I've been accused of this many times and I know they are wrong because I know why I am not a believer. I didn't set out of find some excuse for my sin. I didn't set out to get out from under the yoke of God.[3]"

This is not really an argument to begin with. Sin plays no role in people's atheism. The theist cannot reasonably deny your claim, as he or she has no access to your inner motivations.

"Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt."

Friedrich Nietzsche

The notion of sin is not universal among all theists or deists. For instance, you could well choose to be a deist, while still giving yourself the leeway to sin.

If maximizing hedonistic pleasure is the goal of an atheist, this desire would form a poor basis for him or her to reject a theistic religion that promises eternal bliss. After all, is an eternity of bliss not more hedonistic (pleasure-maximizing) than several decades of “sin”?

Equally facetious assertion can be made against apologists. Examples include, "You're not a Muslim because you just want to draw pictures of people," or “You’re not Amish because you just want to accumulate worldly possessions.”

Theists commit behaviors that various theistic traditions widely regard as sinful (e.g., excessive consumption of alcohol, cheating, theft, premarital sex, etc.). Of course, this fact does not invalidate arguments for theism, but it does point out that many forms of theism and “sin” are apparently compatible. In fact, the Protestant Christian religion holds that faith alone earns one a place in Heaven; no strict moral codes required!

One last thing to point out that this accusation seems to be analogous to a gang of thieves planning a heist in a zone continuously patrolled by (preferably competent) police officers, agreeing on "not believing" in the existence of said law-enforcers to be able to steal the goods without any hindrance. After all, if the non-theist truly believed deep inside that an omnipotent deity does exist and is watching, how would not believing in the existence/power of said deity actually hamper its ability to punish those who sin?

Even if God existed, the scriptural God is unworthy of worship.

See also[edit]


v · d Common objections to atheism and counter-apologetics
Personal   Why are you trying to tear down other people's faith? · Why can't everyone just have their own beliefs? · What are your qualifications? · Atheists believe in nothing · You are a communist · Why do atheists inspire such hatred? · That's not my God
Religious   That's not in my Bible · They're not true Christians · You just want to sin · Atheists know there is a God · It takes more faith to disbelieve than it does to believe · God doesn't believe in atheists · Science is a faith · Atheism is a religion · Atheists worship materialism · Hypocrisy of celebrating religious holidays · Atheism is based on faith · Religious belief is beneficial
Science and logic   You can't prove God doesn't exist · Science can't touch god · God can't be defined · So you think we came from nothing / pondsoup / monkeys? · If God didn't create everything, who did? · That might be true for you, but its not true for me · Religion is another way of knowing · Apologetics and dinosaurs