Atheism and Absolutes

The problem of “absolutes” has plagued philosophy from the very beginning. Theists have always argued that unless you begin with God as the Infinite Reference Point which gives meaning to all the particulars of life, it is impossible to have any absolutes. Some modern atheists have denied this and claim instead that they can have “absolutes” without God. That they are in error at this point can be shown by the following points.

1. Modern atheists boldly proclaim, “Everything is relative.” We have all heard this claim many, many times. They applied this idea first to morals and then to all areas of life such as science, art, etc. (see: Robert Morey, The New Atheism And The Erosion Of Freedom.

2. An “absolute” refers to some kind of standard by which we understand or judge something as being either true/false, right/wrong, black/white, hot/cold, helpful/harmful, etc.

3. Human language cannot exist without distinctions drawn from such “absolutes.” For example, “I am writing to you.” The law of non-contradiction means in this case that I am not you.

4. Atheists commit the fallacy of equivocation at this point. When the theist used the word “absolute” he was referring to those standards which are:

infinite - not finite,
universal - not cultural,
objective - not subjective,
perfect - not imperfect,
immutable - not mutable,
eternal - not temporal

5. The atheist’s claim to be able to “absolutes” without God rests upon a very basic error in logic. He has switched the meaning of the word “absolutes” without mentioning this to the theist. The so-called “absolutes” of the atheist are finite, cultural, subjective, imperfect, mutable and temporal. This is, of course, a contradiction of terms because the atheist’s “absolute” is a non-absolute!

Such relative “absolutes” would be useless so far as ethics is concerned because we can make up whatever so-called “absolutes” we wants, Hitler included. Thus the so-called “absolutes” of the atheist are only the subjective projections of his personal feelings, ideas, biases, etc..

6. In logic, we cannot have a universal in our conclusion if we do not have one in our premises. Thus a finite creature such as man can never make the leap to a universal if all he has is his own limited and biased feelings and ideas which are all particulars.

7. An infinite universal can only come from an infinite Being. Thus only the infinite God of Scripture can give us a sufficient basis for absolutes. The finite gods of paganism cannot generate any basis for universals in truth, justice, morals or beauty. (See: Robert Morey, Battle Of The Gods)

8. While some modern atheists claim to be able to have “absolutes” and “universals” without God, what they really mean is relative absolutes and finite universals. This is the same as claiming to be able to draw a round square or a square circle! Philosophically and logically speaking, it is impossible to have relative absolutes or finite universals.

9. The atheists are using the old “pea and shell” game to confuse people. They redefine such words as “absolute” to mean the exact opposite of what the word means. Thankfully, some of them are a little more honest and state that there are no absolutes in logic, mathematics, history, and science.

When Albert Einstein was asked how did he know that the speed of light in a vacuum was the same everywhere in the universe, he replied, “God does not play dice with the universe.” Even such principles as the speed of light require the existence of God.


Without God nothing in life can have meaning because there were be no standards by which we can discern the difference between good and evil, truth and error, justice and injustice, and right from wrong. Morality and civilization vanish once man is reduced to a hairless ape.