Atheist Blogger Leah Libresco Converted to Theism by Morality
On June 18, 2012 well-known, much-read atheistic blogger Leah Libresco put out a blog post titled: “This Is My Last Post for the Patheos Atheist Portal.” In the post, Libresco explained that she was no longer writing for the atheist portal because she is no longer an atheist. During the months prior to the post, her mental struggles and rational investigations led her to the conclusion that God exists.
What was the primary factor that forced Libresco to this theistic conclusion? She explained that morality was the key. Throughout her time as an atheist, she struggled to come to grips with how humans can adhere to a morality that seems objective if there is no God. As she searched for answers among atheistic thinkers and writers, she admitted that their answers were inadequate. She stated:
I’ve heard some explanations that try to bake morality into the natural world by reaching for evolutionary psychology. They argue that moral dispositions are evolutionarily triumphant over selfishness, or they talk about group selection, or something else. Usually, these proposed solutions radically misunderstand a) evolution b) moral philosophy or c) both. I didn’t think the answer was there (2012).
When pressed by a friend to give an answer for the foundation for morality, Libresco was forced to admit that her atheism could not provide an explanation. Did she know where an answer could be found? She stated: “It turns out I did. I believed that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth.” The Person, of course, to which she is referring is God.
In an interview with a CNN news reporter, Libresco noted that her conversion to theism was “kinda the same thing with any scientific theory, almost, that it had more explanatory power to explain something I was really sure of. I’m really sure that morality is objective, human independent; something we uncover like archaeologists not something we build like architects” (“Atheist Becomes Catholic,” 2012).
Libresco’s intellectual honesty regarding morality is refreshing to see. Theists have long understood and irrefutably shown that morality is objective, and atheism is impotent to provide an explanation for this reality (see Butt, 2002; 2010, pp. 87-123,204). Without a belief in a personal God from Whose character morality flows, the words “right” and “wrong” have no meaning in a moral discussion. Yet every person who is thinking honestly and rationally must admit that some things are objectively right and some things are objectively wrong. When such an admission is made, it inevitably leads to “some kind of Person, as well as Truth.” Thus, “In the beginning, God…” becomes the only statement with enough explanatory value to adequately deal with objective morality.
“Atheist Becomes Catholic” (2012), http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/22/prominent-atheist-blogger-converts-to-catholicism/.
Butt, Kyle (2002), “Right, Wrong, and God’s Existence,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=878&topic=95.
Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christians Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Libresco, Leah (2012), “This is My Last Post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2012/06/this-is-my-last-post-for-the-patheos-atheist-portal.html.