Question: “What does the Bible mean when it says “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”


Question: “What does the Bible mean when it says “The fool says in his
heart, ‘There is no God’”?”

Answer: Both Psalm
14:1
and Psalm
53:1
read, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Some take these

verses to indicate that atheists are stupid, i.e., lacking intelligence.
However, that is not the meaning of the Hebrew word translated “fool.” In this
text, the Hebrew word is nabal which refers more to a “moral fool,” e.g.,
someone without morals. The meaning of the text is not “unintelligent people do
not believe in God.” Rather, the meaning of the text is “immoral people do not
believe in God.”

Many atheists are very intelligent individuals. It is
not intelligence, or a lack thereof, that leads a person to reject belief in
God. It is a lack of morals that leads a person to reject belief in God. People
do not reject the idea of there being a Creator Being. Rather, people reject the
idea of there being a Creator Being who demands morality from His creation. In
order to clear their consciences and relieve themselves of guilt, people reject
the idea of God as the only source of absolute morality. Doing so allows
atheists to live however they choose—as morally or immorally as they desire—with
no feelings of guilt for their refusal to be accountable to God.

Several
prominent atheists have admitted this. One famous atheist, when asked what he
hopes to accomplish through atheism, declared that he wants “to drink as much
alcohol and have sex with as many women as possible.” Belief in a divine Being
is accompanied by a feeling of accountability and responsibility toward that
Being. So, to escape from the condemnation of conscience, which itself was
created by God, one must deny the existence of God in order to deny the moral
pull of the conscience.

This is not to say that all atheists are immoral
people. Many atheists live relatively moral lives. The point of “The fool says
in his heart, ‘There is no God’” is that a lack of evidence of His existence is
not the true reason people reject belief in God. People reject belief in God due
to a desire to live free of the moral constraints He requires and to escape the
guilt that accompanies the violation of those constraints. “The wrath of God is
being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who
suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is
plain to them … men are without excuse … their thinking became futile and their
foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became
fools … Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to
sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They
exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (Romans 1:18-25).

Recommended Resource:
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and
Frank Turek
.

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