My friend and I are having a discussion and I thought an apologist input would bring a lot of clarity to the conversation. We are having a discussion on whether atheist that act in “moral” ways can get into Heaven. My friend thinks they can. He sees to many people that for some reason can’t acknowledge God, but still feel called to act justly. I think atheist can’t on face value (God can do anything so He could allow atheist if He wanted). I think they are just acting “moral” by chance and their actions are not based on pleasing God. Therefore, their actions have no true meaning (referencing the necessity of an action to be moral and the intentions just for it to be a just and moral action). So, from that I have a couple questions.
- Can an atheist have morals? They do not believe in God, so they have no basis for their actions. Is it just chance that they act good and therefore not morals?
- Can a “virtuous” atheist get into Heaven? Does the fact that they are not acting for the right reasons nullify the goodness of their actions?
Please help. It will hopefully add some clarity to the discussion. Thank you!