Acton Institute Powerblog

Why Libertarians Shouldn’t Be Atheists

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

Atlas-Rockefeller-Center-300x199The impression that atheism or materialism is an accomplished host for libertarian values is mistaken, says Jay Richards. “Libertarians may be surprised to learn that these core values—if not the entire repertoire of libertarian ideas—makes far more sense in a theistic milieu.”

Richards examines four areas that are lost by embracing an atheistic, materialistic worldview:

  • No Individual Rights
  • No Freedom or Responsibility
  • No Reliable Reason
  • No Moral Truth

Richards makes clear that his argument does not claim that either libertarian values or theism is true, or that theists must be libertarians. “My argument is more modest,” concludes Richards, “if one affirms the libertarian values described above, then one’s coherent philosophical home is theism, not atheism.”

Read his argument for “Why Libertarians Need God” at the Imaginative Conservative.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • Marc Vander Maas

    Or, if you’re a visual type, you can watch him make the presentation right here.

  • Randy Wanat

    What a foolish idea. Goodness can necessarily only occur in concert with a belief in magical invisible wizards. It’s frightening that such people’s votes are equal to everyone else’s.

  • 18576

    “No Individual Rights
    No Freedom or Responsibility
    No Reliable Reason
    No Moral Truth”
    Absolute bunk! I am an atheist and I exhibit these proerties moreso than most Christians I know. This person appaerently knows nothing about atheism at all.