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The Astounding Evidence for God’s Existence: Philosophy/Morals (Part 4 of 4)

March 29, 2010

“…since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” -Romans 2:15

How do we know right from wrong? How do we know that there is such a thing as right and wrong? Did over time they just evolve out of nowhere or are they written in our hearts given to us by a moral lawgiver? These are some of the questions that will be answered as we conclude our look at the evidence for God’s existence this month. First, let’s look at the basis on the moral proof argument.

First, when we discuss right and wrong actions, we are engaging in the field called “morality” or “ethics.” The definition of morality is the standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or virtuous. Ethics then is just the system of morality that governs how a person or group should behave.  The entire moral proof can be summarized in three simple, short sentences:

1) Every moral law had a moral lawgiver.

2) There is a moral law.

3) Therefore, it had a moral lawgiver.

Every moral law had a moral lawgiver. We know that laws do not emerge on their own; they must be given or legislated. The laws that govern the United States did not appear out of thin air; countless hours were spent on formulating and issuing them to our society. Another example is medical prescriptions. They are not prescribed by themselves; they need prescribers called “doctors.”  So we also know that the moral law written within us needs a lawgiver and this lawgiver we know as God.

So how do we know that laws did not just evolve over time? Moral principles are discovered, not invented. Moral reforms such as abolishing slavery, giving women the right to vote, and giving civil rights for African-Americans make no sense unless objective moral law exists. Even if it took several centuries for the abolishing of slavery that does not suggest that mortality just evolves over the course of human history. Rather, it readily suggests that moral principles can be discovered and are worth pursuing, even at the very high cost.

When a person says, “Maybe murder or rape isn’t really wrong,” he or she does not need an argument. He or she is deceived. If he or she really believes this,  they need psychological or spiritual help because they are not functioning correctly. A person can justify any action through doing it over and over again. This doesn’t prove that not everyone has a written moral code on their hearts, it’s just some choose  to ignore it and instead follow their own selfish interests that directly conflict with their conscience and thus weakening their feeling of guilt and shame each time they partake it their actions. By having guilt and shame when we take action in a moral wrong, it proves that we violated a direct moral law that was given to us.

Aren’t there moral conflicts as well? At the surface this appears to be the case. Some cultures allow polygamy. Yes, but marriage customs and vows that bind marriages together also prohibit adultery. So even though they allow a moral wrong, they still include a moral right in their law system. While applications and expressions of moral principles may differ from culture to culture, there are basic moral principles that cut across cultural lines.  Consider this point: We start with morally clear cases and work to the unclear. This is what lexicographer Samuel Johnson says concerning this issue: “The fact that there is such a thing as twilight does not mean that we cannot distinguish between day and night.”

Some atheists or secularists may argue that we have ethical systems that make no reference to God. Although some make very positive contributions to society their systems are still incomplete. They still do not tell us why human beings have intrinsic value, rights, and moral obligations. This system of ethics only help us survive and only gives us a biological worth. We then have no foundation of moral obligation and human dignity. As the cannibal and sexual predator Jeffery Dahmer said: “If it all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a God? Can’t I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself.” Even atheists doubt how moral laws could exist without a moral lawgiver. Atheist J. L. Mackie said “if there are objective values, they make the existence of a god more probable than it would have been without them. Thus we have a defensible argument from morality to the existence of a god.”

There is an objective moral law on the hearts of all people, everywhere, at all times. How do we know that all humans know the difference between right and wrong? We can know for several reasons. First, there is a strong agreement by all people that certain things are always wrong. For example, murder, rape, stealing, and lying are seen as wrong by virtually all societies and governments. Another strong indication of this truth is that everyone desires to be treated with dignity, respect, fairness, and courtesy. If there was no moral law than we would expect a wider variety in what people believe to be wrong. Also, we find that even those who deny that there is a moral law live their lives as though there were. For example if  didn’t give them a opportunity to speak during an objection they would be upset for being treated unfairly and denying them an opportunity to speak. Their reaction to injustice, especially when directed at them, show their true belief in a moral order. So it’s not necessarily by their actions that prove what they believe it’s by their reactions. Yet another case for this argument is those who deny that there is a standard of right and wrong overlook certain values that should be denied to anyone. In example, all people value their own right to disagree, think freely, eat, live, breathe, etc. But if one of these values were to be denied, we would quickly find out a person’s true belief about morals. Finally, we often make judgments such as “the world is getting worse”, “the government is more corrupt”, “our media is more corrupt than it was 10 years ago”; these statements are impossible without a standard outside the world for what is “best.” True progress can’t be measured without an ultimate standard by which to measure it.

Therefore, a moral lawgiver exists. It has been shown that moral law does in face exist within the heart and conscience of humans. If the first two statements are true, then this conclusion is also true. From what is written in our hearts we can know what standards are considered right and wrong and these come from the creator and giver of life, God. As the Declaration of Independence states, humans are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Where did this proclamation come from? Why did the founders of this country feel that we have these rights? From their God-given conscience and the moral code written on their hearts. This country was created because these moral rights were not given to them and they acted out of their sense of injustice. If we had no moral code on our hearts, we would never look upon poverty, abortion, rape, slavery with any sense of outrage or injustice. It would just be part of what seemed right in someone else’s eyes. But, since God laid on our hearts what is right in His eyes we know that these things are wrong and we feel the need to speak out about them and take action. God is the true foundation for all law systems, ethics, and moral codes and until we grasp this truth our nation and we ourselves wouldn’t live the way we were meant to live.  This is a direct promise from God: “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart” Psalm 119:2. Only when we live in accordance to God’s laws and obey them will we experience joy, happiness, peace, and significance in our lives.

Kyle Jackson is a member of Northside Christian Church and is the author of the Shoutitforlife blog. You can read more articles written by Kyle at http://shoutitforlife.com/



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March 29, 2010 - Posted by | Guest Post Kyle Jackson |

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