Does Objective Morality Come from God?
D. Palmer – John Rae
Is morality subjective or objective, random or designed? Who decides what’s right or wrong and where does Moral law come from? If evil exists then good must exist and for good to exist, does that make God the source of goodness, making Him the arbiter for right and wrong? When we accept the existence of goodness, we affirm the basis to differentiate between good and evil.
Good morals of how to treat others, are taught to children in preschool. If morality is not objectively true, why would we teach our kids right from wrong? Where did we get this sense if not instilled in us from a creator? If we have an accepted, objective set of do's and don'ts, where did it come from, if not from a creator that has ingrained these truths within us? Therefore, when you admit to moral laws, then logically, it points to a standard of perfection, or a moral law source.
CS Lewis, a once staunch atheist and 20th century author, most famous for his “Chronicles of Narnia” series, said, “If you call a crooked line a crooked line, you can't do so unless you know what a straight line is.”
Lewis wants his readers to understand three facts:
• “There is a universal moral law, which applies to everyone, whether or not people explicitly believe in such a thing. They appeal to it all the time—complaining that they’re the victim when someone else doesn’t obey it and attempting to excuse themselves, when they don’t obey it personally.”
• “All of us are - have been - or will be breakers of this moral law. We all sin.Only the delusional or those who never examine their consciences would deny this.”
• “The existence of this universal, moral law strongly implies a moral law giver (which we would call God).”
Lewis adds, “It’s also a starting point you and I can use when attempting to engage secular people in discussions about ultimate reality: a universal moral law exists, which in turn strongly implies the existence of God.”
Some say, don’t impose your morality on me, however, if morality is subjective, then who decides what’s evil and if it’s ok to exercise their subjective morality on others? So, what are a few examples of self evident, agreed upon, objective moral truths? Murder, Lying, stealing, torturing babies for fun, racism, harming animals, just to name a few are widely accepted as objectively morally wrong, but according to whose standard if not an outside intelligence?
Collectively Stalin, Hitler and Mao and their followers, killed tens of millions of people in the 20th century. Should evil people be permitted to exercise their evil - subjective morality? If the answer is instinctively no, then logically it concludes, that somehow objective moral law has been ingrained in us from some source. Moral Law is as natural as math, physics or any science, like, one plus one equals two is true, so is objective moral right and wrong, logically implanted in us by a creator who gave us free will. Without it, anyone could impose their morality on their neighbor: a scary thought... think about that for a few minutes!
G.K. Chesterton, a 20th century author and philosopher said, “Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”
Jim Wallace, a Former atheist, Los Angeles detective and author of Cold Case Christianity says “God Didn’t Create Moral Law, It’s Simply a Reflection of His Character...Moral truths are subjective if they aren’t grounded in a transcendent source (such as God). I’m not the only person to realize this; even honest atheists recognize the inconsistency of embracing objective moral truths while simultaneously rejecting the one reasonable source for such truths.”
If God does not exist, then morality is purely subjective. God logically, is the best explanation of objective moral values, in some way, imbedding in us, a likeness of Himself. The ancient Greek philosophers came to a reasoned conclusion that there exists a natural moral law, in India it was called the Dharma, in the Orient, it was called the Tao and, for the Jews it was called the Law. Your ultimate “good” was to follow the natural moral law, you ignored it at your peril. For the Greeks, Indians, Orientals and Jews the natural moral law was just the rules of the game of humans. For Saint Paul, Jesus comes not the abolish the Law but the complete the Law. Jesus raised the natural moral law from a world structured around the fixed categories of “subjective/objective,” into the world configured by “Love”.
Thomas Aquinas, an influential 13th century theologian and philosopher felt that “faith and reason are not mutually exclusive and the more you study, the more this becomes evident that faith and reason ultimately come from God. This collaboration helps to guide our reasoning clarifying and demystifying faith. We need both, and when we prioritize one over the other, we miss out on the fullness of the world around us.” He sums it up best, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”