Moral Argument for God’s Existence

by Robert Driskell

Why do we view some behavior as right and other behavior as wrong?  Are the actions of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Saddam Hussein wrong for all people at all times?  Why?  Are things such as murder, rape, and child abuse wrong in all cultures or just certain ones?  Why?

Most Christians believe that God has declared some behavior as right and some behavior as wrong.  We call these ‘moral absolutes’.  The opposite view is called ‘relativism’; which means that moral standards can be different for different people, places, times, or situations.

Relativistic morals

People, young or old, know that there are moral standards that apply to everyone, at all times.

There are some who deny the existence of moral absolutes.  Moral absolutes are moral/ethical standards that are true for all people at all times, in all places.  However, moral knowledge is intuitively known; the conscience knows, without being taught, when some things are right and some things are wrong.  For instance, every sane person agrees that torturing babies for fun is wrong.  No one has to be taught that truth.  It is universally accepted as true.  People, young or old, know that there are moral standards that apply to everyone, at all times.  Nevertheless, some people try to claim that morals are not objective, that they do not apply to everyone across the board.  However, if someone were to test their commitment to this belief by stealing one of their belongings, the relativistic proponent would quickly admit that it is wrong to steal.

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The characteristics of morals

 While it is true that different times, places, and cultures may have different moral standards, this does not mean that what is practiced is the same as what ought to be.  In other words, just because a culture practices abortion does not mean that abortion is right.  Hitler massacred many Jews, but that certainly does not make it legitimate, or wholesome, or ethical, or appropriate.  Some behaviors are wrong, even though they still exist.  “Morals are not descriptions of the way things are.  Morals are prescriptions of the way things ought to be” (Powell, p.73).

Morals are commands not suggestions, opinions, or preferences; morals are stated as “it is wrong to murder” not “I don’t like murder”.  Morals affect us on a personal level.  We feel guilt when we do something we know is wrong.  Our conscience tells us that we have wronged someone.  What about when we simply think something bad, immoral, or perverted?  Why do we feel guilty when no one even knows we had those thoughts?  Why is this if morals are merely man-made constructs?  If humanity decided morals, humanity would simply get rid of any that conflicted with his or her desires or opinions…problem solved.

However, this is not the case.  We know certain things to be right and other things to be wrong, even if we would rather not…


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