Morality must come from God

by Joel Settecase

Which morality? Whose standard?

Today the idea of a moral standard that applies to everybody has basically gone out the window. What’s right for me might be right for you, but it might not. What’s right for you might not be right for me. And the last thing we want to do, according to this new way of thinking, is to impose our standards of right and wrong onto anybody else. Now this way of thinking leads to some pretty silly effects.

Oklahoma tried to pass a law outlawing something called Sharia. Sharia is a system of law based on Muslim principles. The Oklahoma lawmakers tried to ban Sharia so that another system of law could not creep in and replace American law. This seems to make sense: Oklahoma law already exist, so it wouldn’t make any sense to bring in a parallel system of rules that only apply to some people—i.e. Muslims. But US District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, after reviewing the case, struck it down. She said it was discriminatory against Muslims. Are we losing the sense that there is a standard for right and wrong that apply to all people?

We can answer this question by answering the question, where does morality come from? If morality comes from a source that all people have in common, then we may make the case that the same standard of right and wrong apply to everybody. If, however, morality comes from a source that is less than universal, different sets of people will be governed by different ethical standards.

What is the source of morality?

Let us look at four possible answers to this question.

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Option One: Morality is personal

If each person gets to decide for herself what is right and wrong, then nobody can impose her standard onto anyone else. But aren’t there some actions that are morally wrong no matter what? To take an extreme example, if the source of morality is the individual, then the genocide Hitler carried out was morally right, because he believed it was. He is the sole arbiter of which actions are good for him to take.

This also means that you are only acting immorally when you do something that you personally believe is wrong. However, if you decide to take an action, then at that moment you have decided it is the best action to take—in other words, you believe that action is morally right. So then, applied at large, everything everybody does is morally right. There is no immorality. Every action would be subject to no higher moral evaluation than that of the person who commits it. Good and evil become terms without any application. I might feel that the thief who breaks into my house and steals my television is wrong, but that is really just my personal preference, worth no more than the thief’s.

If all this is true, then it’s no more moral to believe the truth about morality than it is to believe a lie…

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