Is Anything Wrong?

by Tanya Walker

We live in a generation rife with contradictions in its understanding of moral values. On the one hand, we are witnessing the confused blurring of lines between good and evil, and a desecrating of boundaries that were intended to keep us from harm.

On the other, there is widespread dogmatism, and an indignant moral outrage at the real or imagined offences of others.

The prophetic voice of the church is desperately needed in this mix of confusion and contradiction.

Do moral absolutes – unchanging moral values that are independent of humankind and are discovered rather than constructed by us – even exist? What is the reference point for the content of our moral values? And how are they to be grounded?

GOD AND MORALITY

You may have heard Christian voices making this argument, but you might be surprised to learn that an impressive array of atheist academics concur that if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist, because there is no way of ultimately grounding them.

The theist goes on to note that belief in the existence of objective moral values is one of the most deeply ingrained, intuitive beliefs of the human race. As such, it gives us good reason to believe in God:

If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

Objective moral values do exist.

Therefore God exists.

The atheist insists that there is no God, and therefore has to force the issue on morality:

If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

God does not exist.

Therefore objective moral values do not exist.

This final conclusion is at odds with what appears to be a self-evident moral sense, and thus has warranted further explanation from the atheist camp. The narrative offered goes something like this: human beings – and in fact our whole universe – are the product of matter, time and chance, together with the processes of evolution, which are geared towards the survival of the fittest.

We have what appears to be a very deeply ingrained sense of an objective right and wrong, as though it has been hard-wired into our systems. In a sense, it has been hard-wired in: it is an illusion brought about by our genes, because it enhances our chance of survival. So, there is no issue or contradiction within atheism with regards to our sense of moral absolutes – the sense of these absolutes is an evolutionary illusion.

There are significant problems with this line of reasoning, and I will raise two…

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Is Anything Wrong? | Zacharias Trust