Is There a God? The Moral Argument

Man can save himself. Some people believe that.

And people can freely choose to obey or disobey moral standards.

Really?

Most people choose to obey moral standards, especially those standards that are more public. We hear of the breaking of laws because immoral behavior is news and the news media is all about getting our attention.  By and far, most people obey moral standards.

Why?   Because man sets the moral standards.

Yet where does man get the idea about right and wrong?

The famous British author C.S. Lewis calls our conception of “right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe.” In other words, our conception of right and wrong is a direct link to God.

In our moral standards is a behavioral expectation that people are supposed to meet and for those moral standards to work, people have to agree on some limitations on their behavior. For a simple example, I know it is rude to push another person as I have a discussion with them.  My discussion partner knows that it is rude to push me.  Together we can have a discussion without pushing because that behavior does not facilitate discussion; it impedes discussion.  This is a basic unspoken rule, a moral standard.

Of course moral standards are much more complex than that simple example and much more important. One need only to turn to the ten commandments for examples.

As in yesterday’s post, the notion of God seems to tie cultures together; the notion of cultural moral standards seems to apply across civilizations also.

I did not live through it but I have studied the history of World War Two. The nation of Germany is a good example of a culture that went “off the rails” as they tried to exterminate Jews [and other “undesirables”] from their culture.  When it became clear that Germany would lose the war, allied forces began to liberate concentration camps, the world was outraged.

The Nazi influence on German culture has been long-lasting and this stain may never disappear. It happened.  It was heinous.  It was an outrage.

It violated human moral standards.

One must ask, what is the source of the outrage? Some would point to God and God’s desire to see a world where people are treated fairly, where people are unselfish, where people have honest relations with one another and where people tell the truth.

Some people see God as meting out judgments on man but for me the New Testament God [His Son Jesus] is not like that. The OT God did try to educate the Israelites about behavior for many years but His methods did not seem to take.  He laid down the law, the people chafed, they rebelled, they were punished, then repented.  He laid down the law again etc. [you get the picture].  For me that is the story of the Old Testament [too simple I am sure].

Paul Little says that the insertion of Jesus into man’s history is God’s different tack in behavior modification.   “If you wanted to communicate your love for a colony of ants, how could you most effectively do it?  Clearly it would be best to become an ant.”  The insertion of Jesus into our world showed God as a more understanding and forgiving God.

If moral standards exist and they seem to exist across cultures and the root of our conception of right and wrong comes from a God that laid down laws to a special group of people and the Son of God who spent time on earth with us, how can man affect history in a positive way?

The simple answer is by following moral standards [aka God’s laws].

God has a plan for man and it involves knowing, accepting and following Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This is the most important thing that we can do.  It is the most important choice we can make.

Following moral standards give us a chance to make a positive impact on this world.

Man can save himself.  Some people do believe that.

And people can freely choose to obey or disobey moral standards.

Of course they can.

Will disobedience benefit man? Will it benefit our world?

You know the answer to that question.

Not really…

 

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