Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Morality Campaign Against God Pt. 2

As discussed in The Morality Campaign Against God Pt. 1, there is a seething cauldron of growing hatred against both God and Christians in general. The non-theist desires to place the worlds ills at the feet of God and Christianity saying that God is the author of hate and division in the world therefore calling him, his actions and the actions of Christianity's adherents immoral.

Professor Bart D. Ehrman in his book "God’s Problem: How The Bible Fails To Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer" while not dealing with the morality of man, concluded that suffering is caused due to evil forces in this present world (apocalypticism). He explains how this continues even though prescribed atonement (sacrifice of Jesus) has been made to eliminate it. He concludes by calling the actions and the nature of God into question and poses that God has failed to answer why we suffer and that humans must do whatever is necessary to eliminate their own suffering. In other words Dr. Ehrman calls God’s morality and goodness in dealing with man into question.

What Does It Mean To Be Moral Or Have Morality?

There are many definitions for morality and what it is to be moral. There are both descriptive and normative definitions of the word. There is the theory of "natural law" as it pertains to morality and then there is relative morality, ethical morality and absolute morality out of which objective moral values as referenced by most Christians spring forth, along with the contention that God is the moral law giver.

Then there is a growing field of study in which even monkey's, apes, and dogs are said to have morality. Yep that's right, the atheist hates God so greatly until he is willing to exalt an animal to the status of man before he admits tha there is a God...What a Farce and a TOTAL shame! Click HERE for the truth about Monkey Morality. Yet this is nothing new for individuals throughout history have done this same sort of thing, valuing animals and the creation greater than God and those created in HIS image and likeness.

Romans 1:21-24 & 28 ~ "21-Because that, when thay knew God, they glorified him not but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hear was darkened. 22-Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23- And changed the glory of the uncorruptable God into an image made like unto corruptable man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. 24-Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves."

As stated previously Dr. William Lane Craig Has laid out the argument as follows:

1- If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  1. 2- Objective moral values DO exist.

  2. 3- Therefore God exists.
  3. From Dr. William Lane Craig, "Why I Believe God Exists" as found in Geisler & Hoffman, "Why I Am A Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe" (Grand Rapids Baker Books, 1999)p.75.
Through history, religious thinkers such as Aquinas (1227-1274) have held that morality is known to all those whose behavior is subject to moral judgment, whether or not they know of the revelations of Christianity.

While I gave special attention to that argument in my last post even going so far as to state the following:
  • "So the Christian world view already acknowledges that one can be good for goodness sake, but that one cannot be saved or acceptable with God no matter how much good one does or performs"
However, I would like to further develop that idea and submit that there is a difference between the moral good of a Christian and the moral good of a sinner.

A Christian springs forth the good that they do because the heart is good and has been changed by the power the Lord. Whereas a sinner does good out of a different set of principles or essential necessities. Though the same or similar characteristics may exist in the life of a Christian and sinner, a Christian has been impacted supernaturally by the God that they serve, therefore the good that the Christian does is unto the glory of God and not merely because it was a good act. So the difference is not necessarily in the "What" of moral behavior the difference is in the "Why" of moral behavior.

John 7:37-38~ "37-In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. 38-He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

The Naturalist Solution

Create or try to find some way to genetically account for moral behavior.

The atheist/humanist/naturalist has claimed that God offers no benefit towards morality and moral behaviors. Basically stating that all things being equal, that a sinner can be just as good or moral as any Christian, but as we have noted that argument is a non-starter and a given because we can readily observe sinners doing good things or performing good acts according to natural law. However we cannot find any genetic or natural means whereby a sinner gains those moral values. Why? Because the naturalist only responds in ways that are randomly predetermined by genetic processes and natural selection. Natural selection however is a totally blind process with no regard for outcomes either positive or negative. In other words genetic process does not care or offer a priority of moral good for the individual or society.

To further illustrate the terrible problems associated with this viewpoint, we cannot overlook the comments of one of the leading atheists and proponents of methodological and metaphysical naturalism, who is non other than Oxford Professor and scientist Dr. Richard Dawkins.

When discussing morality in a recent interview with with Justin Brierley on Premier Christian Radio Network Dr. Dawkins said the following about why mankind currently holds that the act of rape is wrong:
  • Richard Dawkins: My value judgement itself could come from my evolutionary past.

  • Justin: So therefore its just as random as any product of evolution? (Referencing human moral value selection)

  • Richard Dawkins: Well, you could say that, but it doesn't in any case, nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.

  • Justin: Ok, but ultimately your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we've evolved five fingers rather than six?

  • Richard Dawkins: You could say that, yeah."

Justin then goes on to say this regarding Dawkin’s statements:

"Dawkins is not saying that "rape is ok" – he believes it is wrong from within his evolutionary perspective. However, he does admit that the belief itself is essentially arbitrary given that we could have evolved different morals – and that there can be no overarching moral fact that rape is wrong, as this would suggest values etc. that eclipse his strict naturalism. Of course, not many atheists actually want to admit that this is a logical outworking of naturalism (though it is very hard to deny) and talk all the time as though they are privy to absolute moral facts."

In the naturalistic worldview the definition of morality is solely based on blind chance and what we evolve into. Professor Dawkins agrees that the idea of rape being wrong is an arbitrary product of evolution. In his worldview we evolved to gravitate from rape being an acceptable moral standard. The problem is that Dr. Dawkins cannot account for any of this as he knows that evolutionary process and natural selection are blind and unable to distinguish between moral good and moral bad.

Hold the Phone!

This means that under the naturalist framework, we all would generally accept rape as being ok if only our genes through evolutionary process told us so? This also means that we all could accept murder pedophilia, incest, mutilation, and even eating our children as potential morally equal genetic outcomes of natural selection. Everything is based on random processes.

Devastating Effects

The effects of this type of thinking is enormous and impacting. To draw out it’s conclusions, the criminal then has no responsibility for his/her actions, because genetics become the reason and the need to fulfill criminal behaviors. Free will becomes and illusion shrouded by genetic processes and functions. What was thought to be "freedom of choice" only becomes predetermined genetic responses to stimuli. Moral good and moral bad are merely process of chance and therefore cannot be adequately penalized or rewarded. There is no special good or reward for faithfulness between spouses and no special bad or punishment for infidelity.

It is out of this understanding of natural morality sometimes called "natural law" that homosexuality flourishes. That abortion thrives. That most manias are merely reduced to diverse behaviors. This is the difference between Christian Objective Moral values and the naturalist, relativist or subjectivist value systems which campaign for morality without God. There is no standard of what is called objective morality or any standard of what should be moral obligation.

Additional Scriptural Insight

Judges 21:25 ~ "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

This scripture is reverberated 3 times within the book of Judges. (Judges 17:6, 18:1, and 21:25) one of the most interesting notes is that this scripture is was inserted at a time when we would not be expected to see any kings in Israel. I’ll explain:

Sampson had been deposed by God from being a Judge in approximately 1050 to 1070 BC. (Judges 16:31) Samuel would later reign as the last Judge/Prophet but a King would not be appointed by god and anointed by Samuel until (1 Sam. 10:1 & 17) l or at least another 13 to 32 years in 1038 BC.

One thing we learn from studying the Kings of Israel is that they were not spiritual restorers or moral leaders of the people. That position was reserved for the Priest and the Prophet whom God would raise up. So 2 questions arise?
  1. What king was being referred to?
  2. What was the social and moral implications of not having a king?
In my opinion this scripture does not merely reflect a future expectation of Israel, it reflects a current (historical) condition of Israel. The actions of the people were effected because there was no God directed leadership.

So the King being referred to is God himself that had given sign after sign raised up Judge after Judge to help and bless Israel and restore them to fellowship. In essence God was King doing and performing duties of taking care of the nation, but his leadership was not kept before the eyes of the people.

What were the results? Obviously the scripture indicates that the people developed their own brand of morality and their own sense of what was right and wrong by doing "what was right in their own eyes". The story of Micah in Judges 17 is indicative of this problem. Micah wanted a relationship with God but did it his way with a total disregard for the path of the Lord. He hired a pastor (priest) made and ephod and a teraphim and consecrated one of his sons to be priest. (Judges 16:5) His actions would affect a nation as the tribe of Dan would take his items and create a nation that was given to idolatry.

In part this scripture is representative of the morality of man without God or the understanding of God’s moral value system. That man is destined to do what is right in his own eyes and those actions will not be pleasing to God, because they miss the whole point of God’s purpose for relationship with and between man.

A Note On Morality From A Respected Christian Professor

Dr. Craig Bloomberg offered this in response to an atheist website called Debunking Christianity that asked him to address why he was still a Christian. On morality he said the following:

"In fact, if Christians have to wrestle with the problem of evil, so must everyone else. Indeed, we must all wrestle as well with the problem of good. Where do these concepts come from? What makes the most hardened atheist (usually) insist that there is something just plain wrong, perhaps even immoral, with torturing prisoners, abusing children, raping women, and with someone else gratuitously murdering them. The most advanced of apes has never disclosed any awareness of systems of morality, which is why we never arrest and imprison them, even if they kill humans. (We might euthanize them once in awhile, but not as retributive punishment, merely to protect the rest of humanity.) And we certainly don’t condemn multiple-partner animals of being unfaithful to their mates. Mark Twain (no evangelical he!) put it well: "Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to." Near the end of his life, Darwin admitted he had no satisfying explanation for human moral consciousness and reasoning."

When all is said and done Jesus provides a much better answer to the questions of morality among mankind. Although some have set forth to address the issue saying that morality is based on identity (vis a vis Ayn Rand) identity or self awareness tells us absolutely nothing about morality, objective moral values and what God has done for us through the power of HIS Spirit and sacrifice on the cross of his son Jesus Christ.

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