There is something called “The Moral Law.” Proponents hold that this law is inherent in all human beings, and that the fact of such a law proves that God exists. Other people deny that a moral law exists other than in some people’s opinion, and because it does not exist, it certainly does not prove God exists.
There are two senses of the moral law: In the first sense, proponents claim that all people’s of the earth have basically the same sense of morality. The idea is that all people have a similar sense of what is right and wrong. Opponents quickly claim that most people simply do not have a similar sense of right and wrong, and quote the many views of marriage, sex, murder, torture, etc., as proof that many people have different views of right and wrong.
However, in C. S. Lewis book “The Abolition of Man,” Lewis researched most of the legal systems in the world, and in the appendix, quotes laws from many diverse cultures and nations, showing the remarkable similarity in their laws. So for those who deny the moral law, I point you to Lewis book. The point of this first argument can be summarized this way: Despite what people may say, no one truly believes that it’s OK to torture no one believes it’s OK to slowly torture little puppies to death for fun. No one, and I mean no one, believes that it’s OK for me to steal their stuff. If you deny this, please send me their address and let me know when they’re not at home.
But the second sense of the moral law is more powerful and significant than the first. This argument does not say that all people have the exact same moral code, but rather that all people have some sense of morality. No one in history has ever felt that anything and everything is OK. All people from all time and all places have felt that something, somewhere, is truly wrong…..not just someone’s opinion, but truly, objectively wrong. This second argument says that it is irrelevant whether there are differences between people as to what exactly is right and wrong. The point is that all people everywhere claim that something is wrong. Even Attilla the Hun would believe it’s OK to steal your stuff, but if you try to steal his stuff, he’ll think it’s truly, morally wrong.
The point is this: the atheists say that we are all just molecules, and no spirit or god exists. If this is true, and we are mere collections of molecules, then where did we get this sense of moral right and wrong? People don’t say that things are wrong due to my opinion, they believe that things are morally wrong truly, objectively, despite what you or I think.
C. S. Lewis put it this way. If I were to kill a neighbor kid, then I’d be held morally responsible. But if a tree were to drop a limb and kill a neighbor kid, then we wouldn’t say the tree was bad in a moral sense. But to the atheist, there’s no real difference between us and a tree, except the molecules are arranged in a different way. They can’t appeal to free will, for a materialist cannot logically hold to free will (the subject of another blog), and they can’t appeal to “herd instinct” for survival, for this still does not give us objective, external “wrong.” All it would give is “I don’t like.”
So the power of the moral argument says this: If a true sense of morality exists, and we hold that things are really right and really wrong, not just our opinion, then a Moral Law exists separate and apart from us, and more than mere molecules exist in the world. There has to be something separate and apart from material reality……. a moral law giver.
The way the Moral Law is applied goes this way: Do you ever say that anyone, anywhere, is ever wrong? If you do, then your statement can be taken in only two senses: 1) You are correct, and the actions are truly wrong, or 2) your accusation of wrongness is only your opinion. If 2, then you have no grounds to claim that anything, anywhere is ever truly “wrong,” including the most egregious things imaginable. If 1, then you admit that a sense of morality exists that is not mere opinion or societal conventions.
So the atheist is painted into a very real dilemma. If a Moral Law exists that is separate and apart from anyone’s opinion, then materialism is false, a Moral Law Giver must exist, and this Law Giver is universal and separate from all humans. If a Moral Law does not exist, then the atheist has no grounds for saying that anything, anywhere is wrong (especially anything Biblical), and therefore they must hold to an absolute moral relativism, admitting that nothing is ever wrong, any where, any time.
My Conclusion: If you’re reading this, you believe something, somewhere is truly wrong, and it’s not just your opinion that it’s wrong…….rather, you hold that it’s REALLY wrong. Therefore, you are forced to contend with the universal Moral Law Giver.
Would you like to be introduced to Him? Read the book of John.