Absolute Morality – Hampton Harmon

Posted: March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hello friends,

This week’s evangablog is on the issue of absolute morality. As a religion major, this is one of those things that just comes up, and I would contend that if we can define morality, we can as a result define truth. This past week, in fact, a discussion occurred in my Religion 110 class on morality, and here are some questions that came up.

Is there an absolute right and wrong?

If so, where does this absolute morality come from?

Is there punishment for disobeying the good?

Answer one; yes, you can define morality. The idea that what is right and wrong is determined based on how you were raised or conditioned is Ludacris. Think about it, how can we have a justice system if there is no absolute right or wrong? The courts cannot very well prosecute murder if our idea that murder is wrong depends on the American worldview and not an absolute right and wrong. How can we punish war crimes committed by Nazis if there is no absolute morality? Surely Nazis will claim that they were conditioned to believe that genocide of an entire people is “good” as long as those people threaten the Aryan way of life. However, we would all agree that there acts are detestable. If there is an absolute right and wrong then why do some, like Hitler, believe it is “good” to murder millions of people? They may justify their murder as “good”, but turn it around and murder someone they love and you will soon realize that they too internally know that murder is wrong.  For you readers that have a significant other. Let’s say the unthinkable happens and you are unfaithful. When you are confronted, you should explain to your boyfriend or girlfriend that you grew up in a household where your parents had an open marriage, so cheating is not wrong. I’d be willing to bet you will still end up mighty lonely. This is because deep down we know cheating is wrong.

Yes, morality can be defined. So where does it come from? Moral law means there must be a moral law giver. There is something inside of us that determines right and wrong, a conviction that was given to us upon our creation. This morality within us points to a supreme being that must have put it there, because morality is not something that is determined by science or psychology, but is inherent. In simpler terms, God is the author of our sense of right and wrong. God is able to decide this because He is all good, and cannot be present with sin or evil. Since we are created in His image, we know what is right because He is what is right. And because He cannot allow sin and evil without judgment, we have an inclination to know and judge evil.

Finally, since God is the author of our morality, there must be punishment for wrongdoing. He is perfectly good, so when we sin, we openly act in a manner of opposition to our God. He cannot allow evil to exist in His presence, which is heaven. God is the just judge, so there must be a place where evildoers go for their punishment, which we of course know as hell. The problem we have as humans is this; we are all guilty of wrong doing. Since God knows no wrong, we are deserving of punishment for going against Him, and that punishment is hell. This is where Jesus comes in to play. We know right and wrong, which is determined by God, and we actively choose to oppose Him. But God in all His grace has decided to offer us a way out through satisfying His wrath on His Son. Since morality is definite, we have a duty to evangelize and share the Gospel. Our sin runs deep, but His grace is abounding.

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