Friday, 27 November 2009

Morality: Part One

Man cannot make a moral framework on which to judge. For man is in himself immoral.

What is Truth? How Can We Determine Morality?

This really addresses the issue from the Garden of Eden when Satan tells Eve that she will surely not die, but she will be like God. It puts us in the question of God's truth versus Satan's truth. Which truth did Adam and Eve choose? Satan's truth. So now we beg the question: Was God telling the truth that they would die? Yes! Death was introduced when Adam and Eve took Satan's lie as truth.

We can see an example of postmodern thinking in President Bill Clinton's statement, "That depends on what your definition of "is" is."

This also brings up the question that Pontius Pilate asked upon Jesus' trial. Jesus said that he "came to TESTIFY to the truth." And Pilate replied, "What is truth?" Without really wanting a response, but just making a statement. So what is truth? Jesus said he came to bear witness to the truth.
In the following articles I will try to get to that conclusion: 'How do we determine morality?'

The following is an excerpt from a dialogue with my friend Anne Hodgkinson,

"Have you heard of the Euthyphro question posed by Socrates? Whether the good is good because it is good (a separate entity) or because God said it was good? I came to the conclusion that it was the latter (because God said it was good). If God's desire for His created things not to be destroyed is part of his personality, then the continuation of His created order is good...God's personality is good (not that God is a personless "force" of good...but that His personality defines what is good). I do not believe any of us truly want destruction (what Satan desires), though we may think we do...some of us just want certain goods without minding if those "good's" require destruction to obtain (C.S. Lewis wrote on this a bit in the beginning of Mere Christianity). As we were made in God's image, we desire not to be destroyed, but to continue existing. And who could know better how His creation should continue to function than God? God does not need to answer to an outside authority of "good" because He is the Creator of everything..."

How do you communicate truth to a world that isn't sure what truth is—or even if truth is? How do you commend spiritual absolutes to people who insist there are none?

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Jesus Christ

The Conscience: Now how do we know right from wrong?

For anyone who believes, God says to His people, "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33).

Romans 2:15
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness,

Hebrews 10:16
This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,

2 Corinthians 5:10
And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Questions and Answers
by Dr. David A. DeWitt

Q: What is our conscience?
A: Our conscience is a spiritual ability built into every human being by which we make ethical judgements based on inner moral principles.

Q: How does our conscience work?
A: When we believe certain information (place faith in knowledge), we establish inner laws. These laws may be right or wrong, depending on whether our knowledge is of the truth. As we encounter complex life situations, we apply our inner laws, as a judge deciding a case presented by a prosecutor and a defense attorney. By this, our conscience creates a solution (unique for every situation), which it considers morally right. When we act inconsistent with that judgement, we experience feelings of guilt.

Objective Morality vs. Moral Relativism
This is a recent response to a deist regarding his remark that "maybe God is tricking us and murder is really good... maybe God is good and Satan is bad,"

Research has been done that even a cannibal in an African tribe still knows murder is wrong. I don't believe that murder is wrong just because that's what the bible says. I don't just simply follow the bible because it "works for me," as it were. I'm talking about knowing something that's built-in.

The thing is, everyone thinks their view is right. And some people argue that Christians are intolerant and forcing their views on others. But then aren't they themselves forcing their view that Christians? Something good could offend someone's belief. A good thing could become bad or vice versa. Good then becomes a moral judgement just like Bad is.

The challenge of intolerance is also itself being morally challenged. It's a claim that some moral thing is true. The rule you want to tolerate, but the meaning of that has now shifted to almost mean the opposite now than it used to be. So if you're intolerant then you've done something wrong. This is moral relativism.

You can judge the validity of a moral principle by putting the principle in action, as it were. Your question if "murder is really good" is saying that that people can make up morality on their own views is a homicide detectives worst nightmare: someone who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience--a sociopath.

If there is no objective morality then there is no moral intuition on which to act. If morals are relative then you would have to say that Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were right in their own state of mind of moral intuition. Even if I believe what I believe is true, I'm wrong. Even if I happen to approve of your view or don't believe in your view, I'm wrong. If moral relativism is true then we live in a world in which nothing is wrong. Nothing evil. Nothing is worthy of praise or blame. There is no injustice or justice, in which I'm intolerant. Who can believe that? Who can live that way? No one can and no one truly believes that way!

That's like one guy cutting in line at the cue for tickets to the football game and some guy yelling out "Hey! you can't... do... that.... nevermind... my comment is my own point of view." People become passive aggressive. It's a good reason to do whatever you want. Moral relativism is a bankrupt view.

If there is one moral rule that applies to us that is not physical. There is one non-physical reality that science cannot know. That's the liberating idea. What gives force to this world's law of nature? The best explanation for moral rules isn't a happening by chance. It is by someone: A moral ruler. A moral law giver.

You can't deny that when you look deep down inside yourself you know that you've done something wrong, that you've violated something and you want forgiveness. Deep down inside you know that there is truth. There is something better than this life. I know this because I used to be an agnostic. And what Jesus offers is a solution and forgiveness.
Maybe you're objecting Jesus because there is all this evil in the world. I don't know, maybe you help me understand what you mean. Tell me what you think right and wrong is. How do you personally determine right from wrong? What is justice for you?

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