Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Reason for God: The Knowledge of God
If you died and arrived at the gates of Heaven, what would you say to God to justify your lifelong atheism? Bertrand Russell: Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.
But Tim Keller says: “I don’t want to argue why God may exist. I want to demonstrate that you already know God does exist.” No matter what you say, belief in God is an unavoidable, basic belief that we cannot prove but cannot not know. We know God is there. That’s why even when we say life is meaningless; we simply can’t live that way. We are just repressing what we know (Romans 1)
Secular, urban young people are not amoral or relativistic. They have a finely honed sense of right and wrong. They care for human rights and the weak. They are against animal cruelty. They are against intolerance and bigotry. But these moral intuitions are free floating in thin air.
If there is no God, why is it wrong for bigger brained animals to trample on the weaker ones?” It seems that we hold humans guilty for violating the rights of other animals but not the lions or tigers for doing the same. Why the double standards?
And where do we get the idea of inalienable rights and equal dignity of all human beings? Polish poet Czelaw Milosz fears that underneath these noble words is an abyss, nothing but emptiness since their foundations were found in religion.
You Are Forbidden To Forbid
Moral Relativist: “No one should impose their moral views on others, because everyone has the right to find the truth inside her self”.
Aren’t there people in the world who are doing things you believe are wrong – things they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior? Everyone does. Doesn’t that mean that you do have some kind of moral standard that they should follow regardless of their individual convictions?
Why is it impossible (in practice) to be a moral relativist? Because we all have an unavoidable belief not only in moral values but also in moral obligation (shouldness)
Our conscience tells us not only what is right or wrong, it tells us there are standards outside of ourselves that evaluate our moral feelings. People who laugh at moral absolutes do not think racial genocide is just impractical or futile, but that it is wrong. We don’t care if those who did it sincerely felt they were doing something good.
Evolutionary psychology: People behave unselfishly survived in greater numbers than those who are selfish. Therefore altruistic genes get passed down and we feel it is ‘right’.
But if survival of our own tribe is all that matters, then the opposite response (hostility to people ‘outside’ our group) should be just as widely considered moral behavior. Why are we obligated to jump in a river to save a stranger or enemy? That kind of altruism should have died out long ago.
Maybe such selfless behavior brings indirect reciprocal benefits, but this can’t account for our motivation to do such acts when no one notices. It only describes our moral behavior, but it does not explain why we should behave like that.