First, listen to this 6-minute clip:
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Here's the topic for today's discussion:
As you can see, metaphysical questions become practical very quickly. The essential question John brings out is this: What is the non-biblical basis for a universal, transcendent law? If you deny biblical authority, then you deny divine law, which is transcendent and universal (cf. Romans 2:15, God wrote His law on the heart of every individual). So, here are a few questions for the comment thread:
First, how do naturalists/evolutionists explain the existence of a universal law, a standard that applies to everyone?
Second, if they deny a universal standard, how do naturalists/evolutionists hold anyone accountable for their actions? That is, what allows them to condemn the actions of Marquis de Sade, Hitler, or Ted Bundy?
Third, how do naturalists/evolutionists betray their reliance on God’s law, written in their hearts?
#1 Posted by
Michial Brown | Tuesday, April 13, 2010at
The few evolutionists I have spoken regarding these issues claim the conscience has nothing to do with God but rather social and cultural conditioning. They claim the conscience is a blank slate which is conditioned by parents, authority figures, and other social and cultural influences. There is no universal standard.
Obviously we know otherwise. If these people claim to have no universal consciousness of good vs evil in their conscience it is only a result of their suppression and resistance to it. Many of these people have made shipwreck of their conscience and seared it by resisting Gods law and hardening it to the Spirit's working.
So these people while denying a universal law will nevertheless align themselves with other like minded people in a society and culture(who are also reacting agains the same ..ahem..nonexistent universal law...ahem).. and borrow capital from God's law by seeking a peaceable community in their own terms of course. The Greeks did it. Whatever is good for the society is the rule, but so much of that is borrowed capital from God's universal law, refuting any denials of such a universal law in the conscience of man. None of these men will say murder and betrayal are good because it destroys and harms their neighbor and robs peace from their society. But we can say to them facetiously the evil and rebellion of men are only different traits which bring about the evolutionary process of survival of the fittest. They must view them as good and necessary parts of the process. Seeking to suppress them for the good of others is counter to the darwinian thought. To acknowledge those behaviors are evil is a reality which only comes from the universal God-given consciense of man. They cannot have it both ways.
It is all pick and choose. Wanting the cake and eating it too. THat is how Satan operates. He knows he cannot lure folks to himself with all the darkness and desolation his worldview offers. No he must borrow capital from the universal law of God to coat his evil plans. He wants us to think his ways are beautiful and as appealing and good as an angel of light. So too these so called evolutionists and atheists say they deny the universal law of God but only as it hinders their rebellion to Him, all the while taking what they will of His common grace. But one day will come when there is no common grace. Hades and Gehenna are void of it and the fruition of their rebellion will show itself for what it really is.
#2 Posted by
Fred Butler | Tuesday, April 13, 2010at
The few evolutionists I have spoken regarding these issues claim the conscience has nothing to do with God but rather social and cultural conditioning.
That is why one of the best ways to initiate a gospel encounter with these folk is to press them as to the disconnect of their behavior with the principles of an evolutionary world view. None of them live in such a manner, correct? Why? Well, I would argue because they know better in their heart of hearts because they are created in the image of God. The image is marred with sin, but still exists to convict them of sin, and irrational living.
#3 Posted by
Darla Wormuth | Wednesday, April 14, 2010at
Interesting - social conditioning. I too have heard that as an argument, but I cannot help but to wonder how many parents sat their children down and said, "Son, do not murder. Do not rape. Do not do this, that, and the other" and was able to cover all the do's and don'ts of life. (Thus the 10 Commnadments should be taught).
How many of us have watched a child sneak a cookie, even when they have not been told not to take it.
Ex. You are at a wedding and when you walk into the reception with your son, who is three, he spots the big wedding cake. Nothing is said between the two of you as to whether when he will be able to taste this yummy cake.
Nevertheless, your son sneaks off when he thinks no one is looking and sticks his finger in the icing. Is it not his conscience that is making him sneak around? Of course. There is no "rule" saying you cannot stick your finger in the wedding cake, and I am fairly certain this childs parents did not give him the "wedding rule book" to read prior to the event.
It just seems "naturally" illogical to think such foolishness -- created from nothing! Denying the existence of God as creator is the proof of one being given over to a depraved mind.
#4 Posted by
Paul Neil | Wednesday, April 14, 2010at
If morality is only based on social conditioning we have to then ask, what on earth is happening now? We live in a time were much of the supposed conditioning man had is not held with much esteem nowadays.
We can see that evil is rampant. While evil has always been, in all my life I have never witnessed until this current time that wrong is right, Its unbelievable!! A homosexual would stay in the closet and be ashamed, a stripper would be ashamed and hope that no one she knew found out, an individual getting pregnant out of wedlock would be ashamed and hide themselves and would marry quickly, young people wouldnt use foul language in front of elders, even a few years ago gangster rappers were put down, now they on the front page.
So if the case is that morality is a man made thing, why is it that those same morals are now grossly being ignored? We see shamelessness all around us, so it isnt reasonable to say morality is mans idea.
We do though have a perfect scripture for what we find oursleves in today. Life is how it is because men ignore The Most High God!
II Tim 3:1-4
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
I agree, we must also ask, why would humans even dream up morality, if survival of the fittest is what its about? Its a contradictory and hypocritical.
#5 Posted by
Elaine Bittencourt | Sunday, April 18, 2010at
# 3 - Darla.
Having had 3 children I can understand completely your comparison. It is also interesting that we, as parents, expect our children to not behave in certain ways, having never gone through the "book of do's and don'ts with them.
# 4 - Neil.
Morality, nowadays, it's not absolute anymore, it's relative. Relative to background, culture, ages and times. It is true what you said about people being ashamed when they sinned. But everything is acceptable today in the name of freedom and individual rights.
Not sure why, but I was reminded of a talk I had with a friend of my husband's, who is Hindu (not my husband, his friend). He was telling us that he will be saved according to his good deeds. If he doesn't have enough good deeds during this lifetime, he will have to come back, and whatever good deeds he has now will determine if he will come back as a human or some animal or insect or any other creature. So I asked him what was his standard for "good" deeds, who was it that determines if his good deeds are really good or not. He told me that is relative to each person, whatever he thinks it's good, then it's good, but other hindu can have a different standard for "good" deeds.