Apologetics Philosophy

Morality: The Question?

“A strange fanaticism fills our time: the fanatical hatred of morality, especially of Christian morality.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

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The Idea of morality has been a topic of discussion for many years, by many people, and people groups. We can all agree that morality is a theory of how we determine what is right and wrong in our personal lives, in society, and among religious beliefs. We all have some different concept of morality, what we find to be right and wrong, and we all have differing opinions of how we get this morality that is set up for us. The three most popular arguments today for where our morality comes from are the innate answer that we are born with it, the empiricist answer that we learn it as children from our parents, and Johnathan Haidt from his book “The Righteous Mind,” gives a third answer of it is “self-constructed by children on the basis of their experience with harm.”

The answer to “where does morality come from?” is very clear, we are born already knowing our morality or our basis for right and wrong. Do we need to learn and expound more on this morality system we have been given by God, sure, but I don’t believe we have to learn it as something new. I believe that C.S. Lewis said it best in his book Mere Christianity, “You cannot make men good by law: and without good men you cannot have a good society. That is why we must go on to think of the second thing: of morality inside the individual.” This is something that I have been thinking about quite a bit because without morality being in us how is society labeled good or bad and how are laws put into place? From the classical Christian perspective (my view) human beings were destined to have moral beliefs before existence. According to Romans 2:12-16 “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. [15] They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.” This shows that even Gentiles who were a completely separate culture than the Jews had similar moral stances and obeyed the same laws that were set. I know some are thinking at the moment that I am speaking against culture relativism, which with the arguments made for it doesn’t seem like we are talking about morals at all. The arguments that I have heard have more to do with disgust than right or wrong. These are the terms we must define when making these arguments or stances. In this case just because we are disgusted by something does not necessarily make it a moral issue or the idea of right and wrong. This would also be an argument for the Christian who may be disgusted by things that Christians, atheists, or other religions do or practice. Based on these terms alone I believe we all are apart and have the same moral system.

If I believe there is a God out there, which I do, then I also have to believe that there is one morality system that his creation must live by. Otherwise if I have and have made my own morals and what is true for me isn’t for you then that seems like rebellion more than a moral dilemma. I have seen countless times between christian nationalists and progressive christians fighting for whose morals are right and whose morals are wrong that this may seem like we learn are morality based on society. I don’t believe this is true because once again I feel we are uniting disgust and morality with these issues. I’m scratching more than the surface level of moral beliefs but the deep rooted part of us where all morals seem to be almost identical to our neighbors. When I am speaking of the deep rooted part of us I mean the parts that feel guilt, shame, and remorse. If you noticed I love C.S. Lewis for his wisdom and amazing books with great content. So, it’s only fair I throw in the wise words of one of my favorite authors, “All men alike stand condemned, not by alien codes of ethics, but by their own, and all men therefore are conscious of guilt.” This is where I would argue that morals are built from inside us out into society because we are all human beings capable of guilt. According to hebrews 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. God made a covenant with his people “all of his people”, that his laws were to be inside our minds and hearts. This was a new covenant God promised based on his people to come and not based on the fathers of his people.

Some would definitely ask me why there is evil in the world at all if a God has morality and laws already in play inside of his creation. This is the million dollar question that has been floating around forever and has come up more recently with people fighting very minuscule battles with morality. I believe Justin Brierley from Premier Christian radio, said it best with the problem of evil when he compared us to robots if God intervened every time we did something wrong. This isn’t the case because we are human beings and we have the choice to be evil, but we also have the choice to be good. So which would you rather choose a world where we are robots with no choice and no evil in the world or humans capable of doing evil but also having the choice to create good.

About Ryan

I am married to my best friend Lizzy Wright and we have 2 beautiful twin girls Gwen and Harper. I work as a barista/Roaster at The Coffee Ethic and work as a Special Education Resource teacher at Republic School District. I have a masters degree in special education from Grand Canyon University as well as my Bachelors of Science in Youth Ministry. I hold to my classical christian beliefs. I am a new writer and co host on the blog and up in coming podcast called Table Theology. I am best friends with the other part of table theology Josh Morris and this where we talk about first hand issues as a part of the core of theology today in an authentic and real setting. This blog and podcast is to show that even though people have differing views we can still do life together and learn from one another.

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