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Recently I had a young man share with me that he did not believe in good and evil.
I think, most commonly, those who don’t feel there is such a thing as objective, moral good, have that stance because they don’t see a ‘God’ behind the scenes, or more often, don’t want to. They believe that our existence has come to this point in time due to chance. With billions of stars in our Milky Way alone, and all the billions of other galaxies, each one of those galaxies with billions of other stars and solar systems, the odds are that one of them would come up with some kind of combination that would support life, which eventually over millions and billions of years, would evolve into intelligent life. If we have just evolved, without any supernatural intervention by an all loving and all powerful God, then the concept of good and evil would just be an opinion on the current state of affairs. In other words, someone could look at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as a good thing, or at the very least, a neutral event. They may believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with shooting small school children. Now in any organized, intelligent society, it would be commonly accepted that if we all went around shooting one another on a regular basis, it would do little to further a culture, or the human race, as a whole. Consequently, those kind of behaviors are frowned upon, and atheists believe it is quite ‘natural’ that humans come up with morals, or safe guards, that would deal with those kinds of anti-social actions. For any species expected to grow and develop, behavior within that species which would randomly eliminate each other, would simply become extinct. Simply put, for a species to survive, they must come up with behaviors that improve their lot in life, and having laws against random shootings and murders is such an example in the eyes of a naturalist/atheist.

Now we can come up with examples like the Holocaust, and hundreds of other historical events, that tug on our heart strings. Just about everyone would agree that the Holocaust, or the torture of young children “for the fun of it” is evil, but there are a few who don’t see it that way. Yes, they agree it is wrong, in a natural sort of way, but the atheist does not believe it is wrong because some higher being would frown upon that kind of behavior. We live in a time that Francis Schaeffer, (founder of L’Abri), called “sociological law”. Our laws and entertainment change as our cultures change. During the Roman Civilization, it was lawful and entertaining to throw people to wild animals and to watch gladiators fight to the death. In the 1950’s, it was unlawful for homosexuals to be married, for women to have abortions, and for men to pay for sex. Sixty years later all are lawful, acceptable, and in some instances, common place. If we just rely on opinion polls, (as politicians do), to decide what kind of behavior is acceptable, then behavior is nothing more than a favorite flavor of ice cream. On one of the forums I visit, when someone wrote they did not believe in evil, another asked, “What if I poked you in the eye and stole your wallet; would you have a problem with that?” It was said tongue-in-cheek to a degree, but the point is well taken. Quite often, those who say they don’t believe in evil might very well change their mind when someone else wants to take advantage of them for purposes they don’t agree with.

Timothy Keller, who wrote The Reason for God – Belief in an Age of Skepticism, gave an example I want to share. He wrote, “For many years after each of the morning and evening Sunday services I remained in the auditorium for another hour to field questions. Hundreds of people stayed for the give and take discussions. One of the most frequent statements I heard was that, ‘Every person has the right to define right and wrong, for himself or herself.’ I always responded to the speakers by asking, “Is there anyone in the world right now, doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior?” They would invariably say, “Yes, of course.” Then I would ask, “Doesn’t that mean you do believe there is some kind of moral reality that is ‘there’ that is not defined by us, that must be abided by regardless of that a person feels or thinks?” Almost always, the response to that question was a silence, either a thoughtful or a grumpy one.”

What is to stop our society from becoming morally bankrupt and accept abuses which have been acceptable to cultures in the past without objective morals?

Proverbs 21:2 A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.

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