Monday, January 29, 2018


If there are objective moral laws (OML), objective (not a human invention) like the law of gravity, then there must be a law-Giver and law-Enforcer. (In fact, it is now widely accepted that we have moral laws and moral judgments wired into us. They predictably appear at specific developmental stages.)

This is one reason why the idea of objective moral laws is so strongly opposed. Instead, evolution is offered as an alternative explanation for our moral wiring.

Perhaps the most common argument against the existence of OML is the claim that morality is relative to culture and also to the individual. However, this objection rests on a logical fallacy – that OML means that there are no relative elements at play. There certainly are. However, these relative elements do not argue against the existence of OML.

Let me demonstrate. For example, gravity is objective. It operates according to an elegant formula that can be applied universally. However, the impact of this force depends upon many relative factors – the shape and weight of the object, atmospheric conditions, and location. The existence of these relative factors does not detract from the fact that gravity is an objective and immutably law of science.

Let’s now apply this observation to OMLs. Simply because they impact us in different ways relative to situation, culture, and the people involved, doesn’t mean that OMLs are not objective. Instead, it is logical to conclude that the mere presence of many relative factors cannot deny the existence of OMLs.

This brings us back to the essential question – Are our moral laws God-given (ID) or the product of mindless and purposeless evolution. Here are some considerations in favor of ID:

1.    These laws operate elegantly and harmoniously. When observed, they produce peace, both internally and externally. When we confess our wrongdoing to our spouse, we experience a greater level of internal peace. Otherwise, we obsessively attempt to justify our wrongdoing. When our spouse accepts our apology, we even feel more relieved and the relationship is restored in a more foundational and essential way than anything else can bring restoration. We even have the sense that we have learned important lessons from the entire affair. All of this argues in favor of an intricate and salutary moral design.

2.    Although there are many relative elements, these laws operate universally. Cheating, stealing, and lying are abhorred by almost all cultures, while love, justice, and honesty are valued.

3.    They also seem to be immutable. We find that we can understand and identify with the most ancient writings. Why? Because we can identify with the feelings and morals of these ancients. No evidence of evolution here!

4.    Even those who deny the existence of OML actually affirm their existence in the way they speak and act. If you steal their money, they will claim, “You have no right to do this,” as if they are aware of an objective right and wrong. They will also argue in favor of objective “human rights.” When you accuse them of cutting in the line ahead of you, they will not say, “There are no objective moral truths preventing me from doing this.” Instead, they will attempt to justify themselves to show that they haven’t violated this law of fairness.

5.    If there are objective laws of science, there is no reason to balk at the existence of OMLs. Of course, it is more difficult to derive an elegant formula to describe the operation of OMLs. However, there are many studies and other considerations that demonstrate that when we follow these OMLs, we and our communities predictably profit.

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