Why Be Moral?

Hello loyal readers. (And all new readers!) It’s late at night here. There are some things to respond to and those will wait for a night when I can devote more time to them. I’ve had company up tonight and we had some good discussions on theistic topics after listening to a debate on the resurrection in a chat room.

Let’s say, I wasn’t pleased with it.

However, I had a friend write in with some disagreements with last night’s blog. The point seemed to be that I applied morality only to this life. Also, should I not be moral anyway? If there is no Christ, then do I not have reasons to be moral in my life? These are important questions that need to be answered.

The first one is the simplest one. Yes. I did apply morality only to this life. There are eternal consequences for our actions, I agree, but we won’t have the same problems in eternity. In the afterlife, we would have received the beatific vision and from that point on, doing that which is good will not be a problem.

Our question though of whether morality is relative or absolute does apply to this life and the current debate on moral relativism. There are no moral relativists in Heaven. (For that matter, there are no moral relativists in Hell either.) I also think we should realize that while morality is a fine argument for God’s existence, it is not God himself. The finger is good for pointing to the moon but woe to him who mistakes the finger for the moon.

Now for the second question.

My point was that if morality is an illusion, why follow it? It is atheism vs. theism. If there is no such thing as morality, why believe that there is?  This is what I desire to see. I desire to see the atheist live out the worldview of moral relativism consistently. When someone cuts him off in traffic, realize that no one has violated a moral standard. The other person has acted on his own morality and there is no standard by which to condemn it.

Yet this goes further. We cannot say raping a girl is wrong, but we cannot say it is good. It just is. We cannot say saving a drowning child is good. We cannot say it is bad either. It just is. If you have any feelings of guilt, you need to realize those aren’t the way reality is. If you have any feelings of having done the right thing, that’s not the way reality actually is either. That’s simply the delusion you need to expunge.

I want the moral relativist to live in a world without blame or praise. I want them to live in a world without good or evil. I want them to live in a world without ought or ought nots. I want them to live in a world without should and should nots. I want them to live in this world consistently. As Kreeft would say, for all their preaching of this gospel, you think they’d try to live it.

Let’s also remember that we can’t use the utilitarian ethic here. We cannot say what produces the best results. That implies goodness or badness in the results. We have no standard by which to measure. The results are just like the actions. They simply are and we live with them.

I contend that this isn’t possible. God has spoken. The moral law is clear on many issues. If you really have any doubt as to whether murder is wrong, you do not need an argument. You need therapy.

I hope this clears things up. I choose to live the way I believe the world is. There is a God and I am accountable to him.

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