The Only Source of Moral Values
Where Do Our Moral Values Come From?
HUMANIST POSITION: But all of this is based on certain unchallenged assumptions
of the theistic moralist assumptions that are frequently the product of
faulty analogies. It will be my purpose here to take a fresh look at these assumptions.
I will try to show the actual source from which values are originally derived,
provide a solid foundation for a human-based (humanistic) moral system, and then
place the burden on the theist to justify any proposed departure.
Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate
to the government of any other." - John Adams
rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. - George Washington
A vitiated [spoiled or impaired] state
of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.
- Patrick Henry
"Only a virtuous people are
capable of freedom. - Benjamin Franklin
only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion.
Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty,
and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion,
I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."
- Benjamin Rush
"Without a clear standard
of morality, virtue is impossible, and without virtue, freedom will inevitably
fade away, because rather than respect the rights of our neighbors, people will
use the institutions of societychief among them, the mediato destroy
those with whom they dont agree on one or more issues." - Justin
This is a topic I had not planned
to address. A few days before I wrote this Google began listing an American Humanists
web page titled "The Human Basis Of Laws And Ethics." It is a well written
page, as far as grammar, syntax and word use is concerned. And it is long. When
something is well-written and long, we tend to assume the author knows what they
are talking about. In this case the majority of the article is pure fiction.
of the article is directed toward showing why our moral values cannot come from
a moral lawgiver. In other words, that the Christian view of god as a lawgiver
But, there is a huge problem with the author's position. It
is such a huge problem that it totally invalidates the entire article and makes
reading his article a complete waste of time for both Christians and humanists.
The god he describes does not exist.
The article presents a strawman god... an imaginary god... who is nothing like
the true god. So the author is presenting an argument that refutes himself...
that refutes his own image of god and says nothing about the true God of the Bible.
you are going to make an argument against something, you should at least study
that something... in this case God... sufficiently such that you know and understand
who or what you are arguing against.
Who is God and why does all
morality originate with God?
We have to start at the beginning:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- Genesis 1:1
This is an incredibly important statement. God created everything.
Everything that exists was created by God. Everything. That's why He is sometimes
referred to as the creator God... that's who He is.
God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They
will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole
earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth." So God created man in
his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.
- Genesis 1:26-27
Yes, God even created you and me. But also
note there is something different about men and women. Something unique in all
of creation. We are created in the image of God. That is incredibly important.
It makes us who we are and gives us the responsibility to be who we are... the
image of God.
Responsibility? What are we responsible for?
gave mankind a number of things to do. Right at the beginning He states:
Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over
the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing
that moves on the earth. - Genesis 1:28
the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it
and keep it.- Genesis 2:15
But we are much more than
gardeners and wildlife managers. Our #1 responsibility is to glorify God and part
of that involves properly representing Christ, our creator and savior.
then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
For from Him and through Him
and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. - Romans 11:36
do we do this? One way is by being like Christ. We are created in the image of
God and we are to faithfully reflect who God is... we are to faithfully reflect
Therefore, we are ambassadors
for Christ - 1 Corinthians 5:20 (We are to be accurate representatives
Be imitators of me, just as I also am
of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1
Walk in the
same manner as He [Christ] walked - 1 John
2:6 (Be like Jesus Christ.)
This is a foundational principle.
We are made in the image of God. We are to think, speak, and act in the same way
God does. We are not gods... but we carry the image of God and are to have the
character of God.
What about God's Law, the Ten Commandments?
Ten Commandments are the foundation of God's moral law. Are they just arbitrary
rules that God made up? No. Not at all. The Ten Commandments describe God's character.
They describe who God is, and thus who we should be.
We are to obey the
Ten Commandments because, as God's image bearers, we are to have the character
of God. (Click here for more on the Ten Commandments
and in particular keeping the Sabbath.)
The is one other important aspect
of who we are...
God created us... what does that imply?
created us. That means He owns us. We don't like that. We want to rule ourselves.
We want to make the rules. We want to be god and make a god in our own image.
But the fact is we don't own ourselves. The Bible often uses the example of a
potter. Someone who makes clay pots, owns the pots they make, and they can do
what they wish with them... including destroying them.
the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will
not say to the molder, Why did you make me like this, will it? Or
does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one
vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing
to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience
vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches
of His glory upon vessels of mercy. - Romans 9:20-23
way to look at it might be: If an outstanding clay artisan makes a clay vase,
and after firing it finds there is a defect in the vase. What do they do? Throw
it out. It goes on the pile of shards behind their studio. Why? Because it does
not accurately represent the skill of the potter, the vase is destroyed.
the potter have the right to do that? Yes. He made the vase, he can destroy the
vase. If the vase does not accurately represent the skill of the potter, he is
not going to sell it. He destroys it.
God is the potter... you are the
vase. Do you accurately represent who God is?
vide on on the source of morality.
ethical rules we are to follow) comes from God. Why? Because we are created by
God in His image and we are to have the moral character of God. Morality is not
arbitrary or changing, but is a description of the unchanging character of God.
did we learn? God is the source of morality.
American humanist's source of morality
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