Is Morality Real? (4 Reasons).

 

Here are 4 reasons to believe that Morality is real:

1. All people have a sense of morality.
2. No real truth can be subjective.
3. Everyone responds to injustice.
4. Morality is a Perfect Axiom and Properly Basic.

 
1. All people have a sense of morality.

-All recorded cultures have standards even though each has their own variations.
-Without even knowing what good and evil is, the individual knows there is something they ought to do and ought not to do.

As Frank Turek puts it:

“…Why do most human beings seem to have that same intuitive sense that they ought to do good and shun evil? (1)

The fact that everyone has some sense of morality (on the cultural and individual level), leads us to believe there are transcendent ethics which we all pull from.

2. No real truth can be subjective (Morality is undeniable).

If morality were just a set of different beliefs held by each individual, there would inevitably be contradictions between them. The fact there people do get into disagreements about what is right, instead of naturally doing what is right all the time, is evidence of that. Because there are disagreements however, this show one of two things about morality (if indeed it is real):

1) It is either illogical or
2) There is an objective standard that is true

The problem with the first is obvious. There is nothing in reality that is shown to follow non-logical patters. No matter what idea is claimed, it has to fit into reality.

With the second however, there is room left for individual error. The faults of individuals have no impact on the objective standard; just as opinion of if a room is 65° or 75° has no impact on the thermometer reading 70°.

Though even when a person denies that logic is real, as Jason Lisle says:

“It would be like the critic of air saying, ‘We don’t need air to breathe. After all, I don’t even believe in air; and I can breath just fine!’ The argument is not that breathing requires a profession of belief in air — but it does require air.” (7)

Though a person may deny logic subjectively and get along well enough, it does not change the fact that they need logic to make the statement. The same goes for morality; when people make subjective statements about the morality and contradict others, it doesn’t change the objective standard for morality.

3. Everyone responds to injustice.

-In responding to correction or expecting others to hold to a certain standard, a person shows that they are intolerant of the injustice being done. If there was no justice to be held, then nobody would respond to being corrected (by changing their actions or retorting they are right) or accuse others being wrong. If we went into a criminal court, the judge would make his decision based on the defense’s intent. The foundation for court systems are either unfounded or an illusion if there is no morality.

“[When a person says,] ‘Life has absolutely no meaning, it’s like a twig flowing on the sea of nothingness’ or something, you ask him, ‘Is that definition is meaningful; if the statement is meaningful?’ You see it is not possible to debunk meaning while making a meaningful statement about life itself.” (6)

As with meaning, the same goes for purpose, truth, and morality.

– A person may say life has no meaning, but you just need to ask them, “What do you mean?”
– A person may say life has no purpose, but you just need to ask, “Why do you say that?”
– A person may say life has no truth, but you just need to ask, “Is that true?”
– A person may say there is no right and wrong, but you just need to ask, “What injustice has pushed you to say that?”

The fact that people do make meaningful, purposeful, and moral statements (even while denying their existence), proves that they are in fact undeniably true. If they truly believed what they did, they would just remain unresponsive.

4. Morality is Properly Basic.

By “morality is properly basic” I mean that morality is one of the beliefs that we are endowed with. This is shown through cross-cultural developmental psychology as well as the fact that amoral people (such as people who express sociopathic tendencies) are outliers. There is no need for fancy evidence on this point because it is there for all of us to experience just as beliefs like the validity of logic, the existence of an external world and other minds, etc. is there for us to experience.

 

Notes

(1) Geisler, Norman L., and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004. 170. Print.

(2) Chesterton, G. K. Orthodoxy. New York: Lohn Lane, 1909. 19-20. Print. [Emphasis added]

(3) Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Print.

(4) Rfvidz. “Need God? What If I Don’t? (Ravi Zacharias).” YouTube. YouTube, 20 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 July 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4jlWXhKIaE >.

(5) Barker, Kenneth L. NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 2008. Print.

(6) Apologia5. “Ravi Zacharias Owns Student.” YouTube. YouTube, 22 June 2011. Web. 04 Aug. 2012.

(7) Lisle, Jason. The Ultimate Proof of Creation: Resolving the Origins Debate. Green Forest, AR: Master, 2009. 46. Print.

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