Right and Wrong without God?

Can you have good (or evil) without God?

Our culture seems to think so. We often see billboards sponsored by atheist organizations saying "just be good for goodness sake!" But does this really work? If there is no God, then what is the standard for goodness and badness? 

Some would say we are just conditioned by society to think of some things as right and other things as wrong but does this explain the inward moral outrage we experience when we come face to face with real EVIL (e.g. the Holocaust, child abuse, rape, etc.)? It does not and it cannot. For if all morality is simply conditioned by our brain chemistry or culture then even the worst imaginable evil is not objectively evil. So if I happen to disagree with your morality, what makes you right and me wrong?

Scripture is clear that the reason every person has a conception of right and wrong in their heart is because God has put it there!

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. Romans 2:14-15

We are not just advanced biological machines operating off of genetically and culturally ingrained morality...we are spiritual beings made in the image of God with the Law of God written on our hearts. Right and Wrong are real. If someone disagrees with you, just take their wallet and see what they say.

"Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me."

-Immanuel Kant


Recommended Resources

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis in laymen's terms expertly tackles several popular arguments for God including the moral argument. This is a classic! 

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis addresses one of the most often used arguments against the existence of God and turns it on his head. How can we call God and unjust and evil creator if there is no God? Without God there is no moral standard to call our world evil or suffering wrong.

The Reason for God
by Timothy Keller

Using literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and potent reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand their ground against the backlash to religion created by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics, he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.


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