WHERE DO MORAL LAWS COME FROM?
Some Religions such as CHRISTIANITY, JUDAISM, ISLAM; and some PHILOSOPHERS, SCIENTISTS POLITICIANS etc believe that morality comes from God.
(Isaiah 33:22 (KJV) For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.)
NOT ALL BELIEVE THAT MORALITY COMES FROM GOD.
There are many theories from diverse sources of the higher learning that explain away morality to be far from God. Some of these are Evolutionists, Scientists, Philosophers, Psychologists, Politicians, Atheists and even Religious people.
WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO RULE THE NATIONS?
This is therefore the biggest question or debate that all generations must answer because at the heart of it, the answer determines who man should look to, as the ultimate lawgiver for humanity; from the individual to communities and the world at large.
IF CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THAT GOD IS THE ULTIMATE LAWGIVER AND HIS LAWS ARE GOOD TO MAKE A NATION OR MANKIND PROSPER THEN THEY MUST HEED THE OBLIGATION OF 2COR 10: 3-5 AND DESTROY FALSE ARGUMENTS OF HUMAN REASONINGS AND PRESENT THE BIBLICAL MORAL VIEWS SHOWING ITS SUPERIORITY AGAINST THE VAIN HUMAN PHILOSOPHIES COL 2:8
A LIGHTED CANDLE MUST NOT BE HID WITHIN NOR UNDER THE TABLE.
WE OWE OUR LORD A DUTY OF SERVICE IN DEFENDING HIS KINGDOM VALUES IN THIS DARK PERISHING WORLD.
Luke 11:33 (KJV) No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
Society cannot function well without moral laws. Morality is about what is right or wrong, hence moral laws are righteous laws.
(Proverbs 14:34 (KJV) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.)
When communities of people or nations do not believe that morality comes from God, they reject Him and chose or make their own laws.
Man, from the time of Adam and Eve until now has entertained desires to be his own arbiter of right and wrong, flirted with tendencies for autonomy (self rule) but history shows that it has never ended well. Even in the Bible men have shown such examples.
(A). Eve sought autonomy, for she reasoned that the tree will make her wise and by that she can chose for herself what is right or wrong and therefore needed not God.
(Genesis 3:6 (KJV) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.)
(B) Each does what seems right to him :
Judges 17:6 (KJV)
In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
(C). Israel rejects God and desires a king:
1 Samuel 8:4-7 (KJV) 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
CAUSE FOR DEBATE, CAUSE FOR DISCUSSION, CAUSE FOR EXAMINING .
As rational beings with free will, it will not suffice for Religion to say God said it, obey it, for so has many been led into regrettable blunders. The other side of the debate must also show a rational evidence of their counter claims.
QUOTE : “ SCIENCE KEEPS RELIGION FROM SINKING INTO THE VALLEY OF CRIPPLING IRRATIONALISM, AND RELIGION PREVENTS SCIENCE FROM FALLING INTO THE MARSH OF OBSELETE NIHILISM” - Martin Luther King - AZ QUOTES
To make it easy to understand the debate our discussion will be divided into 2 parts
Are there any objective binding laws that man must obey universally?
PT 1A. ANTINOMIANISM
The Group that says there are NO binding absolute or universal laws are assembled under the ethical theorectical umbrella named ANTINOMIANISM , etymology -( GK. Anti-Nomos) ( nomos means law) therefore, Anti-Law.
This group claims that there are no universal binding laws that man must obey. They may allow that there could be general laws that are situational; that is to say that law may depend on the situation at hand or is relative to the individual.
ANTINOMIANISM In Christian Theology.
It is the belief of some christians that because of divine grace, they are freed not only from biblical laws and church-prescribed behavioral norms, but also from all moral laws.
This is the reason why some don’t even see polygamy, fornication and adultery as any sins of weight.
Obviously the world would be glad to embrace this.
There are many moral or ethical theories from the world that appear sound on the surface but a little scratch beneath the surface is a hugging welcome into antinomianism.
Some examples are: PROCESSISM, HEDONISM, SKEPTICISM, INTENTIONALISM, VOLUNTARISM, NOMINALISM, UTILITARIANISM, EXISTENTIALISM, EVOLUTIONALISM, EMOTIVISM, NIHILISM, and SITUATIONALISM, - source Christian Ethics by Norman Geisler 2nd Edition, pages 22-25
The counter group says YES there are binding universal moral laws. This group is under the umbrella called ABSOLUTISM. which is graded in 3 steps from extreme to the mildest.
(A.) Unqualified Absolutism- ( meaning the moral law is absolutely binding w, that is without compromise, It is universal. Eg Do not lie whatsoever the case is.)
(B) Conflicting absolutism-( meaning some of the moral laws conflict one another so obey one and repent of the other.) and
(C) Graded Absolutism- ( meaning some of the moral laws are not necessarily in conflict but rather in a hierarchical relationship. One is more important than the other so chose the most important one. Eg love transcends all. You can lie out of love to save life or save an innocent life . Love will not allow you to reveal the hiding innocent to a murderer who is asking you.
The position of absolutism says there is an absolute law or a universal law that must be obeyed.
This can be expressed in another form called Deontological Ethics. ( Deontology refers to a duty)
It is in this understanding where Christianity with her Ethics or moral laws finds its category.
It is on the grounds that the Christian moral law is a divine command and man has a duty to obey.
Some popular questions that people have for Christian ethics on divine command is that,
“Is something morally right because God commanded it or God commanded it because it is right?
This is what is referred to as the Euthypro’s dilemma by Plato.
The trap in this question is that if you say God commanded it because it is right then it means the objective moral law is outside of God and God is subject to it . Or to say God is ruled by it therefore he is not the ultimate law giver.
If you say It is right because God commanded it the critics especially the voluntarists argue that God
uses His will voluntarily and there’s the possibility that He could be capricious or repent afterwards.
Here is the solution:
The Euthypros’ delemma is after all not a dilemma in view of the Christian God. It is not a difficult choice between two equally conclusive alternatives.
God’s nature of character is good, just and righteous therefore “good” is not outside His nature that He is submissive to. Jesus said only God is good.
Luke 18:19 (KJV) And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
When God commands or allows what it may seem evil in contrast to His nature to our cursory assessment, a deeper understand reveals that His choices or what others may term voluntary choice or will, is not capricious but a choice of greater good in preference of greater evil.
For instance the order for the destruction of the Canaanites was not in contradiction of God’s law “Thou shalt not murder” nor his character. Nor was it an act of evil on God’s part. It a preventive justice to avoid greater evil. This can be seen in the following texts.
Genesis 15:16 (KJV) But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
Deuteronomy 18:12 (KJV) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Deuteronomy 20:16-18 (KJV) 16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: 17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: 18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.
Leviticus 18:20-25 (KJV) 20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. 21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [ is abomination. 23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. 24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
For the sins of the Canaanites there are websites that provides great reads:
PART 2 : WHERE DO THE LAWS COME FROM?
At the height of all psychology, philosophy and “-isms, you will see the appeal to human instincts, emotions, rational judgment of man. For instance when Evolution appeals to natural selection, by what standards of judgment do their proponents base their assessment of the natural selection to determine a mutation as good or bad?
Rationality must be based on axioms, a priori or universal truths without which there can be no consensus in human reasoning. A consensus thus must be credited to a common source, that is the creator of the minds that agree to the consensus.
Or else how can we agree on colors or maths if 2+2 is not universally accepted as 4.
The argument at length will boil down to the ONE AND THE MANY. In other words the one thing that lies behind all the universe and that is God.
A LOOK AT THE VARIOUS ETHICAL VIEWS:
1. PROCESSISM - Heraclitus. The foundation of his theory is the one cannot step in the same river twice , hence everything is changing. The state of nature is constantly changing and you are not what you were yesterday