Is There Right and Wrong? How Do You Know God Exists?

John Christy
June 19, 2013
Articles
Is There Right and Wrong? How Do You Know God Exists?
Audio Format: mp3

Hi John,

Is there a definitive right/wrong? I'm not so sure. You might say to me, "Murder is wrong." People who commit murder in the name of their God would disagree. You might say, "Rape is wrong." But was it considered so in Steubenville? What about Judges 19? Isn't morality actually a matter of personal or cultural opinion? Taking a cue from your recent post, may I ask you, what convinces you that God exists? I love all of your topics and how you've opened up this wonderful, respectful dialog between believers, non-believers, and those who hover somewhere in between who continue to seek knowledge and answers but don't wish to be labeled. I'm very much looking forward to viewing your documentary.

Great job with this page,

Andrea

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Hi Andrea,

We often think of objective morality as the moral items on a scale (murder, rape, stealing, etc.) by which we determine what is right/wrong. That is not objective morality. Objective morality is the fact that there is a scale in the first place. The fact that we make any determination of anything being right/wrong is the objectivity we are talking about. So in order to make any right/wrong judgment on anything moral (i.e. raping and killing an innocent child) is not possible without an objective morality (i.e. the scale). We can disagree on how we apply that scale but we cannot deny that there is a scale of some sort. If there is a scale, then it is logical to conclude there is a judgment. So the question becomes, who has the right to be the judge of that scale? Is it you or I, or culture? In Christianity it is Jesus who claimed to be that judge, and was hated for it.  

As for why I believe God exists, it is not an easy question to answer but let me try to be concise. First, I believe it is factual that there is transcendence beyond the natural universe. The most obvious to this is mathematics or reason. For instance, to prove reason exists you must use reason, or to understand mathematics you must assume/trust mathematics. These are not things that are created but have always existed they are transcendent and so the natural world relies on a cause that is transcendent. Second, when we look into this transcendence we see intelligence (i.e. 1+1=2) that is consistent and reliable. The universe operates on a pattern of intellect and consistency and this is where arguments like DNA or fine-tuning come in to play. Third, we can know this intelligent transcendence, which means it is capable for us to discover and ultimately make sense of – capable of knowing. This is where the theist separates from the deist in that seeing this level of intelligence and knowing means it is possible this transcendence wants to be known. Fourth, add to this the objective morality argument and I can begin to see that this intelligent transcendence not only makes itself knowable but also expects us to know it and observe/follow its scale of judgment. At this point I have described an intelligent transcendence that is knowable and desires to be known and has a standard (some sort of scale) – these all lead to a description of personhood. Not a physical person, because we already said it is transcendent but a person nonetheless. When I take these clues and seek out all religions of the world I find Christianity, specifically Jesus Christ is a perfect match. In a court of law, he would be found guilty of being God.