• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Where does morality come from?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Searching_for_God, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Searching_for_God

    Searching_for_God Wannabe Catholic Supporter

    474
    +862
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Republican
    I have another very important question to ask of everyone.

    I am a firm believer in God and believe that morality is certainly derived from Him and Him alone... that being said, however, I'm wondering how a person would debate this with someone like an Atheist? Atheists do not believe in God, so telling them that morality comes from God would probably not be all that convincing.

    If morality comes from God and God only, then there would obviously be no other answer to tell anyone who was asking since the truth is objective and not just some kind of malleable or subjective reality. But, even still, how would someone discuss this point with an Atheist who clearly does not believe in God and seems highly unlikely to cave in to the idea?
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Prayers Prayers x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

    +6,251
    Pentecostal
    Single
    It is important, for the sake of spirituality, that we divide the man into three parts…
    Physical, Spiritual, and Intellectual. If E = mc2 then we can divide and conclude that...

    Mass (m) = Energy (E/c2) And there are three varieties...

    Natural E/c2 - All mass is basically cooled plasma, the sun is the visible form of E/c2
    Mental E/c2 - Our thinking can produce creativeness, light, and good things
    Spiritual E/c2 - E (motivation, warmth, love) / c2 (faith, hope, charity, joy)

    The Natural E/c2 in the form of mass produces a gravity that attracts other objects
    The Intellectual E/c2 produces a gravity that draws us to study
    The Spiritual E/c2 also has a gravity that draws and makes religion attractive

    The Natural E/c2 Morality is an instinct handed down through the generations
    The Intellectual E/c2 Morality is a learned virtue mentally
    The Spiritual E/c2 Morality is a spiritual virtue

    I brought up my cat as a kitten and she is trained to be a good cat. I have a stray cat that can never be trained as she was born in the wild. God is the ultimate source of energy and light. It is important to let his light illuminate and warm naturally, intellectually, and spiritually. Which is all we can do. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.
     
  3. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain Supporter

    +5,561
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    We say that morality comes from God and cannot be explained apart from God. We then point out that atheists implicitly accept God's existence by accepting moral reality. Atheists both deny God and assume God's existence.
     
  4. Unofficial Reverand Alex

    Unofficial Reverand Alex Look up Jason Evert on YouTube; he changed my life Supporter

    +1,857
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    This is a very interesting section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; I'll include the first paragraph, and the link to the rest:


    1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."

    Catechism of the Catholic Church - Moral conscience

    I just finished a semester-long class on Ethics, taught by an atheist. We talked about all different ethical theories, and all sorts of ethical problems. It interested me to watch how atheists scramble around, trying to figure out what the best thing is to do, while having to admit that morality (in their eyes) is simply a decision that people make, a social construct.

    I thought about it too late to ask in class, but I wondered: How can we say there are universal ethical rules, if ethics is a social construct? The obvious answer is, you can't. There has to be something higher! The idea that there are universal ethical guidelines is an admission to the existence of something greater than us, and that is one of the fundamental arguments for the existence of God.

    On the other hand, we have religious people who believe morality comes from God, and become so self-righteous that they shut down anything that even questions what they believe; "It's God's law!", they yell, and demonize religion in the process.

    “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

    Short answer: Morality comes from God; it has to! But how to put that into application? Follow the aforementioned greatest commandments; if God didn't want a hierarchy, he wouldn't have ranked these commandments #1 and #2. Make the rest of your morality, make your beliefs of how God wants us to act fit into the greatest commandments; to do otherwise would be violating Christ's teachings! Past that, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great resource; it takes 2,000 years of extremely devout men & women, all the Church Councils of history, the entire Bible, and presents a fairly clear & concise set of teachings for us to follow. Regarding morality in particular, I hear the DoCat is a great resource; it takes the Catechism's social teachings, and presents it in a more concise manner, designed for teens. My priest says it's the best resource there is for learning Catholic social teachings!

    And pray. Always pray.

    May God bless us all!
     
  5. devin553344

    devin553344 I believe in the Resurrection

    +2,090
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Republican
    That really is a good question as I have had some limited experience with atheists and so far no good. But the best method might be for God to fill them with the Holy Spirit to testify to them of His existence. And that might also be accomplished by sharing your testimony and praise of God's good works in your life.

    We were in another thread and it was agreed that you cannot convert someone, it is God that brings them in, at least that is what is written in the scriptures. John 6:44

    "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
     
  6. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    +10,977
    Christian
    Married
    Morality is from God and God only, but morality is not through the Jews and the Jews only.

    Abram, for instance, was born under the Law of Hammurabi, already the law of the land for several hundred years, which contains a number of the same rules of morality that would 500 years later be canonized in the Mosaic Law.

    The problem is that you're engaging in the wrong discussion with atheists. Scripture does not say that morality is from God alone, nor does scripture give you that as a debate to have with pagans.

    Stick with the gospel and be confident that those who have been enabled by the Father (John 6) will accept it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  7. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +7,360
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    We can never convince an atheist through natural reasoning and persuasion. I have tried to reason with atheists, and they have their own answer for everything we try to put to them. Actually it comes down to a personal choice of just two options - believe the gospel of Christ or reject it.

    When people come up for judgment on the last day, God won't be concerned about why we made the choices we made, or what we believe. Actually the devil and his demons have one up on atheists - they believe that God exists and that everything in the Bible is true. That is why the devil and his demons are miserable and depressed, because they know the gospel and believe it, but they have been blocked from doing anything about it.

    What God will be asking is just one question which will decide heaven or hell for a person? "Did you accept the gospel of Christ or did you reject it?"

    The atheist cannot use any excuse for his rejection of the gospel. He cannot say that every church person he met was a hypocrite, or that science disproved the Bible, or that there was no evidence that the Bible was true or that God exists. God's attitude to the gospel is that "you either believe it or reject it. You were clearly told if you believe and accept the gospel you will be saved and that understanding of what it is all about will come after that; if you reject the gospel you will be lost.
     
  8. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +631
    United States
    Christian
    Widowed
    US-Democrat
    A bugger with this is that many Christians will say they believe morality comes from God, but in practice throw deontological ethics to the wind and adopt consequentialism and utilitarianism.

    Another challenge is that many atheists will argue for pragmatic based ethics and bring up the Bible's support for slavery.

    And a recent challenge was Pope Benedict's letter from last week, where in he states that they tried to build an ethic exclusively from the scriptures post Vatican II and found it impossible to do so. I do not understand that at all, so maybe a Catholic person came chime in.

    I've seen far too many well meaning Christian crash and burn in debates, both online and in 3D over ethics. I've also listened a lot of Ravi Zacharias as well as Norman Geisler, both of whom say they win... and yet their arguments to me, a layperson lacking depth in philosophy, appear to be a lot of hand waving and wishful thinking. I guess to gurus in the field it must make sense, but I don't get it.

    And yet at the bottom of things, my personal belief is ethics do come from God, and sure as Christians, maybe we've gotten a lot really messed up... but how on earth does natural law come about, (ie the gentiles doing the right things apart from the law) if not from God?
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  9. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +7,360
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    The best system of morality is found in the Bible. It is quite simple and straight forward.
     
  10. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    +10,977
    Christian
    Married
    Whoa! That is certainly true!
     
  11. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    +10,977
    Christian
    Married
    But the ethics that scripture lays upon believers is deontological.
     
  12. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +631
    United States
    Christian
    Widowed
    US-Democrat
    Except its not... or many Christians would not embrace consequentialism, when Paul is explicit in Romans 3 that we are not to do so.
     
  13. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +7,360
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    Good grief! I had to look that word up to find its meaning. Never seen that word before! It's like when I went to the doctor because of a pain in my arm and shoulder to make sure it wasn't a heart attack, and he said it was nerves in my shoulder getting into the holes of the bones and pinching. He described it some complicated medical term, and I told him that it sounded like tongues and I would try saying it in church on Sunday morning! We both had a laugh over that.

    Yes, Old Testament Judiasm was based on a system of ethics. Nothing wrong with the system, but it failed because of the sinful nature of mankind which prevented people from following it perfectly. What was need was a change of nature, which was achieved through the death of Christ on the cross which gave God the freedom to bestow a nature nature in those who receive Christ as personal Saviour.

    So now, a Christian believer with the new nature is able to follow after holiness, but instead of having the ethical rules imposed on him, he follows it voluntarily knowing that he will never, in this life, be able to follow it perfectly, but the condemnation, guilt and punishment has been removed because of Christ's substutionary death of the cross for all those who receive Him as Saviour.
     
  14. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +7,360
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    You are right. Jesus took upon Himself the consequences of our failure to keep the Law of God. But the Law of God is good and holy, but mankind has broken it because of his sinfulness, and therefore has to pay the price and take the consequences for his failure. Sin has to be punished. Sinners have to take the consequences. God can't just forgive people. It would be against His justice, God is a just God as well as a loving Father. Breaches of the Law has to have consequences no matter how much God loves the sinner.

    But God took action to resolve His justice concerning sinners and allow His love to being forgiveness. He sent His own Son to pay the penalty and take the consequences that we deserve, on Himself. Jesus died as us and suffered the wrath of God for sin on Himself.

    Therefore those who have received Christ are no longer under the penalty for failure to keep the Law perfectly. But Christians try their best to keep God's moral law, because they have been given new nature that makes following the law natural to them. Following the law does not take the place of having faith in Christ alone for justification, but it is the result of it.
     
  15. Noxot

    Noxot tohu and bohu Supporter

    +2,035
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    if atheist are moral then what is the problem? if they are like the child who said "I will not" but then later went then they are already better than the people who confess Christ with their lips only. how do we even know the inner motives of a person? God knows them much better.

    Matt 21:28-32 (YLT)
    21:28 `And what think ye? A man had two children, and having come to the first, he said, Child, go, to-day be working in my vineyard.'

    21:29 And he answering said, `I will not,' but at last, having repented, he went.

    21:30 `And having come to the second, he said in the same manner, and he answering said, I go , sir, and went not;

    21:31 which of the two did the will of the father?' They say to him, `The first.' Jesus saith to them, `Verily I say to you, that the tax-gatherers and the harlots do go before you into the reign of God,

    21:32 for John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye did not believe him, and the tax-gatherers and the harlots did believe him, and ye, having seen, repented not at last--to believe him.
     
  16. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +631
    United States
    Christian
    Widowed
    US-Democrat
    As far as why, I believe there are at least 3 issues at hand... again, philosophy is a weak area for me, so bear in mind I could be way off here.

    1. A form of apologetics. if God doesn't exist, than does what the Bible say matter? Does it matter what Jesus did?. As such, in this school of thought, the first thing to do is establish that God exists. This can be done by some people much much smarter than I, who demonstrate that morals could not come from man's own effort, that we had to get them from somewhere, with the answer being God. This then opens the door to the Bible, which then opens the door to the Gospels and salvation through Christ.

    2. If one believes in objective truths, as contrasted with relative and changing truth, then one should be able to provide evidence to support this. From objective truths, its a small step to the Bible being the source of objective truth. Once you get someone to believe the Bible is true, its possible to preach the Gospel, which can then lead to salvation to the hearers. If people don't believe the Bible is at least somewhat true from the get go... its pretty hard to convince folks they need a savior, much less that Jesus is the answer.

    3. How we live out lives which includes laws and behavioral norms. A man focused set of ethics has the potential to go off the road... which could be very dangerous. A God given set of ethics should keep us on the straight and narrow, assuming we aren't idiots and ignore it or bend it somehow.
     
  17. Nithavela

    Nithavela confused

    +10,630
    Germany
    Other Religion
    Single
    Have you tried public burnings?
     
  18. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    +2,875
    Atheist
    "Morality" is a human system meant to explain, extrapolate and control human behaviour.

    If it did indeed "come from God"... it would be an abject failure.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  19. LynnSmith

    LynnSmith Well-Known Member

    623
    +902
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    If you look up Frank Turek you can see him answering many questions about that to atheists. A lot of stuff on YouTube. Has a site and an app, CrossExamined. Straight and to the point.
     
  20. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

    +15,487
    United States
    Messianic
    Married
    US-Others
    This is all just my opinion.

    IMO morality is a divine concept that has been encoded in our hearts and minds by virtue of being made in the Divine Image. However, since we have fallen, (thanks Adam and Eve) that image has become marred and distorted. Much of it (at least beyond the basics) is made up by ourselves. So what we have is a mix of divine and fallen human ideas of what is moral and what is not.

    The atheist would recognize the human part; and assume the underlying divine part is of human origin as well.

    Where you get a REAL problem is when the believer assumes the human part is ALSO of divine origin. That can lead to all kinds of legalisms and even hatreds.
     
Loading...