The Moral Argument for the existence of God is based upon the premise that all human beings understand the difference between right and wrong. This knowledge is self evident by the conscience of a person in feeling guilt when they violate their conscience.
The conscience is not necessary in the evolutionary processes of Darwin. In fact, it is an annoyance to the premise that the strong survive by overcoming the weak. In the animal kingdom we do not see a conscience, nor regret for harsh or aggressive actions. These behaviors are normal and expected, only by human beings.
The presence of an innate knowledge the is unique to human beings, is a stunning indication of our origin.
God claims that He made us in His Image. He is perfect in moral behavior and He created each one of us as moral beings. From our beginning, we were created with a righteous and perfect moral code. It was only after the fall when experience in both good and evil presented a problem with mans moral compass.
Morality is not understood as necessary but that human beings naturally expect morality. For example: we might take something that does not belong to us, while we feel extreme offense at having something of ours taken by another.
Human beings often have difficulty with forgiveness or grace in the face of offenses committed by another, while pleading for mercy and forgiveness when they have done the offending.
The presence of an inner awareness and need for moral treatment by other people—though we do not do the same in our own life—speaks volumes about the origin of moral behavior. We all understand that doing right is desirable in human society, doing wrong is offensive to most all of the human population.
It is impossible to attribute this innate sense of right and wrong to social engineering. The quality of righteousness is desirable at even a very young age before it is imprinted into the heart and mind of an adolescent.
This basis for morality also works well in those who do not believe in God as they also feel guilt when they do wrong. The atheist is right that God is not necessary for a person to understand the difference between right and wrong for even those who do not believe that God exists have a conscience. It is not the presence of moral values which proves the existence of God but the conscience which causes guilt in the face of wrongdoing. This conscience is a gift from God and proves that His makers mark is imprinted upon the heart of every person.
The Moral Argument for God’s Existence
The presence of a conscience which produces guilt is proof that we are made by God, in His image.
- Conscience is not required by evolution.
- Guilt is evidence that we are imprinted with a moral code—those who believe in God, and those who do not.
- The conscience and resulting guilt are the makers mark that prove God’s existence as the creator of all human beings.
Objections To The Moral Argument
Those who assert that God is not proven by the moral code that human beings insist upon, state that actual moral values don’t exist. This is a false claim since all human beings understand guilt and feel indignation when they are wronged by another person.
The conscience bears witness to our heart that we are either right or wrong in our words and behavior. This presence of an inner voice is, in fact, the voice of God. Only people who continually suppress or ignore their conscience develop the ability to do anything without feeling guilt. These persons often develop behavior that is referred to as “sociopathic.”
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) —Romans 2:14-15
The Gift Of Guilt
The enduring problem that plagues those who live apart from God, is the guilt which arises from our instinctive knowledge of our sin, leaving us with self condemnation. God has hardwired each human being with an internal knowledge of right and wrong. Only by a very long process of denying guilt and a suppression of these feelings can a person finally sear their conscience until they can no longer feel remorse over their actions.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, describing the conditions of the heart—within those who live during the last days of earth, he described a conscience which has been “seared with a hot iron.”
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron… —1 Timothy 4:1-2
When the conscience is continually suppressed, and a lifestyle of sin continues without repentance; over the process of time our conscience is no longer operational. As a hand which is repeatedly burned—looses the sensation of touch, so also, does the human conscience. In the last days there will exist a large population who have developed a suppressed conscience. For these individuals, it is impossible to repent; turn from sin, and surrender to Jesus as their Savior.
Who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. —Ephesians 4:19
This is the common estate of those who have continually denied God and have chosen a lifestyle devoid of regulation by the conscience. Eventually this person may become quite adversarial towards the Christian gospel and the Bible. Once the conscience is made void and no longer operates, this person is unable hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, who is the instrument of salvation. At this point it becomes impossible for redemption to occur.
This is particularly applicable to those who have attended church and have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ—even making a profession of faith in Jesus as their Savior. If these individuals fall away from Jesus, it is impossible to renew them to repentance and a desire for salvation.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. —Hebrews 6:4
Notice that salvation has become impossible for this person, not for God. Anyone who comes to Jesus in sincere repentance for their sins and a desire to be saved—will be accepted by God; they shall obtain eternal life. The impossibility resides in the heart of those who fall away—they are unable to find repentance again and return to Jesus, from where their Salvation originates.
God has hardwired every person with a knowledge of Himself. He makes this fact apparent by the conscience that He imparts in each person. The Moral desire that every person sense in their own life; to be treated fairly, honestly, and rightly, is highlighted by times when they are violated by the immoral actions of another person. This inner knowledge of morality has nothing to do with upbringing, environment, or social conditioning. Every human being is given a conscience and the resulting guilt that revels the true source of their existence—created by God who loves them.