Sunday, August 14, 2011

What is the true arbitrator of morality? Part 2

Secondly, if morality is instinct, then everyone would be moral, which is not the case, even in the liberal European countries Professor Coyne mentioned. I’ve visited and worked in several of them, and selfish-ambition reigns there as here.

If morality were a product of natural selection, then morality would be hardwired in all of us; it would be instinct, not something capricious. A female black widow will always eat the male. A nursing mother dog will always push away a weak pup. If given a chance, a male lion will always eat the cubs. When one is hungry, whether, beast or human, one will eat. Instinct will always win out unless prevented by illness, the environment, or overcome by a stronger member of one’s species. Instinct would be the handmaiden of natural selection, if natural selection were the governing force of the living world.

But people are not naturally moral. People will invariably pursue their own agendas over the agendas of others. As I intimated in Part 1, people will pick and choose their so-called altruistic acts based on their own agendas. Hence, what might appear to be altruistic really isn’t anything more than the pursuit of selfish-ambition.

We must also avoid narrowly defining morality in this conversation. Morality is much more than acts of kindness. Morality is founded on pure justice and mercy; consequently, morality will necessarily encompass every aspect of relationships, from the most unseen to the most conspicuous. We cannot hope to be truly moral unless our core thoughts and aspirations are completely selfless.

Don’t play the self-interest card here. The argument put forth by Prof. Coyne is that morality is a development of evolution to secure the race. The only way to ensure such complete security is if everyone considers the other person before themselves. In that way every person’s needs would be met and every person would be able to achieve their ultimate purpose in society. Selflessness insures societal strength, self-interest undermines it.

The human race is completely selfish from birth. Therefore, morality cannot be an instinct. Morality doesn’t come naturally for us. Quite the contrary, morality is something we spend time trying to circumvent with the least cost, not something we easily embrace and willingly pursue. This would not be true if morality were the product of a natural selection; we wouldn’t be able to resist it if it were. Indeed, we wouldn’t even think about it anymore than we do hunger; when a stimulus occurs, we react to the stimulus.

Morality in the human race is far removed from any kind of a stimulus/response expected with natural selection; therefore, morality is not the result of evolution.

Morality exists because a moral God created us. We are immoral because, in our conceit, we have turned our backs to our Creator in deference to our selfish-ambition.

God gave Humankind moral laws for at least three important reasons: 1) to give us a picture of the right order God intended, and, therefore, must have for the cosmos, 2) to demonstrate we have rejected that right order in deference to our selfish-ambition, and 3) to protect us from ourselves until He completes His plan for restoration.

If we turn back to God, we will begin to live moral lives—not perfectly, because God’s restoration is not yet completed; the world is not yet just. But by walking with God, today, God enables and motivates us to act justly with mercy and forgives us when we fail. And in the process we will see ourselves and others around us being restored. This is what Jesus the Christ has accomplished for us. All we must do is acknowledge Him as King and, for that reason, live to please Him. We can be confident that He will be faithful because He’s alive!


Jeff said...

In talking about the differences between "instinct" in an animal and "morality" in a human I think there is another striking difference. Animals always act in accordance with their imprinted nature. A lion eats his cubs (if he can) and doesn't feel bad about it later - instinct is correct. However, almost all humans recognize moral values even though they very often violate them! For example, Nazis hid the death camps from the world because they knew that mass murder was wrong - even if they rationalized pure evil as a necessary thing. If morals are and evolutionary instinct how can we go against them? If evil behavior is an evolutionary instinct how come most people feel remorse when we do something "mean" or "cruel"? The only way to explain our morals and behaviors is we are fallen creatures and God is good!