Monday, November 15, 2010

Morality sans God?

There is no morality without God.  There cannot be. How do I know? My professor showed us a TED talks video in class, where the speaker claimed that we need morality in order to serve our own self interests. In other words, we need to employ the use of an "intelligent" morality in order to prevent the lethality of hatred so that our own interests and safety can be preserved.
And that's not all. He claimed that this thinking can be found in the Bible, that the Israelites called to Yahweh because they wanted him to "save their nation" and that salvation is not of the soul, that it's primary function, even in the Bible, is to save the "nation." In other words, don't be so hasty to drop bombs on Japan because they're making your cars.
I am disgusted. Oh yes, this is morality without God. And Morality without God is nothing other than Self-Interest. You're not doing anything good out of love. Or rather you are, but out of self-love.
More and more I realise how idiotic and silly and vain the world's "wisdom" is. It's true that many times Israel pleaded with God to save them from their enemies in war. But God has always been more concerned with their spiritual condition than their military prowess. Why was he so insistent that they do not bow down to idols, that they practice generosity to widows and orphans, that they cancel all outstanding debts every seven years, that they cherish their children and their neighbors? He called them to do these things not because it was beneficial to them, but because He ordained it so. In other words, don't cancel the debts of your neighbor thinking he will repay the action some day. Rather, do it only for God. Do it without expecting anything back. Do it because of your overwhelming gratitude and love for God.
If God was so concerned that the society of Israel be preserved, why did He allow it to be near-destroyed by the Assyrians and the Babylonians? Mr. TED Talks did not mention this. Oh no, Mr. TED Talks only takes half a phrase from the Bible without bothering to read the rest. That is not at all smart Mr. TED Talks. That is self-serving, but perhaps that proves your point anyway.
Horrible, just horrible. Hear ye, hear ye, this is the definition of morality without God, in case you were wondering.
So what is Morality with God? Morality with God involved means obeying Him because he says so, and not because of some presumed reward. God gives us  a choice, and if we choose to follow him, we will love Him by obeying Him. Claiming to love someone and not doing what pleases them, is utter laziness.
Oswald Chambers remarks that this is the greatest statement of faith in the Bible : "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."
Everything we do is for the glory of God. Believing in Him does not guarantee our safety. But it reveals the wonder and majesty and heart-breaking beauty of His glory. He might not be safe, but He is good.

Only with God in the picture can true love be demonstrated, for God is Love. Morality in any other condition, as Mr. TED Talks so clearly stated to us, is mere self-service.


  1. Good post! It kind of reminds me of Christmas. How many people get greedy and simply give just to get. Very true! :)

  2. Haha, I think I wrote that post in horrified disbelief. I am now much calmer, but still horrified. I still cannot believe that people are preaching that the only reason for morality is self-interest. Sighs.

  3. There have been a couple posters at college driving me nuts for the past month - "Do you have faith in humanity?" and "Can man be good without God?" advertising a debate between the humanist club and a Christian group on campus... and it just completely frustrated me, because wow, look at history. No, I have absolutely no faith in humanity. And obviously we can be good without God - if we're defining good. Like you said, that is simply self-service. I hope the debate went well, but looking at how they framed the questions, I kind of doubt it. :(
    Good post!


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