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Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation
April 2005 - 4[4]:16—R

Question & Answer: Whence Have Come Morals?
by Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

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Q.

Whence have come morals?

A.

Evolutionists are forced to maintain that morality evolved in humans. Yet, an examination of this premise demonstrates that it is not only illogical, but also wrong.

Consider, for instance, a situation in which a human feels guilt or remorse for having hurt someone. Evolutionists argue that those feelings occur because we have potentially threatened our own survival status. But one must ask: Where did the impulse to seek our own species’ survival come from? If we argue that it evolved for our own survival, then we fall into circular reasoning.

Additionally, while that “just-so” answer may appear to be an acceptable explanation for how we feel when we hurt fellow human beings, what about the guilt one feels for hurting an animal? Why do most humans feel a sense of guilt and pain after accidentally running over a dog with their car? This seems to contradict the “survival of the fittest” mantra. It also is in direct contradiction to what we observe in nature, where animals often kill or injure other animals on purpose.

If morals are simply a “hard-wired” portion of the “evolved brain,” then why are we concerned when people rape, murder, steal, etc.? It could be argued that, given the environment and nature around them, these individuals simply are acting on primeval instincts. Yet, how many evolutionists would sit by idly and watch their wife being raped or their family being killed?

In order to answer the question of the origin of morals, we first must realize that morals are not physical, and have no physical properties. They possess no chemical characteristics, and cannot be measured in a laboratory. Yet, one cannot deny they exist! In fact, morals often exert feelings on individuals prior to their actions. For example, consider an individual contemplating committing a crime. That person often will feel anxiety, guilt, and anguish before the crime has ever even taken place.

Also, aside from the feelings of guilt and sorrow, morals also produce a feeling of dread or uncomfortable awareness that we are going to have to “answer for” our bad deeds. While humans may use denial or distractions to temporarily numb these feelings, those feelings never completely go away. We “know” that we have done something wrong.

Morals are a product of our Creator—the ultimate “Lawgiver.” He gave us a moral code by which to live, and also the free will to make the choice of whether we will obey Him.



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