welcome to the forum.
To start the thinking process; I found this video from William Lane Craig quite helpful. Here is the transcript from youtube. Consider his point; in the atheistic worldview, a heinous crime is not actually ‘wrong’, it’s just being anti social.
I think that the moral argument arouses deep emotions because it touches us at the very core of our being. You can ignore the evidence for the beginning of the universe and get along just fine in life. You can ignore the fine-tuning of the universe without being inconvenienced. But you cannot ignore these moral questions.
Every day you get up you answer by how you treat other people, whether you think that human beings have intrinsic and objective moral value, and therefore are to be treated as ends rather than mere means to your own selfish purposes. And so the moral argument is inescapable, and if we do believe, as I think the vast majority of us do, that there are certain things that are really objectively right or wrong, then the question arises as to what is the basis or ground for these objective moral duties and values that we sense?
And it’s very very difficult to provide any sort of basis for these on an atheistic or naturalistic worldview. On that view, we are just animals, and moral values and duties are just illusory spin-offs of the evolutionary process which are conducive to our survival as a human species. But when the sociopath murders and sexually abuses a little girl on that view he doesn’t really do anything wrong; he just does something that is antisocial.
And so we’re confronted with this very deep question and very disturbing implication of atheism as to what foundation there is for the objective moral duties and values that we confront in everyday living. I’m persuaded that theism by far provides the best explanation. Moral values are grounded in the very character of God, and moral duties are grounded in his divine commands to us.
We can see what is (that is what exists); but we cannot make the leap to know how we ought to behave. Secular humanism is the belief that there is only matter and energy; absolutely nothing else.
Here’s another quote from John Lennox:
“Science can tell you that if you add strychnine to someone’s
drink, it will kill her, but science cannot tell you whether or
not you ought to put strychnine into your grandmother’s tea in
order to get your hands on her property.”
– John Lennox
Science is descriptive (describing what exists), it is not prescriptive (telling us how we ought to live).
The article you posted has a lot of content in it - feel free to post more of which parts you’d like to talk about;
some brief thoughts
- it mentions the ‘Need for God’; this argument is know as the wish fulfilment argument against God’s existence. ie; I wish that God exists, therefore he does as a projection of my mind.
The problem with the argument is that it is a double edged sword and works equally well against the atheist position. the atheists states “I wish there is no God, because I don’t want to meet Him some day and give account for the moral decisions and moral actions I have committed in my lifetime”.
This is covered in one of the chapters in a book by another RZIM speaker @Andy_Bannister called ‘The Atheist that Didn’t Exist’; if you wanted to read more about this topic. We did a book study on the book a while back lead by @boabbott ; and there are some forum threads about it: https://connect.rzim.org/tag/atheist-who-didnt-exist
the chapter on wish fulfilment argument is chapter 5:
TAWDE: Aim for That Haystack! (Ch 5)
- it mentions at the start the so called ‘god of the gaps’ argument; God who created the universe is the author of the whole show, the parts we understand and the parts we don’t yet.
“God is not an alternative to science as an explanation, he is not to be understood merely as a God of the gaps, he is the ground of all explanation: it is his existence which gives rise to the very possibility of explanation, scientific or otherwise. It is important to stress this because influential authors such as Richard Dawkins will insist on conceiving of God as an explanatory alternative to science – an idea that is nowhere to be found in theological reflection of any depth. Dawkins is therefore tilting at a windmill - dismissing a concept of God that no serious thinker believes in anyway. Such activity is not necessarily to be regarded as a mark of intellectual sophistication.” John Lennox
for more on this topic have a look at some of John Lennox’s books
“Can science explain everything?” is a good introduction one and in it he references his longer works.
- the article mentions the Euthyphro Dilemma in it’s closing argument; here is a short snippet from the RZIM core module course notes (you could consider doing the course, it’s outstanding!) ; the Euthyphro Dilemma is a false dilemma.
I think there are two things to think about here;
- the Scripture that states that “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” Romans 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 and lastly the amazing good news of the Gospel!: “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
- To the heart of your question; I would suggest that this might be covered under what seems to be a principle in the Bible; the age of accountability. The age of accountability generally is that children too young to understand and respond to the Gospel will go to heaven, because they are not intellectually and developmentally capable of responding to the simple message of John 3:16.
If a person is born disabled or handicapped, and completely unable to understand morals, you could say that they are intellectually of the age of a 6 month old, then I believe that this would also apply to the age of accountability.
By the way; it’s ok to struggle with doubts; it’s normal and we all have them. To just push them under the carpet and not deal with them is not good at all; it’s best to think them through and I think as Christians, we can also rest in the promise in James 4:8 that “If we draw nigh to God, he will draw nigh to us”. Just ask your questions of God and bring your doubts before him with a humble attitude, genuinely searching for answers from Him…
Whew, sorry if this is a bit long winded. feel free to ask some clarifying questions; or start a new thread for a separate question. hope that helps a little.