Science Can't Touch Morality


Most of us dream of a world filled with light. Cooperation! Honesty! Generousity! Even the darkest souls prefer easy prey, as opposed to a Wild West filled with greed, lies, and violence (see John 3:16-21). Don’t be too surprised: humans are naturally wired to do things that aren't moral and most of the authors of the Bible knew it long ago (Jeremiah 17:9, John 2:24-25). 

The unique thing about humans are our big brains. There are parts to our brain, and we know that certain parts do certain things. The smartest part of our brain deals with morals. As we explore deeper, the parts get more primitive. Some parts look like the brain of a monkey, or a lizard, even a worm, and the Bible doesn't have a problem with that (Job 25:6, Psalm 22:6, Ecclesiastes 3:18, Isaiah 41:14, 2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10; see Adam Was Not Deceived). And those parts are still working. With impulses and hormones they can intercept and overrule the smart and moral parts of our brain. So, we end up doing things that aren’t very smart or moral (see Selfish vs. Social). All too often we do what comes naturally, and it makes us look like animals. 

If we can relate to animals, we might say they act proudly (Proverbs 30:29-33, Matthew 7:6). They don't feel shame when they do what feels good.1 Mostly they stay on autopilot and don’t worry if they leave a path of destruction behind them. Likewise, it's natural for us to do whatever we think is right (Isaiah 5:21), defy the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:30-32, Galatians 5:17, James 4:1, 1 Peter 2:11) and be proud of it (Proverbs 11:22). We naturally think we don’t have to listen to anyone but our own self, and deserve to create our own morality (Isaiah 5:20-21; see Mammon and the Libertarians). From long ago, we naturally think we are smart enough to rule our own future and make it work without God (Genesis 11:4). in this way, we want to be our own God, so we try to act like God (Isaiah 14:14). 

Paul was smart, but he admitted that Jesus was a lot smarter (Romans 11:33). Paul explains to the Christians in Rome, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). In Chapter 3 he quotes from a number of Old Testament verses, making it very clear that humans are completely unable to be moral. Later in verse 7:18, he says “For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.“ He tells us he gave it the college try, and he is sure that everyone else fails the same way he did (Romans 7:5, 11). He wound up very sure that God knows better (Romans 7:21-25). 

If we listen to the smartest people, they are usually quick to admit they haven’t got things all figured out either, and there is a lot left to learn from the animal world (God's creation; see Humility). Yes they deserve to be honored, but we don't want to see how their animal instincts affect their thinking (John 6:63). We naturally think more highly of what they say when they wear a three-piece suit, not their bathing suit. The highest honors are given to those in robes that cover everything but their head.

But what if all the smart people agreed that there was only one way to be moral, and no one could argue against it? Would everyone go along? Lots of people might say they agree with this "philosophy," but there would be no stopping some from just pretending and taking advantage of people’s trust. Nietzsche tells us there will always be people that reject whatever anyone says is good, right and honorable (see Nietzsche, Narcissist, Nazi). Like animals, they do whatever they think is best for themselves: 'If that means lying (or theft, pedophilia, genocide, etc.) then who says it's not moral? Isn't everyone free to say they have the right to do whatever they want?' In this Age of Grace (see Revelation Revealed) they wind up in jail and rage against the basically Christian "system" that gave them so much good. But in rare opportunities, these "Free Thinkers" get made dictator by the human animals we call mobs.2 

Christianity says "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31b). If we can agree on that, it's pretty hard to lie and cheat your neighbor,3 then admit you want to be treated the same way. And if we believe it, God will not let us lie our way out of the consequences of our actions (Proverbs 1:7, John 3:16-21). God already knows that people take more than we need or even deserve (see The Meaning of Life and The Number One Fundamental). And when our life is done, God knows we are prone to say we are being treated unfairly (Romans 3:19).

Many of us know, at bottom, that we are desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Science can show us how deceitful and creatively brutal we are, but it won't show us how to agree on what is truly good for everyone. The only way to overcome our flesh is to submit ourselves to God’s morality. Jesus shows us it's possible.

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. - 1 Timothy 6:20-21

 

Footnotes:

 1. People often confuse shame with a display of submission. This helps the animal escape the consequences for their selfish action.

 2. Developed countries have their problems, but these are not the fault of Christianity. Free public education, libraries, good roads, excellent health care, investment stability, the Rule of Law, etc. are not present in many countries, and citizens can quickly be executed just for criticizing the dictator. Like the Israelites before the Babylonian Captivity, people do not appreciate the benefits of God's protection, and His morality.

 3. Everyone is your neighbor, BTW. See Luke 10:27-37.

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