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How does the evolutionist explain the existence of Morality?

Hello F,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

Evolutionists teach that humans evolved by natural selection from lifeless unconscious matter over billions of years. This idea of the survival of the fittest doesn’t harmonize with the fact that humans are moral beings with ethics of right and wrong. Because, how can they explain that some humans may choose to show compassion and even empathy in selfless self-sacrificing acts to help others? Evolution ideology promotes the preservation of self only whereas morality promotes goodness and love.

How can the evolutionist explain the act of a fireman that tries to save a little child from his burning house by endangering his own life; a mother that tries to feed her hungry child and deprives herself; a sister that gives her kidney to her brother who is dying and thus jeopardize her own longevity? This sense of moral obligation must be explained in some way other than evolution which only promotes self-preservation.

The difference between the atheist and the believer in God is that the atheist may chose to be moral to avoid legal or social incrimination but he has no real reason for acting right because there is no ultimate moral authority that governs him. To him each person is his own authority.

To the believer this authority comes from God.  The Holy Spirit leads the believer “into all truth” (John 16:13). To the atheist, who is without God’s Spirit, the truth is “foolishness,” because it is “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). To the atheist, this lack of ethical authority leads to anarchy for who will decide what is right and wrong? For example, atheists will want to kill unborn babies while believers will see this act as murder which is a clear violation to God’s command “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). So, where do you draw the line?

Can an evolutionist act ethically? Certainly. Some evolutionist adopt the knowledge of right and wrong, and live exemplary lives. But they have no ultimate logical reason to do so and no authority to answer for. They may do it simply because they want to. Atheists can’t provide a rational reason for Morality. Morality exists and is logical only if we believe that there is a Creator who designed it.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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  • Nukdookum

    OK, so what I hear you saying is that atheists cannot feel empathy, is that right? I am pretty sure all human beings can put themselves in the shoes of others and realize that what is being done to them is wrong. Anyone can look at a bully beating a smaller person and know that it is wrong for the bully to do that. Anyone can feel empathy for another human being, see them suffering, and desire to do something about it. Morals do not need an external source, they just require that humans not be selfish jerks towards one another.

    Furthermore, since the beginning of recorded history, it has always been evident to civilized human societies that there is benefit in working together towards a common goal. Families look out for one another, whether they are religious or not. Villages look out for each other, taking watch duty on the wall, helping to put out a burning building, barn raising, baking food for sick families, etc. It is generally better for a society to look after it’s own than to be anarchistic, self-indulged, loners. Even though I do not have children, I still benefit from a solid education system which keeps everyone else’s kids in school and earning a good wage rather than trying to make a quick buck at my expense. Therefore I happily pay taxes to insure a good school system for my tribe, village, or community.

    Sure, in the short term, one could get rich and better their own lifestyle at the expense of everyone else by being selfish. This is a childish perspective and is sometimes evident when people chase money. Once you are able to see the larger picture, it is hard to rationalize selfish behavior because the short term gains are no match for the benefit to society as a whole by exercising good judgement, caring for everyone, and making sure that the least of your tribe is looked after. So many rich and powerful people lack the one thing really necessary to succeed, people who they trust and who, in a pinch, would have their back. No matter how self sufficient you are, sooner or later you will need help from someone. It is far better to nourish those relationships by being a moral, helpful person in your community, than it is to be purely selfish. If you can’t see that for yourself and need an external authority to tell you to not be a jerk, then perhaps you still need to grow up and stop acting like a child.

    I learned this when my mother was teaching me to share before I was old enough to read. Why is it so hard to believe that grown adults can’t learn it for themselves?