Articles

Who Declares Right and Wrong?

In Perspective, Soul Food on June 7, 2011 by The Spillover

It’s an important question: Does good and evil exist? Most people would say yes.

The logical next question is, how do you know what’s right and what’s wrong? Who decides? Who can declare morals? There are four common answers: the individual, society, government, and God.

Some people will contend that each individual decides what’s right and wrong. People create their own “truths”, and seek the path that best suits them. This sort of touchy-feely-new-agey argument is based more on feelings than logic. And it’s very popular these days. It sounds nice to say out loud, but crumples quickly when tested. To someone claiming this universal philosophy I would ask: are rape and murder bad? How do you know? And what if I say that rape and murder are *not* bad? What if that was my reality, and I really believed these were good things. Or what about child porn? Or incest? Who are you to tell me that something I think is good is actually bad? What if your truth is that everyone finds their own truth, but my truth is that you’re wrong? Who’s right then? Obviously, individuals have no authority to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.

Others posit that society is the ultimate authority on morals. With a straight face. Just think of some of the wretched things societies have done in human history, and this theory is easily dismissed. Was slavery wrong? How about gladiator games? Murdering children who seem “unfit” for society? Plenty of societies have been quite comfortable with these practices. Strike two. Society cannot dictate morals.

Lastly, and probably most comfortably, people will say that world governments dictate what’s right and what’s wrong. It seems like a trump card, right? After all, we have to follow the rules and regulations put forth by our government. But there’s a problem: we’re just one of countless governments that have existed and still exist in the world. People who hold the opinion that governments are the authority on right and wrong are simply being ethnocentric. They may get a deer-in-headlights look when you tell them that what they’re really saying is that the Holocaust was just and moral. Was it not a government that carried out those heinous acts? It was. And what about present-day governments who murder ethnic groups, mutilate women and stone people to death? Governments don’t work at declaring right and wrong. They are not a good and just authority on morals.

Does good and bad exist? 9 out of 10 will say yes. If this is true, there must be an authority on what’s right and what’s wrong.

Only God can fit this bill. This isn’t just my opinion, it’s the only answer that makes any sense.

And it leads to the next obvious question: if God is the only one who can say what’s right and what’s wrong, what does that mean? It means He is the authority on everything, and the only proper place for a human is in complete submission to Him.

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