Do Moral Intuitions Point To God, Evolutionary Experience or Chance?

Ask 100 randomly selected congressional aides whether they think it’s immoral to torture children and I guarantee you all 100 — like virtually any other similarly sized and chosen group — will react in horror and say something like “of course not, only a monster would do that.”

Such responses are evidence of the moral intuitions with which every human being is born. Those intuitions don’t just turn up, Christian apologists contend, they are evidence of the creator, who is the source of the standards of right and wrong underlying the intuitions. Evolutionary materialists argue moral intuitions simply represent the accumulated experience of the results of similar courses of action.

Obviously, something too often intervenes to corrupt or silence the moral intuitions and what that something is generates as much debate among believers and non-believers alike as the source of the intuitions.

Dr. Frank Turek dealt with an aspect of that debate in response to a question posed by a Towson University student. This video of Turek’s response was posted on YouTube November 9.

Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland. Go here:

3 thoughts on “Do Moral Intuitions Point To God, Evolutionary Experience or Chance?”

  1. The examples cited in the video (e.g., torturing babies for fun, etc.,) do not suggest the existence of an absolute moral authority. A better explanation, one more consistent with observed reality, is that such inclinations are reproductively disadvantageous if they lead to the behaviors described in your post. Put another way, species which engage in injuring the innocent (e.g., babies, children, the weak, the poor, and innocent adults) do not flourish. By contrast, species which evolve inclinations that lead to the avoidance or suppression of such behaviors tend to do better reproductively, all other things being equal.

    However, the Bible does have something to teach us about where our inclinations toward good and those toward evil. In Genesis 2, animals are described as being formed with a single inclination, the inclination of the flesh. These are inclinations that lead to self-serving behaviors (including instinctual ones). By contrast, in Genesis 2:7 the man is described as being formed with an additional set of inclinations, the inclination toward good. Jewish tradition calls these inclinations the yetzer hara and the yetzer hatov. Animals possess only the former and humans possess both.

    We, alone, were created with inclinations that motivate us to rise above others of the animal world. It’s why only humans build hospitals, help the poor, and take care of the sick and infirm. No other species behaves in this way. You can learn more about this little known aspect of the second creation story at the link below:




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