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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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‘God’ Isn’t Only Source of Morality

inthenews

OSAMA BIN LADEN’S quotation that “Islam is the only source of the rulings and laws” (editorial, Jan. 4) is frightening in its total rejection of the principle of separation of church and state. But we should not forget that his ideology is founded on the belief, which is central to most all deistic religions, that “God” is the only true source of morality and moral behavior.

That erroneous idea is a potentially dangerous source of rigidity and absolutism in moral thinking and behavior, and readily leads to efforts to impose one’s own group’s “true” morality on others, or to regard the “infidel other” as not worthy of the beneficence of that morality.

As is all too obvious these days, wars are fought under the self-righteous and self-justifying conviction that “God is on our side.”

The rational, secular view of morality is that it is generated only in human minds and is shaped over time in the real world by negotiating competing needs and shared benefits. There is no “Big Daddy” or “Big Mommy” up there, or out there, to tell us how to behave, or to punish us with natural disasters if we go astray. There is, however, good reason to believe that, along with murderous aggressivity, some fundamental altruistic urges have been built into the human genome by Darwinian evolution.

Given a framework of secular civil laws and enforcement, human compassion, conscience, and “the Golden Rule” of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” will take us a good long way.

RICHARD H. WOLFF
The Boston Globe

Analysis:

The Preceding opinion piece which appeared in the Boston Globe on January 10, proclaims the typical secularist attitude toward morality.

While we could spend the article refuting the claim that a workable moral standard can spring from “some fundamental altruistic urges [which] have been built into the human genome by Darwinian evolution”, I am more interested in noting the common attitude that a secular society has toward those who believe in God and His word.

Namely, they consider the concept of an absolute standard of morality, authored by God, as frightening, erroneous, potentially dangerous and irrational.

It is interesting to note that the writer makes no effort to distinguish between the extreme Islamic fundamentalism of Osama Bin Laden, and the Bible ethic that lies behind the constitution and laws of our country.

It is disturbing to note that so many believe that faith in God and His will are a danger to the principle of the separation of church and state. After all, the principle was originally established by our nation’s founders as a means of protecting just such faith, and the two have co-existed for over two centuries. Perhaps it is simply the desire of sinful men to release themselves from the burden of obedience to God!