Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Good and Evil

Townhall has Dennis Prager's "The case for Judeo-Christian values: Part II." His argument is straightforward:

If there is no transcendent source of morality (morality is the word I use for the standard of good and evil), "good" and "evil" are subjective opinions, not objective realities.

In other words, if there is no God who says, "Do not murder" ("Do not kill" is a mistranslation of the Hebrew which, like English, has two words for homicide), murder is not wrong. Many people may think it is wrong, but that is their opinion, not objective moral fact. There are no moral "facts" if there is no God; there are only moral opinions.

His most important point is towards the end of the piece:

A major reason for the left's loathing of George W. Bush is his use of moral language -- such as in his widely condemned description of the regimes of North Korea, Iran and Iraq as an "axis of evil." These people reject the central Judeo-Christian value of the existence of objective good and evil and our obligation to make such judgments. Secularism has led to moral confusion, which in turn has led to moral paralysis.

If you could not call the Soviet Union an "evil empire" or the Iranian, North Korean and Iraqi regimes an "evil axis," you have rendered the word "evil" useless.

An over used phrase in our society is "Don't judge me." By declaring that something is wrong, I do not claim the moral high ground, for I have certainly committed countless offenses myself. However, should we lose the ability to judge between right and wrong, we are in grave danger of "moral paralysis."