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Where is the standard for deciding right from wrong?

What difference does it make whether the evolution story is true? Who cares about creation or evolution? Actually this is one of the most important topics in the world! In my ninety debates with evolutionists, I often ask the simple question, “If evolution is true, how can anyone tell right from wrong?” My opponents never answer the question. Think about it. Make a list of ten things that are wrong, but before you make the list, I want to ask how you decide what is right and wrong. Does Congress decide right from wrong? Should Osama Bin Laden decide right from wrong? Should Adolph Hitler decide right from wrong? Maybe you should decide right from wrong for you and I will decide it for me. In that case, what if I decide it is okay to steal from you? Where is the standard for deciding right from wrong?

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Leave29 Responses to testWhere is the standard for deciding right from wrong?

  1. Jon Richt August 31, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    I often ask the simple question, “If evolution is true, how can anyone tell right from wrong?” My opponents never answer the question.

    Color me skeptical…

  2. Jon Richt August 31, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Incidentally, the theory of evolution never has contradicted the idea of a perfect law giver, nor of an all-powerful creator. It contradicts Creationist dogma, but that’s about it…

  3. Phil Brown August 31, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Thanks Dr Hovind for your perspective. What you have stated is true. It is just unfortunate that so many have rejected the truth. I do have a question. What is your view on habitual sin? I have been caught up in one for a long time and have had much difficulty shedding myself of its grip. I have been praying and seeking council for quite some time. I feel its grip getting weaker, but would welcome any helpful advice. Thank you for all you and your family do for the Lord.

  4. mathew gardner August 31, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    I absoulutly agree Mr. Hovind I am new to your work, but I am very sold out to your theories, I was wondering what got you started on your research in the beginning

  5. Jack Napper August 31, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Kent and Eric…the horse is dead.

    If you insist on dragging out the argument over and over you must first establish whether absolutes exist.

    So then, lets first recall that for something to be absolute it must :
    1.) Exist Independently
    2.) Exist not in relation to other things
    3.) Exist not relative to other things
    4.) Be true for every possible circumstance

    Perhaps you could:
    A.) State for us an absolute truth/morality/law
    B.) Demonstrate for us how it satisfies 1 – 4 above
    C.) Show how it is not “Systemic”

    Begging the question?
    Shifting the burden of proof?
    False dichotomy?
    Argumentative rhetoric?

    Even if the other side threw their arms up and gave up you’d still have to PROVE YOU’RE RIGHT.

  6. Rocky Salit August 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Yet another straw man argument. The theory of evolution deals with biological changes in living things and not with philosophy. The question on morals is a philosophical one.

    The simple answer is of course empathy. Empathy is the drive to do right, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Every human society and some other social animals have come up with this (albeit not in written or spoken form). Ethics is not just the realm of Homo Sapiens but extends to dogs, elephants, monkeys, apes, dolphins and lionesses.

  7. Rocky Salit August 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    what if I decide it is okay to steal from you?

    Then you will go to jail, but I have feeling you already know this.

  8. Nigel McNaughton August 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Is it wrong to stab a pregnant woman specifically to kill her child?

  9. Eric Idle August 31, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    ‘Where is the standard…?’ – surely it’s between our ears. It’s an individual situation with much in common and a number of variances. Otherwise we would all be automatons with no variances in behavior. I don’t think there is a standard
    Overall, it has been refined by thousands of years of humanity, but even then there have been significant variances. The Bible took it’s values from some of what was already existent in societies.

  10. Keith Newlon August 31, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    “I often ask the simple question, ‘If evolution is true, how can anyone tell right from wrong?’ My opponents never answer the question. ”

    OK, I will answer it (so you need to change that sentence….)

    “Right” are those actions which promote the happiness of the most individuals without injuring any.

    “Wrong” actions are those which cause injury to “innocent” individuals.

  11. Keith Newlon August 31, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    To decide right from wrong:

    1) Ask yourself if this action causes injury
    2) Ask yourself if you would want this done to you by the other.

    I suggest you read “The Science of Good and Evil” by Michael Shermer for an answer to your questions….

  12. Phil Brown August 31, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    There sure is a lot of condescension and mockery here. I think the base of this issue involves accountability. Evolution is a philosophy that is applied to science, Creationism is a Theology that is applied to science. Each side is interpreted by their base philosophy or Theology. So who are you accountable to? The God of heaven and earth? or a man-centered philosophy? Whatever side you take will influence the way you interpret the evidence. Morality is linked because if you believe in the God of Genesis 1, you are accountable to Him and His ways (Matthew 12:36). If you believe in the Blind Watchmaker then that is what you have, and the only morality that one can lean on in this instance is that of the animal kingdom. Natural selection. If the most powerful of the kingdom decides to enact rules, then I suppose that would be your morality. At least until someone else came along and changed it. Therefore, if man is the end, and we are the products of Random Processes and Natural Selection, then I ask, what is point? Why have morality? I think that is what the good doctor meant.

  13. Leonard Ciciarelli August 31, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    God’s Word the Bible is Absolute Truth. How do we know this? We know this through Mathematical Computerized Statistical Probability. The Bible gives us 48 prophecies about Jesus Christ before he was born and all 48 of them came in on the money. The odds of that happening by accident is 1 out of 10 to the 157th power. That number would look something like this-

    10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

    There’s not that many electrons in 10 Universes the size of our known Universe. The odds of that happening by accident are like the odds of someone dropping millions of letters of the alphabet from the sky and watching them land forming a dictionary, and repeating this over and over again.

    We have Mathematician and Scientist Peter Stoner to thank for the statistics.
    In case you think his statistics are exaggerated, the “forward” of his book, “SCIENCE SPEAKS” includes an acknowledgement by the American Scientific Affiliation stating, “The mathematical analysis included is based upon principles of probability which are thoroughly sound and Professor Stoner has applied these principles in a proper and convincing way.”

    The Bible is truly an amazing book. Not one line of the Bible has ever had to be altered to match any scientific finding or any philosopher’s theories-while the scientists and philosophers have all had to rewrite their textbooks every other year.

    Unbelievers are emotionally involved in this issue because it involves their Eternal Destination. Many unbelievers simply do not want to live by God’s rules so they work with tremendous zeal to try to overthrow one Book-the source of Absolute Truth-The Bible. It can never be done.

    God gave us Special Revelation in the form of a Book, an innate knowledge of God’s existence, a Moral Nature that points to a Creator, and the ability to observe and understand His Creation, so none of us have an excuse for rejecting Him. God owes us nothing. We, on the other hand, have a debt that we can never repay; so He paid it for us on the Cross. You can either receive this Gift of Salvation, or pay the debt yourself for Eternity in Hell. The choice is yours.

    Please Repent and Trust Christ as Savior before it is too late!

  14. Nigel McNaughton September 1, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Phil, if God asked you to kill a child, would you do it?

  15. Rocky Salit September 1, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    Phil, is the theory of gravity a philosophy? How about the Germ Theory or the Theory of Relativity? You are making a straw man by claiming that the Theory of Evolution is a philosophy. It is not and says nothing about morals.

  16. Jon Richt September 1, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Evolution is not a philosophy, Phil.

    The ToE only contradicts Creationist dogma. It say or implies nothing having to do with Gods or morality.

  17. Philip Kingsley Subas September 1, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    @Phil Brown:
    you need the grace of god to overcome it. Pray to god to give grace to you to overcome the sin. God gives grace to the humble
    @Jack Napper:
    the statements that you gave for absolutes to exists are some absolutes.

  18. Rocky Salit September 1, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    I should have said moral actions not morals. It does give an explanation for how morals can evolve in social animals. It does not posit what is or is not moral though.

  19. Jack Napper September 1, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    @Philip Kingsley Subas

    So for something to be absolute it must qualify as an absolute?

    Can you say DUHHHHHHHH…

  20. Phil Brown September 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Nigel, I am not going to answer you because you are looking to trap me in my speech. I have confidence in God, and that is enough. God has never asked me that, but, If He does, you’ll be the first to know.

    Rocky, it seems that you are well versed in the discipline of Evolution and science. I have heard of the Law of Gravity I don’t believe it is a theory (If I am wrong please feel free to correct me), not familiar enough with the germ theory, and as far as the Theory of Relativity, I have a general understanding of it, but am not as well read as you must be on these subjects. I know that it replaced Isaac Newton’s Theory of Mechanics, and that there are many PHILOSOPHIES attached to this subject and the previous ones. My understanding of a philosophy is that it is “the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.” (Dictionary.com). Evolution is a principle of knowledge, which is kin to being or existence, and eventually conduct. I see that you are looking for vain arguments or “straw men” as you like to describe it. But, I am not sure that you are correct saying that evolution isn’t a philosophy. If I am wrong, please provide some evidence to the contrary.

  21. Andrew Freier September 2, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Wow I am about to arguement a brick wall Yay.
    #1@Jon Richt (Example) If you are calling Creationist wrong, you are in sense challenging the Bible and its accuracey- Only one can be right there for it directly interacts with it. (another example would be someone spreading lies around about someone- Even if that person never hears of it they are still being affected by the slander-

    #2@Jack Napper (For instance again with Jon The laws are not changing sry.. it remains a constant now can you be everywere at once testing these laws no- but then again can you force your will on something and defy such laws Im betting this too is a no. You cannot *prove* an absolute but you can be sure of one- in order to prove it you must be testing forever but there is a certainty of things for instance do you weight test your chair everytime you sit in it? How else can you be certain* it will hold you.

    #3@Rocky Salit ( What you believe will dictate your actions for instance empathy only goes so far for instance you might Feel* compasion on a dog but if your starving you might believe it to be Right* to eat said dog- Empathy would suggest that you feel sorry for the dog so let it eat you :) OR are we playing survival of the fittest? hmm? where does right and wrong go there?. Also on a side note Empathy allowing you to do right? Then what your saying is Empathy allows us to be the Judge of the world.

    #4@Rocky Salit ( So the courts are never* wrong but I’m sure you know this right?) there is constantly news articles coming out about evidence being tampered with Esp.. DNA supposed evidence. Also the court system we have right now isn’t fair an impartial since when does a fancey layer decide the outcome of the verdict and why are there so many plea bargains with a good justice system you are either guilty to the extent or not? but this is another argument Blah.

    #5@Eric Idle ( Oh really I would like to see some kind of law against adualtry or fornication sex before marriage I am sure that law was real popular or how about paying into the church fund people loved doing that because it was the thing to do. You try and follow the L.A.W. and find out how popular it is.. The jewish people in the old days were even looked at as being wierd. – I would love to see the source for your argument.

    #6@Keith Newlon ( wow Everyones actions effect everybody even if you didn’t know it. Thats why most Eropian countries have made it if you injure someone or something you have to pay for the life of the object/person. Luts say you cut me off on the street seems little enough but I don’t get to work on time loose my job children starve generations of people effected in that family, however if you didn’t cut me off in the street then you would be late for work and your children would starve. Who is right there? // A follow up to this too is Luts say someone is offended and hurt* by you wearing a bright yellow suit to the wedding, and others are offended that you didn’t wear the bright yellow suite. Ask your self if you are hurting anyone? The answer is yes in both ways. Even by your own logic no one can do good.

    #7@ Jon Richt ( again yes it does it calls into question can we take the Bible as truth or a fairy tale ) again its beliefs dictating your actions if you believe that Evolution is true and read the bible and relize that the two do not mix well you have to choose |which one is right| like the Bible says you cannot have two masters| and again when you go slanderizing someone or something it is affecting it, in otherwords it brings it into the realm of religion/morals – I guess another way to look at it is luts say we paid a bunch of people to go around and say 2+2 = 22 and not 4 when someone believes that 4 is the answer you are now contradicting him. |the 2+2 is the origans| and the 4 is whats the result

    I hope this helps and I hope I will get some rest tonight BTW most atheist I debate its always the same thing – They love the pleasures of this world and see no reason to apoligize/repent (BTW I know my American is horrable please debate the message not the writting style)

  22. Corey September 2, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Was it right for Moses’ army to kill their own people for rebelling (Numbers 14) and Moses seeking vengance on the Midianites (Numbers 31: 15-18)?

  23. Michael Sousa September 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Hi Jack Napper

    I could systematically refute you on some of your points from a scientific regard! But, I don’t want to prove you wrong, what I want is for your soul to be in the Lords Kingdom!
    Repent from mans intellect and turn to GOD’s word. You will find truth, and not man’s truth!
    Morality we get from GOD’s word! Look, it’s right there in black and white, it has nothing to do with absolutes!

  24. Jon Richt September 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Michael Sousa wrote the following: Hi Jack Napper
    I could systematically refute you on some of your points from a scientific regard! But, I don’t want to prove you wrong

    Mr. Sousa, this lie is so obvious it’s not funny. Please provide, from a “scientific regard”, information which shows that Jack’s definition of absolutes is incorrect. For your reference, here’s what he wrote:

    So then, lets first recall that for something to be absolute it must :
    1.) Exist Independently
    2.) Exist not in relation to other things
    3.) Exist not relative to other things
    4.) Be true for every possible circumstance

  25. Stephen Holshouser September 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    No matter how high you make your standards for right and wrong, without God there is no right or wrong, good or evil. (this is all hypothetical because there would be no creation without a Creator, of course) You could violate any law man sets up, including your own, and if you don’t get caught, there would be no consequences. The goal would become “anything goes, just don’t get caught.” (Much like the rules of the liberals that are currently in power!) The worst sin you can currently imagine would be acceptable if society said it was okay… and societies of the past have okayed things that would make even the relatively immoral people of today seem like angels.

    Rest assured, God will ultimately not let any wrongs go unpunished. Why does God let bad things happen?? –Oh, He will take care of it… just wait. Thankfully, my wrongs have already been paid for by my wonderful Savior. Peace with God through Jesus Christ… even for me.. Thank you Lord!

  26. Nigel McNaughton September 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Phil, yeah you won’t answer because you know exactly where it’s heading.

    But you still need some help with Laws and Theories.

    Laws are generally short descriptions of how things behave.

    Theories are usually very detailed explanatory systems about WHY they behave this way.

    There are plenty of Laws that deal with Gravity.

    You are probably initially thinking of the standard F= G(m1m2/r^2)
    But there is also stuff like Keplers Laws of Planetary Motion.
    But they don’t explain anything. That is where Einstein’s General and Special Theories of Relativity come in. They are an attempt to explain what Gravity is and how it works.

    Just as we use things like Ohm’s Law to describe the behaviour of electrical circuits. But we look to Atomic Theory to explain why electrons behave the way the do.

    Theories don’t ‘graduate’ or ‘grow up’ and become Laws. They are 2 very different things.

  27. Jack Napper September 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    “I could systematically refute you on some of your points from a scientific regard!”

    By all means go right ahead. I could use a laugh.

  28. Rocky Salit September 3, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    But, I am not sure that you are correct saying that evolution isn’t a philosophy. If I am wrong, please provide some evidence to the contrary.

    Phil this is called shifting the burden of proof. You have stated the evolution is a philosophy, it is up to you to prove what you claim. It is not up to me to disprove every accusation you make. It would be the equivalent of me saying there aliens recording my every move from space, now prove me wrong.

    Laws and Theories are separate things. A theory does not become a law. There is the Law of Gravity, which states that gravity is one of the four fundamental interactions of nature. The Theory of Gravity describes how gravity works to the best of our knowledge. The Theory of General Relativity replaced a lot of what was wrong with our previous ideas on gravity, it also explained why the previous theory explained so much.

    Laws in science are analytical statements and usually constants. In other words they are math. They are certain things, that as far as we can tell, are consistent throughout the universe (we hold them to be tentatively and objectively true not absolutely because if evidence ever shows up we are wrong they will be changed).

    Theories in science are (quoting wikipedia) a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena. Scientific Theories also make predictions based on the evidence and the interpretation of the evidence. If that prediction fails then there is something wrong with the theory or there is some outside factor not accounted for. A good example of this is with Newton’s Theory of Gravity and the planets. Uranus was not moving according to the predicted pattern of Newtonian gravity. That was only because Neptune had yet to be discovered. Neptune was original posited as an answer to Uranus’ orbit and then later actually seen.

    It was also a planet that help prove that the Theory of Relativity was a closer description of reality than Newtonian Gravity. Mercury’s orbit had odd wobbles in it that the Theory of Gravity could not explain. The first thought was that there was another planet closer to the sun. No planet was ever found. Albert Einstein then suggested his hypothesis of relativity. Relativity went on to explain Mercury’s orbit and many other things that didn’t fit Newtonian Gravity, but it also explained why Newton’s Theory of Gravity worked for so long and so well. This is a very important step when replacing a theory.

    Having explained all that, the Theory of Evolution describes all the evidence we find for the diversity of life. It has made multiple predictions, like where certain types of fossils should be found, a fused human chromosome and many more that are too many to list here. It fits the description of a theory given above.

    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language (again from wikipedia). Now if you get down to it, Science does work with the philosophy of Empiricism, in so much that it is based on empirical evidence. It is also based on repetition.

  29. Rocky Salit September 3, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    @Andrew – Please read what I said. I said the simple answer was empathy. We do have caveats and many other outside forces that can affect how we respond. It is most definitely not a full on solution as to where our morals come from but it is the drive for morals and the fact that humans survive as a group and not as individuals. That is part of being a social animal. Notice the other animals I listed are also social animals. What helps the whole helps the individual, what hurts the whole hurts the individual in the long run.

    I never said the courts were perfect. *edited by admin*

    I agree the system should be looked at and that it is not perfect. Overall, it seems to work fairly well, but that really has nothing to do with anything here.