God new evidence

GOD: new evidence


Where does our sense of justice come from?

(Beyond Ourselves #19)

What's in the series?      Previous: Are right and wrong real?       Next: Can we be wrong about right and wrong?

Everyone wants to be treated fairly. We have a sense of how things ought to be.

We also see a lot of things that seem unfair. When we see or hear of something that we think is wrong, our basic response is to say 'that is not how things ought to be.'  We are offended by it, and want it to be put right.

But if we are only atoms and molecules, how can we explain this? How can one arrangement of atoms be 'right' and a different arrangement be 'wrong'? Surely they just are whatever they are? 

And where does our idea of how things ought to be come from?  If we are just the result of accidental processes of physics and chemistry, where does our sense of justice come from?  There is no way to account for it if we are just atoms and molecules.

Evolutionary biologists have tried to explain where our sense of right and wrong comes from in terms of natural selection. But even if they can explain how we have a sense of right and wrong, they cannot explain the existence of genuine right and wrong.

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‘Although I was once sharply critical of the argument to design, I have since to come to see that, when correctly formulated, this argument constitutes a persuasive case for the existence of God.’ – Professor Anthony Flew