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Is Our Moral Code Out of Date?

by Ken Ham on September 21, 2010

In a recent opinion piece on the CNN website, which is entitled “Our moral code is out of date,” the authors attempt to convince people that our moral code is out of date; the authors are obviously anti-Christian and use fallacious arguments and false associations. (They are described as,  “Yaron Brook is president of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights and a columnist at; Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the center. Brook is one of the speakers at The Economist's ‘Ideas Economy: Human Potential’ conference in New York.”)

As part of their argument, they attempt to get those who have built their ethics on the Bible, for instance, to see that it is now out dated and in need of a change. Their arguments look at certain scientific achievements and thus the progress of medicine and technology. They use this to insist that our moral code needs to change, as it is built on ideas of the past that are now outdated—ideas such as the Bible is true!

Let me give you just a couple of examples of how they fallaciously argue. They state the following:

But thanks to minds such as Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Charles Darwin, this is not how we face the world today. They taught us our method of knowing: careful, mathematically precise observation, step-by-step inference and generalization, and systematic, evidence-based theory building.
They also state the following:
A mind-boggling array of inventions and products ensued: automobiles, oil, radios, antibiotics, refrigeration, electricity, washing machines, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, airplanes and on and on, to our present world of personal computers and cell phones.
Consider that they are doing what much of the secular education system is doing (i.e., trying to brainwash people with fallacious ideas). In the first quote above, they list Darwin along with Pasteur, Newton, and Galileo.  Then in the second quote, they mention the “mind-boggling array of inventions and products.”  However, they fail to understand (or maybe they do understand but believe they can indoctrinate a gullible public) that Galileo, Newton, and Pasteur were involved in real operational science, which resulted in an explosion of knowledge that has led to great advances in medicine and technology.

Darwin is most famous for his ideas of animal and human evolution over millions of years—historical science, which is beliefs about the past that have absolutely nothing to do with knowledge that relates to technology etc. Now Darwin did discuss such things as natural selection and speciation that creationists and evolutionists all agree upon. But his main thrust concerned his beliefs about the past—how life supposedly evolved over millions of years.

Now the authors then state the following:

Although few of us would turn to the Old Testament or the Quran to determine the age of the Earth, too many of us still turn obediently to these books (or their secular copies) as authorities about morality. We learn therein the moral superiority of faith to reason and collective sacrifice to personal profit.

But the more seriously we take these old ethical ideas, the more suspect become the modern ideas responsible for human progress.

Note they put the Quran and the Bible together here; however, the worldview of the USA began with people (many of whom were Christians) who built their thinking on the Bible. But you can see what they are doing. They are trying to say that because of our progress with technology, now we need to give up the morality once adhered to in this nation—and morality based on the Bible, which is the absolutely authoritative Word of God. So if one’s morality is not built on an absolute authority, then who determines truth? Where should our morality come from then?

Well, the authors then state the following:

Perhaps, of all the damage these antiquated moral ideas do to human progress, the most significant is how they distort our conception of moral ideals.

Ask someone on the street to name a moral hero; if he isn't at a loss, he'll likely name someone like Jesus Christ or Mother Teresa. Why? Because they're regarded as people of faith who shunned personal profit for the collective good. No one would dream of naming Galileo, Darwin, Thomas Edison or John D. Rockefeller.

Yet we should. It is they, not the Mother Teresas of the world, that we should strive to be like and teach our kids the same.

Oh, so we need to strive to be like Darwin and teach generations of kids his philosophy. That would mean teaching generations of kids to build their morality on Darwin’s ideas (i.e., man is just an animal and there is no God, and morality is what you want to make it to be).  In fact, Darwin (and other evolutionists subsequently) taught that women were intellectually and biologically inferior to men. Now that would go down well in the culture today if people really knew this fact, wouldn’t it?! (See Darwin Taught Male Superiority.)

Also, Charles Darwin stated the following:

A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for the rule of his life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones. (Nora Barlow, ed., The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809–1882 [New York: W.W. Norton, 1958], 78)
And what we read in this quote is happening before our very eyes. Generations of kids are being taken through an education system where Christianity has been thrown out and replaced with the religion of naturalism—atheism.  Generations of kids (including 90% of kids from church homes) are being taught atheistic evolution and millions of years as fact. And we wonder why we see increasing hopelessness, purposelessness, violence, sexual perversion, drug use, abortion, homosexual behavior, and so on.

What these authors are advocating is really summed up in the verse of Scripture from Judges as to what happens when there is no absolute authority:

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25).
What an apt description of our own culture—more and more are doing “that which is right in his own eyes.”

Relative morality! Abandon Christianity! Destroy the culture. Destroy generations of people. That’s what these authors are really advocating. But why? Like Charles Darwin, they don’t want to acknowledge they are sinners, and therefore, they are accountable to their Creator. Darwin just would not accept that, which is why he also stated the following:

I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, would be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine. (Barlow, ed., The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809–1882, 72)
What Darwin is really doing is shaking his fist at God and refusing to acknowledge that he is a created being who as a sinner was in rebellion against his Creator. Sadly, that is increasingly the state of many in our culture, including the authors of this opinion piece.

By the way, there is an interesting statement in this opinion piece:

Although few of us would turn to the Old Testament or the Quran to determine the age of the Earth, too many of us still turn obediently to these books (or their secular copies) as authorities about morality. We learn therein the moral superiority of faith to reason and collective sacrifice to personal profit.
Basically, they are saying that since one doesn’t turn to the Bible for the age of the earth, one shouldn’t turn to the Bible for morality either. This should be a lesson to those Christians who claim that one cannot turn to the Bible for the age of the earth, but they insist one has to turn to secular scientists for this information. And that is the point this opinion piece is making—trust the secularists for the age of the earth, and also trust them for morality.

But at AiG, we tell people that we can trust the Bible in regard to the age of the earth (adding up the dates comes to only a few thousand years—not millions). Its history is true, and therefore, the gospel and morality based in that history is true.

You can read the entire opinion piece referred to above on CNN’s website.

Pastors’ Conference

Our first pastors’ conference begins today (we trust the conference will become an annual event). From registrations, around 400–500 will be in attendance at this conference. I will update you during the week.

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