Besides the idea of knowing anything at all, we have to deal with how we, as humans, know what is right and wrong. For the Christian, this is easy – we know right and wrong because God has told us. He gave us the Bible which contains His moral law.
Basically, God has told us what is right and wrong based on His character, because He is the greatest good. What’s more is that it is apparent that God’s goodness isn’t arbitrary. His moral law lines up with the general thread of conscience that is shown throughout humanity.
God’s goodness and human morality are absolute. I personally have not run into a strict moral relativist (someone who says, in essence, “What’s right for you is right for you, and what’s right for me is right for me.”), but I know they are out there. Typically, the people I’ve met throw in 1 moral absolute: don’t hurt others. I’ve actually heard this argument out in the wild, and it is, “You can do whatever you want, as long as you don’t hurt other people.” That 1 absolute causes a lot of problems for a moral relativist.
First, one must ask if “hurting people” includes emotional pain, or is it limited only to physical pain. Based on a 2008 study, it’s pretty easy to argue that emotional pain is at least as painful, if not more so, than physical pain. For example, an extramarital affair isn’t physically painful, but it’s definitely emotionally destructive to the faithful spouse. The problem now for a moral relativist is not the action, but the knowledge of the victim to the action. As long as the adultery is kept secret, is it OK? Typically people answer “no.” So we have a realm of potential emotional pain that is considered wrong. How many thousands of ways might we cause someone emotional pain? It’s ridiculous to think that a human could have a guideline that described what’s right and wrong in a myriad of different situations. Or is it?
That’s where the Bible comes back in. Even to some self-described moral relativist, the Bible is a great guideline for avoiding emotional pain to others. Now, as Christians, we see that it’s more than a guideline. It’s our basis for truth and morality. The character of God is such that He doesn’t want us to cause pain to each other. Jesus even said to His disciples, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Keeping the moral law of the Scriptures not only helps our lives, but it enables us to be witnesses to the dying world. One of our purposes on this Earth is to proclaim the love of God to the world. What better way than by obeying His commandments?
What do you think?