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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 21. September 10, 1968

Man is Moral

Man is Moral

Theoretically yes you can believe that there is no God (and that therefore objective "moral standard" don't exist either). In practice, however, you just cannot live as though you believed it. Ask an existentialist if he would, for example, steal, or commit adultery. On his presuppositions he is bound to admit that no moral considerations would prevent [unclear: h] if this were expedient to him, and, for that matter, why shouldn't he sleep with every girl he fancied? Why not indeed? Yet ask him if he would embezzle cash from his own brother, ask him if he would rape the sister of his best friend, and he would probably be horrified at the thought, although he could not give you any logical reason for his altitude, however hard you pressed him for it. Which only bears out the sad fact that the atheist does not and cannot be entirely true to the basis of his own world view. For man, whether he admits or not, is intrinsically and inescapably a moral creature. Further [unclear: a] the [unclear: th] which is inherent [unclear: d] world, is dependent not on the [unclear: o] of man himself, as the [unclear: ave] beleive, but is determnined by the character of God.

It is a fact that the further away a man is from acknowledging the existence of a real and rational universe, the less he is able to live consistently. On the other hand, given [unclear: a] objective [unclear: tional] a man can live authentically on [unclear: lly] that is he can communicate, he can [unclear: a] and he can make decisions. For when reasons become autonomons to man, and he tries to make sense of the world that he sees about him—on the assumption that God is not—then he can only conclude that everything is utter irrationality and meaninglessness, and beat his breast in his existential despair, But when reasons acts on the understanding of a God who is there, and who created and sustains a rational and moral universe (however much man chooses to mess up his own affairs in it) only then can a person live at the deepest level in freedom and logical consistency.

(Julie Belding is a third-year arts student majoring in German, and was formerly Women's Vice-President of the Evangelical Union.)