Man is unique among the creatures; we live as if good and evil exist, as if we all have an obligation or duty to do the right thing. We call it moral law, and I find it fascinating.
When we think of good and evil we’re evaluating human behavior: animals can’t murder, lie, cheat or steal.
And what we call good or evil has little to do with the action itself; it’s largely based on motive: killing by accident or in self-defense isn’t murder.
In short, we believe in a real moral standard, an expectation for human behavior that’s independent of opinion or culture, and it isn’t optional or evolving: we expect it to be timeless.
However, we rarely agree on exactly what this standard is, and we never keep it perfectly ourselves, so we often feel guilt, and find ourselves accusing and judging others, experiencing offences, injustices, bitterness, contempt, indignation, shame, mercy and forgiveness. These emotions imply a perception of transcendent metaphysical reality, one above and beyond Nature which we didn’t invent or create; we act as if it’s been revealed to us.
And though we seldom agree on the standard itself, we never argue that there isn’t one. Essentially, we’re continually acting as if there’s a timeless, intelligent, supernatural Being, a numen … a God, benevolently and impartially requiring goodness of us. We know we’ll have to give account for our behavior (Ro 14:12), and that we aren’t perfect. (Ro 3:19)
Yet even in our brokenness and imperfection, as gods we impose our own version of right behavior upon others, calling for justice, seeking revenge, dimly reflecting God’s own moral nature within us. Every single human being lives like this, every single day; no one can live otherwise.
This doesn’t scientifically prove God exists, but that’s irrelevant; our goal in science is to convince ourselves of the nature of reality, yet we’re all already instinctively aware of this particular Reality.
It’s as if we live in a broken relationship with God, bearing His likeness, made in His image (Ge 1:27), yet alienated and estranged from Him (Ep 4:18), both longing for justice and hoping for mercy. Rebelling against Him while, in the end, expecting Him to win.
The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that we’re all without excuse. (Ro 1:20) Instead of debating God’s existence, we should be seeking Him out, so we can find Him and be aligned with Him. (Ac 17:27)
It’s only by God’s own benevolent design in us that we’re even aware of Him, so it only makes sense that He wants us to find Him and be reconciled with Him. (Je 29:13) He wouldn’t make us like we are for any other reason.