The question posed by the moderator (see previous post) was:
"How do we enforce a uniform moral code without appealing to theism?"
His question assumes two things:
1. We have a need for a uniform moral code.
2. In order to enforce such a cod, a universal authority is required.
This echoes what we see taking place in the book of Judges. In Judges 17:6 we find:
"In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes."
In ancient cultures, the king was the law. To the point, our nomenclature for our measurement system testifies to this. The "foot" is an English standard unit that is approximately the length of a foot. But the foot was at one time the length of one particular foot: the foot of the ruling monarch. In cultures of antiquity, the king was, by virtue of his authority, the law.
Even in contemporary American culture, we recognize the need for a uniform moral code. Everyone, after all, knows the difference between right and wrong - and most everyone will concede that there is a difference. The Bible echoes this very idea in Romans 2:14,15:
"(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.
Thus we are left in pluralistic American society with the following dilemma: We recognize the need for a uniform moral code, but we have many options for an authority with which to enforce the code. Some options may include:
We can use one or all of these as a basis for our own moral preferences, but someone who determines right and worng strictly by what is harmful to the environment will have a vastly different moral code than one who determines right and wrong according to their favorite party line.
So how can we judge between these moral authorities in an effort to choose the one that's best for us?
Stay tuned for my next post...