As a cabinet and furniture maker I meet with clients. One of the many things that we talk about when agreeing on a design is Color. There are several ways that we look at color in regards to the piece or pieces we are designing. Sometimes the client brings in some fabric they would like to try and match from their couch. Other times we are looking at a color wheel from a local paint store. However the most difficult time is had when the client doesn’t quite know what color they want but they will “know it when they see it”. Some of you are smiling because I am talking about YOU! And you drive people like me crazy! No fault of your own. Everyone does this, just with different things. For some people its shoes. Other people cars etc. Some people do it when they are looking for a house to buy.
Back to color selection. Before I continue to apply a finish to the piece I have built, I provide a color sample to the client for final approval. This accomplishes several goals. First, it gives the client a physical, in hand look at what the piece will look like. Its sheen, texture etc. Most importantly for me, it gives an unchanging standard. Lets say the client wanted a very specific Teal Green Semitransparent stain. Sounds cool I know. I would then deliver a sample of exactly what would be used on their new retro coffee table. The day arrives when I deliver their ultra-sleek three legged table to their home and the client says “That isn’t what I had in mind, its the wrong color green” Aha! “No problem” I say, “Lets look at the sample you approved and see if it matches.” At this point we take out the unchanging standard. The sample they approved. I lay it down on the table and see that it indeed does match.
Friends, oddly enough, people treat Truth and Morality the same way they treat paint colors. Lets say that instead of paint colors we were discussing wether Murder was right or wrong. I will let you be the “good” guy or gal and say that during our discussion you said that Murder was wrong. I replied and said no, Murder is most certainly NOT wrong. You see without a standard outside our selves, like the color sample, how would we be able to know for sure if Murder was in fact wrong?
You may say, well, society says its wrong, I don’t need a God to tell me its wrong. This may seem like a logical point living in America, but what about when the majority says that Murder is right. Nazi Germany declared murdering 6 million Jews was a good thing because it cleaned the human race of an inferior people group. Adolf Hitler obtained his morality from Darwinian Evolution. In their minds, they were merely catalyzing natural selection. Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong killed upwards of 60 million people under the same banner. These acts are universally recognized as being evil, wrong, sickening. Yet by what standard can we call these acts evil?
With no Moral Law Giver, there can be no moral law, for it would just be your opinion against my opinion. We would essentially be arguing over a paint color with no standard to compare it to. Mother Teresa being “Good” and Hitler being “Bad” doesn’t mean a thing without an unchanging standard to differentiate the two.
I will leave you with a quote form C.S. Lewis who summed it up better than I ever could.
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
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In the world of apologetics there are many, many terms which almost seem purposefully difficult to understand the first time one hears them. One of the these is the “Teleological Argument”. This is the argument for the existence of God from the perspective of the apparent master design and fine tuning of the universe. Within this argument there are many examples which over time we will cover. However today I was thinking of my carpenters level. It is useful in a number of ways, but is most commonly used to ensure objects are plumb and level. “Plumb” is a term used for making sure objects are perfectly inline vertically with the force of gravity pulling down upon them. Similarly “level” is applied the same way but to a horizontal surface. Over time, if an object like a wall is not plumb and level, gravity will pull it down. The wall will lean, twist and eventually fall over. This is caused by it being out of balance relative to the force of gravity pulling down upon it. Generally speaking an acceptable tolerance for a framed wall is about 1/32 of an inch over 8 feet.
On a much larger scale the entire universe is in a delicate balance with gravity. Imagine that you are on a giant seesaw and that seesaw is a giant level that stretches the entire length of the Universe. The fulcrum on which the level balances is gravity itself. This I admit is more or less impossible to comprehend so let me give you a glimpse into just how big the Universe is. Place yourself into the space shuttle, which travels at a speed of 15,000 MPH. If you began to travel to the nearest star to our solar system the year Jesus was born, today you will still have another 200,000 years to go. The average distance between stars is 30 Trillion miles. The number of stars estimated in the Universe is equal to all the grains of sand on all the beaches on the Earth. To put this in to perspective one cubic yard of sand has over 42 billions grains of sand. So to put it comedically light, that has to be one big level to stretch from one end to the other! But now down to brass tax. (What ever that means) If you were to move gravity one inch to the right or the left on this imaginary balancing act, everything we know would cease to exist and collapse in upon itself. This is the level, pun intended, of precision to which the balance and roll of gravity has upon the universe.
One is faced with the notion that by all logical conclusions such a balance could only have been begun by the unmoved mover. The creator of said cosmos. God. Of course we have the free will to choose to believe that this has happened by accident. However if I relied upon mere chance to obtain accurate results when building someones house, I would have some very upset clients and a house that would immediately fall apart.
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No matter the specific trade in the world of wood working, all use the square. It is as essential and often more essential than the tape measure. If one's square is not true, bad things happen. Lets use the square in the picture above as an example. This is a typical framing square and is used for a myriad of jobs. One of these jobs is laying out stair stringers. These are the boards that get notched out and hold your stair treads. Yes the boards that you actually walk on to climb stairs. At the base of this stringer where it meets the floor you have a cut called a "level cut". This cut has to be a very specific angle which after some fairly basic math should match up with how many treads one needs, as well as meeting the next level or floor precisely. If this cut is off by even a fraction of a degree each stair tread will begin to compound the wrong angle, until the top few stair treads are a legitimate danger to those who use them. Lets say that the bottom angle is 1/32 of an inch out of level. Doesn't sound like much. This is .0312 inches. Because one generally lays out the position and angle of the treads based on the one previous to it, this amount would compound. The top tread on a stair case of ten stairs would be nearly 3/8" out of level. You would feel as if you are either leaning heavily backward, or you would trip on the front lip as you tried to climb it. I am sure you can think of a time when you were climbing a set of stairs and there was that one stair that always made you trip.
You see the framing square is a standard. It must be accurate in its construction to be relied upon. We can test it to see if it is indeed square, and then trust it by which to do true work. We also trust our minds to do true and accurate work. We use the laws of logic with our minds to weigh wether or not something is true or false. Yet the Atheist has a problem. You see the Atheist believes that we are nothing more than molecules which over time became living breathing things, and then eventually humans. Yes thats right, our brains are a result of a mindless unguided physical process, yet they trust their brains to reason logically.
Let us apply this same reasoning to our simple carpenter's square. First we must get beyond the obvious ridiculous notion that such a tool could be obtained from a random unguided process of chemical chaos. If you were to hand a carpenter a framing square such as the one above and tell him that it was the result of no design, no care to its precision or construction, a product of random cause and effect events, he would have no reason to trust it. He would have an impossible time building a house that wouldn't fall down.
Such is the belief of those that proclaim "There is no God".
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