Despite fierce debates within the field, evolutionary theorists all agree that our capacity to believe in God is hardwired into the physiology because it was directly or indirectly associated with trials that helped our ancestors adapt to their environment. That’s why arguments for God appeal to so many of us. That’s all there is to it. The clues are clues to nothing.
However, there are many who believe not only that the clue-killer argument has a final contradiction in it, but that it actually points to another clue for God.
Evolutionists say that if God makes sense to us, it is not because he is really there, it’s only because that belief helped us survive and so we are hardwired for it. However, if we can’t trust our belief forming faculties to tell us the truth about God, why should we trust them to tell us the truth about anything, including evolutionary science? If our cognitive faculties only tell us what we need to survive, not what is true, why trust them about anything at all?
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008
[Law professor Michael J.] Perry’s new book, Toward a Theory of Human Rights, is very significant. Perry concludes that though it is clear “there is a religious ground for the morality of human rights…It is far from clear that there is a non-religious ground, a secular ground, for human rights. Perry lays out Nietzsche’s well-known insistence that, if God is dead, any and all morality of love and human rights is baseless. If there is no God, argues Nietzsche, Sartre and others, there can be no good reason to be kind, to be loving, or to work for peace. Perry quotes Philippa Foot who says that secular thinkers accepted the idea that there is no God and no given meaning to human life, but have not “really joined the battle with Nietzsche about morality. By and large we have just gone on taking moral judgments for granted as if nothing had happened.” Why do we keep on doing this.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Reason, copyright 2008, page 152-153
Doesn’t the unfulfillable longing evoked by beauty qualify as an innate desire? We have a longing for joy, love and beauty that no amount or quality of food, sex, friendship or success can satisfy. We want something that nothing in this world can fulfill. Isn’t that at least a clue that this “something” that we want exists? This unfulfillable longing, then qualifies as a deep innate human desire, and that makes it a major clue that God is there.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 135
It is common to hear people say, “No one should impose there moral views on others, because everyone has the right to find truth inside him or herself.” This belief leaves the speaker open to a series of very uncomfortable questions. Aren’t there people in the world who are doing things you believe are wrong – things that they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior? If you do (and everyone does!), doesn’t that mean you do believe that there is some kind of moral standard that people should abide by regardless of their individual convictions? This raises a question. Why is it important (in practice) for anyone to be a consistent moral relativist even when they claim that they are? The answer is that we all have a pervasive, powerful and unavoidable belief not only in moral values but also in moral obligation.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 146
Christianity not only leads its members to believe people of other faiths have goodness and wisdom to offer, it also leads them to expect that many will live lives morally superior to their own. Most people in our culture believe that, if there is a God, we can relate to him and go to heaven through leading a good life. let’s call this the “moral improvement” view. Christianity teaches the very opposite. In the Christian understanding, Jesus does not tell us how to live so we can merit salvation. Rather, he comes to forgive and save us through his life and death in our place. God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior.
Christians, then, should expect to find nonbelievers who are much nicer, kinder, wiser and better than they are. Why? Christian believers are not accepted by God because of their moral performance, wisdom or virtue but because of Christ’s work on their behalf. Most religious and philosophers of life assume that one’s spiritual status depends on your religious attainments. This naturally leads adherents to feel superior to those who don’t believe and behave as they do. The Christian gospel, in any case should not have that effect.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 19
We cannot skip lightly over the fact that there have been injustices done by the church in the name of Christ, yet who can deny that the force of Christians most fundamental beliefs can be a powerful impetus for peace-making in our troubled world?
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 21
The Communists, Russian, Chinese and Cambodian regimes of the twentieth century rejected all organized religion and belief in God. A forerunner of all these was the French Revolution, which rejected traditional religion for human reasons. These societies were all rational and secular, yet each produced massive violence against its own people without the influence of religion. Why? Alister McGrath points out that when the idea of God is gone, a society will “transcendentize” something else, some other concept, in order to appear morally and spiritually superior. The Marxists made the State into such a absolute, while the Nazis did it to race and blood. Even the ideals of liberty and equality can be used in this way in order to do violence to opponents. In 1793, when Madame Roland went to the guillotine on trumped-up charges, she bowed to the statue personifying liberty in the Place de la Revolution and said “Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name?”
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008
If you have a God great and transcendent enough to be mad at because he hasn’t stopped evil and suffering in the world, then you have (at the same moment) a God great and transcendent enough to have good reasons for allowing it to continue that you can’t know.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 25
The promises of Scripture may very roughly be reduced to five heads. It is promised (1) that we shall be with Christ; (2) that we shall be like Him; (3) with an enormous wealth of imagery, that we shall have “glory”; (4) that we shall, in some sense, be fed or feasted or entertained; and (5) that we shall have some sort of official position in the universe – ruling cities, judging angels, being pillars of God’s temple. The first question I ask about these promises is “Why any one of them except the first?”
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, copyright 1949, 1976, page 34
There is no moral basis for moral obligation unless we argue that nature is in some part unnatural. We can’t know that nature is broken in some way unless there is some supernatural standard of normalcy apart from nature by which we can judge right and wrong. That means there would have to be a heaven or God or some kind of divine order outside of nature in order to make that judgment.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 157-158