Some ask; how is it possible to believe in the existence of an all-powerful Elohim when the world is immersed in so much evil and wickedness? While others believe in Yahweh; but denies him in their actions. The problem is, that if there is no Elohim, there is also no such things as evil or wickedness. After all, the claim that rape or murder are immoral acts is based on the premise that there is objective standard or measure which dictates what is moral and
what isn’t, for us all. The existence of objective, absolute morality is indisputable evidence of the existence of Yahweh. We don’t have to believe in Yahweh in order to do good deeds.
However, the question is not whether we are capable of doing good deeds without believing in Yahweh, but whether we are even able to define what is good or what is moral without Yahweh, do “good and bad” even exist if Yahweh doesn’t exist?
Perhaps the morals by which we abide are merely our own personal subjective views. Just like our personal preference towards vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice creams.
Perhaps morality is merely a human invention which is subject to individual interpretation and nothing more. And if so, how can we rely on such morals? After all, each person has a different opinion regarding what is, moral and what is immoral. Or are there objectives values and morals which never change and are not subject to personal views or preferences? If so, what is the basis of these values? If Yahweh doesn’t exist, objectives and absolute moral values don’t exist. Claiming that objective moral values exist is actually claiming that certain deeds are absolutely bad and other deeds are absolutely good. Meanings “good and bad” are defined independently from the opinions or faith of people.
An example, we cannot claim that the killing of Christians in the northern part of Nigeria was bad or immoral if there’s no external moral truth which objectively and absolutely predestines what is good or bad for us. The Boko-Harams believed that killing the Christians was a positive action which would lead to a better, more moral world. What if the Boko-Harams succeeded in conquering the entire Nigeria, brain washing everyone and killing whoever disagreed with them, so that the entire Nigeria would view things the way they do? Would their truth suddenly be right, merely because all of Nigerian agreed with it?
We are not claiming that one cannot lead moral life without believing in Yahweh. As a matter of fact, many atheists and seculars lead far more moral lives than religiously affiliated people. All you need to do is to get a newspaper and read about all those pastors, reverends, and priests who end up in the court of law, or in prison. It’s not that we are more righteous than anyone else. Our philosophical assertion is that, without Yahweh objective moral values simply do not exist. After all, if there is no objective morality, how can atheists blame pastors for taking bribes, breach of trust, for fraud or for coercion? Or to accuse them: for sexual immoral? Without Yahweh, not only is there is no objective morality, but also no difference between ourselves and the animals. Like them we are nothing more than the result of time and matter in a universe meant for destruction and ruin.
Without Yahweh, acts such as murder or rape may become evolutionarily unfashionable, but that still doesn’t make them objectively “evil” from a naturalistic point of view, aside from the social ramifications, there is actually nothing wrong with raping someone or with a person eating another person alive. Just like an animal preying upon another animal in the wild- survival of the fittest.
But let’s face it, deep down; each and every one of us knows that objective moral values do exist. Some actions are truly evil, while other actions are truly good. We are all deeply touched when we watch a video of someone sacrificing their own needs for some else. And we are all filled with anger when we see the tortured body of a child washed ashore.
Philosopher Michael ruse said, the man who says it is morally accepted to rape little children is just as mistaken, as the man who says 2+2=5.
What makes something right or wrong?
Acts such as rape, murder and abuse are not only socially unacceptable behaviors, but are also morally wrong. And it makes no difference if every person on earth believes them to be good. On the other hand, love, self-sacrifice and equality are moral values, even if every person on earth thinks they are not. Objective morality is independent and is not subject to the interpretation of government or psychologist, who believes one thing today and will believe another tomorrow. Rather, it is derived from a perfect, stable Elohim, who never changes. If there is no higher power which objectively determines what is good and what is evil for us, all we have left are ever- changing opinion and personal views. We have no eternal truth to rely on. Today, cannibalism is considered evil, whereas tomorrow it could be a socially accepted norm.
Does Yahweh command us to do things because they are moral, or are those things moral because it was Yahweh who commanded us to do them? Are certain acts good because Yahweh decides they are, or did Yahweh command them because they are good?
If we go with the first option, that a certain act is good because Yahweh decided it would be so, perhaps in different universe, Yahweh could have decided that hate and terrorism are the moral values, just like the god represented by Isis. Therefore, in such a world, we would be obligated to hate one another. On the other hand, if we go with the second option, that a good deed is good itself, we reach the philosophical conclusion that “good” is independent from Yahweh and that a good and moral act isn’t based in Yahweh, therefore we have no need for Yahweh.
There is a third option, which is presented to us in the bible. That Yahweh himself is good. And therefore, anything he decides, says or does is necessary good, as Elohim’s very natured is the framework and the expression of all that is good, thus, his will expresses and reflects his nature.
As king David said: “oh, taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in him! (PS 34:8).
Yahweh is the biggest, most maximal entity according to his definition. He is loving, merciful, just, impartial, a righteous judge, generous and so forth.
Therefore, he would not determine that rape is moral and good in another world, because that would mean contradicting his very own nature.
FIGHTING YAHWEH’S WAR
Hillel said, do not separate from the community, do not trust yourself till the day you die, do not judge your fellow until you reach his place, do not make a statement which cannot be understood, which will only later be understood, and do not say when I have free time I will learn, lest you do not have free time.
Hillel states the importance of being part of the community. We now move on his equally significant teaching, that we must not trust ourselves till the day we die.
The simple idea behind this is that we can never relax in our service of Yahweh. We have never made it. There is no sitting back enjoying that home coming celebration after triumphing over life’s challenges, for they are still with us. The Talmud writes that everyday a man’s evil inclination gains strength and attempts to overpower him, and would do just that if not for Yahweh’s divine assistance. The fact that we have served Yahweh so admirably yesterday and the day before is no assurance we will do the same today. New challenges always comes our way as well as old ones which have never really been put to rest. We might simply be caught off our guard after so many years of religious service or we might not recognize the new challenges that which comes along, nor will be necessary know how to face them.
It is a known phenomenon that parents in less tradition families are often more wise of the ways of the world and better know how to protect their children from negative influence, whereby strictly religious families just have no idea what hit them. There are drug problems in orthodox world, as well as internet problems (let’s just call them that). Nothing is certain in life. We might have the greatest track record in the world, for many generations back, but sometimes the slightest temptation which catches us off balance might make the entire edifice come tumbling down.
And the challenges are endless. We might become so used to serving Yahweh that it all becomes mechanical and habitual. Our religious practice might become so ingrained that it grows stale. And we will be unable to recognize the new challenges that face us as we grow older. Our evil inclination does not rest. The Talmud states quite frankly that there is only one place in which we can truly leave worry free and secure in our accomplishments.
But there is a far more sinister aspect to this. There is an unfortunate but wholly logical principle in Judaism. Talmud states “one who is greater than his fellow has a powerful evil inclination than he” the greater we are, the greater our challenges will be. And theologically, this makes perfect sense. For free will to be upheld, Yahweh must maintain equilibrium…