What is the origin of the moral law written on each of our hearts? This question presupposes that you and I have identical codes of conduct embedded deep in our subconscious minds; we can try to suppress or ignore this code but it is there nonetheless. This deeply embedded code of conduct is the little voice inside which, for example, tells you not to:
If you question the existence of this code of conduct or "moral law," try to locate a stable society, anywhere in recorded history, which espoused the three items listed above. The origin of the moral law cannot be determined with certainty; but, once again, the evidence points strongly in a particular direction. Three origins have been suggested:
Which of these explanations is consistent with the facts?
Consider, for a moment, the following groups of people in our society; assume these people are institutionalized with no means of support beyond public charity:
Preserving the lives of these individuals causes a drain on the resources of society and in no way enhances the survivability of the human race. Would you like to have them killed? If a little voice inside you is saying, "These people need love and compassion," that voice does not have biological evolution as its origin. Mutation, genetic drift, migration and natural selection cannot justify giving "kindness" priority over personal well being.
Collective human experience has clearly recognized that certain restrictions on social behavior result in a more pleasant society for all; the existence of civil and criminal law reflects this recognition. However, in your daily life, cheating would often be more pleasurable than truthfulness. On those occasions when you know you won't be caught, do you really refrain from cheating because you know, in the long run, society will be a better place because of your decision? If so, you are an unusual person. Cultures which use the "good of society" as a basis for morality are typically rife with crookedness.
If confronted with opportunities to:
Would what's "good for society" be an important consideration when making a decision? Is your innermost, secret character based on learned social behavior about what's "good for society?" There is no evidence to support such a premise.
This leaves God as the most likely source of that little voice telling you right from wrong. (7)