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Can Murder be Wrong if there is no God?

Updated on February 7, 2013

Defining the Question

We are not exploring the legality of murder, for that is an arbitrary decision of a given government, whether local or national. The laws of man are not in question here, for man can decide to make anything legal or illegal with enough votes or enough guns. The laws of man therefor, in the grand scheme of things, do not weigh on the question at hand. And, that question is this:

Can murder be considered inherently WRONG if there is no God nor His revealed truth in the Bible? And, if so, by what authority is it considered, not merely unlawful, but inheretly wrong?

Narrowing the Focus

If the Bible were deemed, falsely so, to be unreliable and therefor not to be used as a gauge for human action and interaction, would murder still be considered inherently wrong? Let us suppose that "Thou shall not commit murder" was removed from our collective vocabulary. And, that the Bible itself, as the inerrant word of God, disappeared tomorrow. That all references to this commandment and the Bible itself were gone. Assume that all the "religious" words against murder, by any god or gods, were instantaneously removed from our bookshelves and collective memory. Would there be, outside of arbitrary laws made at the whim of man, any reason to assume murder is wrong?

Now, we are not concerned with whether it is "nice" to do from the perspective of the one being murdered or even their families. We are only concerning ourselves with the ability to still call murder inherently WRONG. Does the wrongness transcend the man-made laws that are passed by a vote. For, if they are only laws because of a vote, then they can also pass out of law by a similar vote. If it is not wrong and only unlawful, then what keeps a society or government from making it legal. Why not institute a survival of the fittest, Darwinian law that states "Do unto others as you see fit" and "If you can take it by whatever means necessary, then do so"? This cannot be answered with a generic "I don't FEEL it's OK to do that.", as feelings are neither the proper foundation for truth or a universal qualifier...someone else may FEEL that it is OK. Universally wrong indicates that it is wrong regardless of how anyone (or everyone) feels about it.

The Conclusion and the Ramifications

It is clear that without a transcendent God and His revealed word, there is no basis to assume the inherent wrongness of murder. If we are left to our own devices and stripped of a transcendent law that supersedes our own, we are free to justify anything simply by passing a law of man. Atheistic neo-Darwinism has justified the killing of millions of people around the world. Stalin, Hitler and their kind were bent on the destruction of entire peoples because they were playing God. Whether through the law or the gun, man can decide who owns what, who has freedom and even who survives. If the law of God is not held in highest esteem and taken as the basis for all of man's laws, them what stops us from this path again?

Now, to those that will argue that Christianity has been responsible for many death, as in the dark ages, I give you this. Those that killed in the name of Christ, killing those that would not convert, were and are in direct conflict with what Christ taught and the reason He came. On the other hand, those that kill under the Atheistic neo-Darwinism banner (under any name) are fulfilling the mindset of survival of the fittest. This is the natural outcome of this world view. And, if this world view is right, which I reject, then we are free to take what we want, when we want it. This would include life itself...assuming we had the votes or the guns to secure the "law".

What are your thoughts?

Is Murder Inherently Wrong or Just Illegal?

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