My daughter, nearing 3-years-old, has entered the stage where she’s beginning to take the moral instructions I’ve given her (e.g., rules about how we are to behave) and to apply them to me, in ways that seem to make sense to her… but don’t actually make sense.
I’ll make up an example. Say I tell her, “You need to eat all your vegetables.” Now whether or not she always follows it, she’s absorbed that “moral code.” So let’s say she sees me discarding a rotten carrot from my plate. She objects, “No, daddy! You have to eat all your vegetables!”
It’s cute. She’s not trying to be defiant. Her inherent sense of moral order is showing. In fact, she’s using my own moral code that I myself gave her to instruct me on moral order.
Now, in this case she’s wrong. And I can tell her, “No, we don’t eat rotten vegetables.” But she nonetheless insists in demanding of me adherence to this “moral order” that she’s been taught, forgetting all the while that I’m the one who taught it to her in the first place and so probably knows otherwise. She borrows from my own moral code in order to critique my moral code.
It got me thinking: Isn’t this so much like the objections we make to the supposed immorality of God? We critique God for (as far as we see it) acting unjustly or immorally. “That was wrong of God! I don’t want to worship a God who does that!” All the while, where did we even get this standard of morality to begin with? We have to first believe in a God of morality to even begin critiquing the morality of God. It’s self-defeating.
We can attempt to critique the morality of God. But from where do we get such morality? Who are we to say what is right and wrong? Where do we get the authority to say, “He is wrong”? By what standard? Our own? And from where have we learned such things except from him?