Having begun Ronald Dworkin’s, Justice for Hedgehogs, I noticed that he treats the view of God and morality in a shallow manner of a school boy approaching the ten commandments for the first time. Morality is set but God from on high as some form of arbitrary rules that are obeyed in grudging faith. Yet, how far this is from the truth of morality for the Christian. Indeed, the infant Christian is trained on obeying the rules of God so he can be trained into the right way of experiencing morality and the way of God because these things are not quickly perceived through the desires of the flesh and delights of this life. After the initial period of training, the obedient student comes to know the way of the Lord and even quickly moves through the desire of reward for doing what God wants and even beyond doing it because God wants. He comes to know the ways of God initially expressed in the rules as being the true ways of man and hence the meaning of being in the image and likeness of God. He does these things because he loves them and experiences the true rightness of these things and even transcends the rules to know the essence of the matter in his relationships with others. Thus, he even at times infringes the letter of the rules because rules are not capable of legislating for every nuance of life, even though we require them as infants to train us on the right path; one cannot gain knowledge of the truth of morality without passing through the path of obedience and those that are mature must never lesson the fear of God for beginners to obey least they deprive them of the truth to be gained.

Christianity and belief in God does not ground morality in rules that God, seemingly for arbitrary torture, gives to man but understands that morality is blueprint that free and responsible persons require to relate well to others in free consent. Freedom means that morality is not something hardwired into humanity but rather it comes in the form of rules and intuitions that may be moulded and shaped by cultural and even distorted but it is nevertheless something that requires the free consent of man. Thus, a man denying the existence of God can still be moral and have good morality. Christianity neither denies this nor that morality can be understood without God. However, Christians recognise that man is not able to fully live as morality would have him and that the full fruits of morality cannot be realised in this life terminated by mortality. Christianity gives the moral man hope and reward not in pleasing God but in being able to continue to love all more deeply and perfectly with the full capacity of true moral relationships in their depth, length, width and time.


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