After a recent class in Business Law a student came up to me and asked if I believed in things I couldn’t sense.
I said, “Yes, I do.”
He responded, “Well, I don’t. I only believe what I can sense with my 5 senses.”
I said; “Really. So, you only believe in things in the world you can see, hear, smell, taste or touch? Do you believe in darkness? There is no such thing as darkness. You can’t sense it in anyway. Darkness is the absence of light, but it does not really exist by itself, only when you have light. How about the wind? Do you believe in the wind? The wind itself cannot be seen; only its effect as it blows. Do you believe in cold? Cold is the absence of heat. It can only be defined by the presence of heat. At absolute zero, as cold as you can get, matter disappears. How about good and evil? Neither one can be measured or sensed, but we know it when we see it. How do we know?
He said, “Yes, I believe in those. Mr. Liebert, you are really frustrating me.”
So, I said, “OK, so now let me put the pieces together. So you do believe in many things you can’t sense. Darkness and cold are descriptions of opposites of things we can measure. We observe the effect of wind and we can measure it, but we don’t actually see it. Evil is the absence of good, but where does good come from?
A person is a professional thief and earns his wealth by stealing from others. Now, you steal his wallet. How does he react? ‘Hey, what’s wrong with you? You stole my wallet! That’s not right.’ What? You steal for a living, but if I steal from you it’s wrong? Why is my stealing wrong and yours okay?
Your child has done something wrong. You confront them. They immediately look guilty but lie to escape punishment. The Family Circus cartoon depicts this behavior with the semi-invisible character “Not Me.” If you deal with children at all you know all about “Not Me.” You’ve met him many times. Therefore, if you accept the concept of evil, you must also accept the concept of justice. Bad behavior deserves punishment.
As a materialist do you really believe your behavior is only the response of chemistry and electricity in your brain? The Bible teaches every person has a built-in conscience that knows right from wrong and brings guilt when violated. Good and evil is another immaterial concept that you know and accept.”
He went away shaking his head.
LESSON: Even the staunchest materialist has to accept many immaterial things that can be defined but not sensed or measured. Tell them THAT and watch their reactions. Read Romans Chapters 1-3 and see how TRUTH always triumphs. They must suppress it.
Adapted from ANSWERS For “The Hope That Is In You” pages 12-14, available at http://yourchristiananswers.com