The bible attests to the fact that many discover God through ‘the things that have been made’ (Rom 1). The universe shows evidence of many processes that are ordered towards things of great complexity and beauty. This order and goodness encourages belief in a God who created them. Around the world today and throughout history it is a near universal fact that people acknowledge a higher power that influences the events and movements of life. For monotheists such as Jews, Christians and Muslims, this reality is God. Furthermore, many people who claim to be atheists, rejecting belief in God, do, in fact, believe in an alternative ‘first cause’. Either they claim that the universe is its own cause or that the universe is generated by some automatic or random process from a larger, invisible reality, such as a multiverse. In other words, many atheists propose an impersonal substitute for God rather than simply rejecting the existence of God outright.
A person’s stance regarding the existence of God may have a moral aspect. It is true, of course, that many people who believe in God still to do evil, and some people commit terrible evil in the name of God. Nevertheless, to deny God’s existence entirely changes the framework of morality. If there is no divine lawmaker to fear or heavenly Father to love, there is also no higher judge than oneself or the state for how one should treat one’s fellow human beings. As a practical consequence, as Dostoevsky and others have pointed out, everything is permitted. While such a world might seem attractive to some, those states governed by atheist ideologies in the twentieth century, which killed some one hundred million people, show the risks consequent upon such thinking. For Christians all things have a meaning including human actions. Our consciences are not merely feelings which bear no relation to truth and are no mere form of physical conditioning, but rather indicate behaviours that are innately right or wrong. General universal concepts of basic moral norms which are stable across history point to a moral code which is written in our human nature and the world.