Furthermore, in spite of “thou shalt not commit murder” being written indelibly in every conscience, man finds reasons to kill and even to torture his fellows. These rationalizations include supposedly justifiable wars, ethnic hatred, and religious fanaticism. Man has his devious explanations by which he can justify almost any evil. He is a rational being, even accusing others of being irrational, the worst insult one can level at another. But big bangs and the resulting chance motions of atoms do not produce rationality.
Reason is not a quality of matter but an ability of persons. Consequently, a person must consist of something more than the material of the body. Nor can a physical universe explain the existence of personal beings with the ability to reason about their origin. That could come about only through an infinite Being having created them in His image and likeness so that they could know and love Him and one another and receive His and others’ love. That we recognize a love that puts others ahead of oneself as the highest experience—and that the expression of human love involves not just the physical pleasure of an animal body, but something so far beyond it that it can only be described as spiritual—is further proof of man’s origin at the hand of God and that man is more than the physical composition of his body.
The very fact that we have a conscience apart from culture and an innate sense of justice that does not derive from man’s laws but even complains about their injustices, can only be explained in one way: our spirits living in these bodies were created in the spiritual image of the God who is perfect in justice, holiness, love, truth, and those other nonphysical attributes that only God could possess in flawless fullness. This innate realization is like an echo from a distant and lost paradise of perfection that we know must exist though we’ve never experienced it. And whenever these moments of insight are honestly faced, we feel a haunting emptiness that seems to be saying that we were created for an excellence somehow lost to our race.