I have been arguing for the viability of belief in God. I have argued a cumulative approach to the issue is more beneficial than using any singular argument for the existence of God alone. Instead, as a rope is stronger than the individual strands, the arguments, when used together are strong enough to hold up a large claim, such as God's existence. My last post focused on the complexity of life and its suggestions for an Intelligent Designer. I now turn to the Moral Argument.
Objective Morality, It’s the Law!
Every law we encounter was underwritten by an intelligent lawgiver. When we choose to break the speed limit, we are choosing to ignore the laws placed in effect by our legislation. In the same way, if we break the moral law, we are choosing to ignore the law in effect by a moral legislature.
The existence of objective morality implies the existence of a creator. If there are universal moral laws, they must have been given by a moral lawgiver. The moral argument for the existence of God can be stated as:
Every law has a law giver
There is a Moral Law
Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver
If the two premises of this argument are true than the conclusion necessarily is true as well. However, can we show premise one and two are true?
The first premise is clear. Every law needs a lawgiver. You cannot have legislation without a legislature. Obligations only come from being obliged to someone. I am not obliged to things, only when persons are involved can obligation become real.
We recognize laws in everyday life. Suppose you played a board game with some very quirky rules. You ask a friend, “Who came up with these rules?” To which your friend replied, “No one, they just happened.” Would you accept that as an explanation? No, you would know someone came up with the rules of the game. In the same way, the rules we find in life have been legislated by an intelligence.
But, is there a moral law? To answer premise two we need only search within ourselves to see what is true about morality. Is it really wrong to murder, rape, or lie? Clearly most people in most cultures at most times would agree murder is wrong. There are certain acts we instinctively recognize as wrong (torturing or murdering the innocent or committing rape). Our natural reactions to actions such as rape, incest, murder, or torture indicate they are objectively wrong. Obviously, some things are objectively, morally wrong.
However, we live in a culture trying to deny the existence of universal morals. Often people will claim morality is subjective or relative. However, if you disagree with them they will vehemently oppose your denial of their argument. This is where they make their mistake. When one denies an absolute, they have affirmed another absolute. A denial of the existence of objective morality assumes their opinion is correct. They also assume this opinion has objective value. Where does this value of their opinion come from? Why should we listen to a moral relativist? They are assuming their opinion has value, which only makes sense if a lawgiver has said human beings have value.
Still, some will argue, that we do not have universal morals, because there are differences in morals around the world. I do not agree with this assessment. Sure, it might seem as though some people think abortion (for example) is morally right, and some think it morally wrong, but this does not mean their morality is different. Neither the pro-abortion, nor the pro-life advocate thinks murder is right. Instead they disagree about whether or not there is a human being in the womb. Both sides think it is wrong to murder human beings, but do not agree on what constitutes a human being. If it can be shown the fetus is a human being, then we would have complete agreement. Its not the morals of the situation we disagree about, its the nuances.
Since, there are universal objective moral laws, then there must a moral law giver.
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