Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How Objective Morality and Duties point to the existence of God

Romans 2:14-15 "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law doinstinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them."

When it comes to describing our universe and world in which we live - two general features can be noted. First, we live in a physical world/universe. All the relevant laws discovered by science and the mathematical equations indicate that there is indeed a physical world outside of ourselves. Furthermore, this physical universe/world is one with which we can interract, gather information and interpret with incredible precision. Almost no one disputes this first feature of our world. 

The second feature of our universe/world is that it has objective moral laws and duties - i.e a moral universe. Philosophers and much of contemporary culture will debate whether or not there are such things as objective moral laws and duties undergirding all of reality. In C.S Lewis' book: "Mere Christianity", we note the following observation about the undeniability of objective moral laws - or what Lewis calls "The Law of Nature":

"These then are the two points I want to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in."

Lewis' point of what we "ought" to do drives to the heart of what we are talking about when it comes to objective moral values. Whether human beings like it or not - there are unalterable ethical principles that are true across all cultures; cutting across ethnic, geographical and language barriers. 

Illustrating why no-one can avoid the reality of objective moral values and standards of right and wrong
Whenever a typical so-called "post-modern" professor or college student balks at the idea of such objective standards - a simple test can be administered to prove that objective moral standards do exist. For the student, have the professor mark an "F" on all of their tests and assignments no matter the quality or effort they may had invested. Immediately the student will cry "foul" and say "that's not fair". The idea of "fairness" and "justness" is covered under the moral lawcode of the ten commandments and is innately resident in all human hearts. In like manner, watch what happens when the professor who insists on no such thing as objective morality discover the unpleasant experience of being "unsalaried" (a nice way of saying "fired"). They will lodge a complaint to the university administration for "unfair" treatment. 

C.S Lewis in his book "Mere Christianity" echoes what we noted in the above illustrations with this thought: "But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining 'It's not fair'.

What objective moral values have to do with God's existence
The above short discussion served to show the absurdity of denying objective moral values. To say for instance that there is such a thing as a "evil act" assumes there to be an "Ultimate Good". So then, what is that "Ultimate Good"? Objective morality by its nature carries with it the fact that the values themselves are ones that we "ought" to do. This idea of "oughtness" implies a will or the ability to make a choice. To put it another way - the objective standards of right and wrong are not arbitrary - but are intentional. Hence, the Absolute Standard of Good cannot be just merely an abstract principle of morality - but an absolute Intelligence. Moreover, the concept of duty to these values means that you and I have a responsibility to exercise justice, fairness and to ensure that children do not get hurt nor thieves get away with stealing. 

The Absolute Standard of Good is One to Whom all human beings are accountable. Hence, there is only One Person who can fit the criteria: God. 
Philosopher and Theologian Dr. William Lane Craig has crafted a sound and valid moral argument for the existence of God that aids in bringing together all we have discussed in today's post:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist

2. Objective moral values and duties do exist

3. Therefore, God exists.

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