Everyone lives as if objective moral values exist even if they don’t believe they do. In our postmodern world, people want to say things like “That may be good for you, but it’s not my kind of thing,” or “I personally would never get an abortion, but who am I to tell someone else they can’t?” These suggest subjective moral values. You do you and I’ll do me. This is fine when talking about preference of food, clothing, or movies. But when we begin talking about issues of life, safety, and equality, it doesn’t work. When someone is assaulted, they cry out for help and justice proclaiming what the assaulter did is morally wrong. But if objective moral values do not exist, then who is to say what he did is really wrong?
If objective moral values do exist, then we must ask ourselves where they come from. They can’t come from people whether it’s government or culture because they are constantly changing. Our own nation of America has existed less than 400 years. In that time, a constitution was created and has been amended multiple times. Governments are overthrown all over the world through rebellions and coups. Therefore, there must be an objective standard from which objective moral values can come from. The best explanation would be God.
I have been sharing arguments for the existence of God from Dr. William Lane Craig’s Christian Apologetic ministry Reasonable Faith. This week’s is the Moral Argument.
The Moral Argument can be formulated as such:
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. (Reasonable Faith, 172).
We can know objective moral values exist because of our own experiences and responses. If someone assaults us, we don’t act like it is all right because he is living by his own subjective moral standards. We don’t even act like he broke our own personal subjective moral standards. We objectively proclaim what he did as wrong and unjust.
A common objection to this argument is that one must believe in God to act morally good, but many atheists do good things such as donating money to the poor. This is not at all what the argument states. It simply states that objective moral values exist and they come from God. One does not have to believe in Him to act morally good. God is the objective standard by which moral actions are judged.
If God does not exist, then there are no objective moral values. This would mean that no one can tell us what is wrong or what not to do. Yet, we live in such a society with laws and rules that do just that very thing. We live and act as if objective moral values do exist. Therefore, we can know that objective moral values do exist through our experience and that God exists.