The Moral Arguments

Athiests like to bring up the problem of evil in the world as a basis for dismissing a transcendent God, but by what basis do they discern good and evil? If you don’t believe in the transcendent then all motives for behavior find a basis in materialistic causes. Morality, like mathematics are not in the materialist worldview. Athiests must “Steal from God” to even discuss moral matters. Morality cannot be seen as subjective as there are absolutes (like torturing babies for fun) that all humans regard as wrong. Societal explanations for morality fall short to explain why we intuitively know what is right.

Objectivity of Morality

1) Morality is Objective only if God exists.
2) Morality is objective.
3) So, God exists.

Now, you might be saying the objective doesn’t equal God but God is the most reasonable explanation. We know there are levels of consciousness and awareness in living beings so it is not unreasonable to infer a consciousness greater than ours. We can rephrase the argument as:

Abductive Version

1) Morality is objective.
2) If morality is objective, God is the best explanation for its being objective.
3) So, God is the best explanation for morality’s being objective.
4) So, probably, God exists.

The Normative Implications of Evil

1) Evil contrastively implies that there is a way the world ought to be.
2) There is a way the world ought to be only if there is intention or goal or design or purpose behind it.
3) So, there is an intention or goal design or purpose behind the world.
4) There is an intention or goal or design or purpose behind the world only if God exists.
5) So, God exists.

● Gregory Ganssle, “Evil as Evidence for Christianity,” in Meister and Dew (eds.), God and Evil (IVP, 2013), ch. 15.

Evil as Privation of the Good

1) Evil is a privation of goodness.
2) If evil is a privation of goodness, goodness is ontologically and explanatorily prior to evil.
3) If goodness is ontologically and explanatorily prior to evil, there is more goodness in the world than evil.
4) If there is more goodness in the world than evil, probably, God exists.
5) So, probably, God exists.

● David Alexander, God, Goodness, and Evil (Bloomsbury, 2012), ch. 5.

Don’t be fooled into believing the below on horrendous evil is wishy-washy, while the premises don’t reach absolute conclusions, sometimes the best explanation is fuzzy. Plantinga and Lewis are proven scholars.

Horrendous Evils

1) Some evils are so horrendous that they seem to have a non-naturalistic dimension to them.
2) If (1), we are justified in thinking they do have a non-naturalistic dimension to them.
3) The best explanation of there being evils so horrendous that they have a non-naturalistic dimension is that good and evil have deep spiritual significance.
4) So, probably, good and evil have deep spiritual significance.
5) If good and evil have deep spiritual significance, then something like theism is probably true.
6) So, something like theism is probably true.

● Alvin Plantinga, “Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments,” in Walls and Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 476-477.
● See also C. S. Lewis, discussed in Baggett and Walls, The Moral Argument (Oxford, 2019), p. 167.

Universal Moral Beliefs

1) Certain moral beliefs are shared by all of humanity.
2) If certain moral beliefs are shared by all of humanity, God is the best explanation of that.
3) So, God is the best explanation of there being certain moral beliefs shared by all of humanity.
4) So, probably, God exists.

● C. S. Lewis, Abolition of Man.

Does acting morally benefit you? Is it rational to assume acting morally is because God wants what’s best for you?

Sidgwick and Kant on Morality

1) Acting morally is always rational only if it’s always what’s ultimately best for me.
2) Acting morally is always what’s ultimately best for me only if God exists.
3) So, acting morally is always rational only if God exists. (1, 2)
4) Acting morally is always rational.
5) So, God exists. (3, 4)

● Gathered from David Baggett and Jerry Walls, Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality (Oxford, 2011), pp. 12-15.

Kantian Argument From Adams

  • 1) If a belief is demoralizing, it is morally undesirable.
    2) If a belief is morally undesirable, there is moral advantage in believing the opposite.
    3) It is demoralizing to believe that there is no moral order in the universe.
    4) So, it is morally undesirable to believe that there is no moral order in the universe.
    5) So, there is moral advantage in believing there is moral order in the universe.
  • 6) Theism is the best explanation of their being moral order in the universe.
    7) If theism is the best explanation of their being moral order in the universe, there is moral advantage in accepting theism.
    8) If there is moral advantage in accepting a position, you should accept that position.
    9) So, you should accept theism.

● Robert Adams, “Moral Arguments for Theistic Belief,” in Adams, The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology (Oxford, 1987), ch. 10.

see also: Who Made The Watch?