Moral Arguments from Conscience
1) Guilt, shame, responsibility, etc. are only appropriately felt in relation to other moral agents.
2) But sometimes we appropriately feel guilt, shame, responsibility, etc. for a deed done in secret (that harm no others).
3) Guilt, shame, responsibility, etc. for deeds done in secret are appropriately felt only if there’s another moral agent that’s privy to deeds done in secret. (1)
4) So, there’s another moral agent privy to deeds done in secret. (2, 3)
5) If there’s another moral agent privy to deeds done in secret, it’s God.
6) So, God exists.
● John Henry Newman, A Grammar of Assent (1870), ch. 5.
● My own reconstruction based on discussion of Newman in Mackie, The Miracle of Theism (Oxford, 1982), pp. 103-106 and Oppy, Arguing About Gods (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 369ﬀ.
see also: The Moral Arguments
The Intrinsic Harmfulness of Wrongdoing (Moral Arguments)
1) Wrongdoing is intrinsically harmful to the wrongdoer.
2) Wrongdoing is intrinsically harmful to the wrongdoer only if that harm is punishment from a God-like being.
3) So, there is a God-like being.
● Clement Dore, Theism (D. Reidel, 1984), ch. 4.
Moral Knowledge (Moral Arguments)
1) We have moral knowledge.
2) If naturalism is true, then we very probably don’t have moral knowledge.
3) If theism is true, we very probably do have moral knowledge.
4) So, our having moral knowledge is strong evidence for theism and against naturalism.
● Mark Linville, “The Moral Argument,” in Craig and Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (Blackwell, 2009), ch. 7.
● Angus Menuge, “Why Humans Rights Cannot be Naturalized: The Contingency Problem,” in Menuge (ed.), Legitimizing Human Rights (Ashgate, 2013), ch. 3.
The Apprehension of Objective Norms (Moral Arguments)
1) We have the capacity to apprehend objective moral norms.
2) The best explanation for (1) is that is that our cognitive faculties are intended to apprehend objective moral norms.
3) So, probably, our cognitive faculties are intended to apprehend objective moral norms.
4) Theism is the best explanation of our having cognitive faculties intended to apprehend objective moral norms.
5) So, probably, theism is true.
● Angus Ritchie, From Morality to Metaphysics (Oxford, 2012).
Schloss on Moral Knowledge and Altruism
1) Genuine altruism exists and is rational.
2) If naturalism is true, genuine altruism does not exist and is irrational.
3) So, naturalism is false.
4) If theism is true, genuine altruism probably does exist and is rational.
5) So, the existence and rationality of genuine altruism is strongly conﬁrms theism.
● Jeﬀrey Schloss, “Evolutionary Accounts of Altruism and the Problem of Goodness by Design,” in Dembski (ed.), Mere Creation
(IVP, 1998), ch. 10.
● Colin Grant, Altruism and Christian Ethics (Cambridge, 2001).
More Altruism from Pruss
1) Moral altruism is irreducibly normative.
2) There can be no naturalistic explanation for moral altruism is irreducibly normative.
3) So, there can be no naturalistic explanation for moral altruism.
4) If there are good theistic explanations for moral altruism, then moral altruism is evidence for theism.
5) So, moral altruism is evidence for theism.
● Alexander Pruss, “Altruism, Normalcy, and God,” in Nowack and Coakley (eds.), Evolution, Games, and God (Harvard, 2013).