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The Moral Argument 1. Every law has a law giver. There is a Moral Law. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver. 2.

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Presentation on theme: "The Moral Argument 1. Every law has a law giver. There is a Moral Law. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver. 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Moral Argument 1

2 Every law has a law giver. There is a Moral Law. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver. 2

3 Romans 2:14-15: “When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness.”

4 Our Reactions Help Us Discover the Moral Law An ethics professor in India assigned a term paper to his students. He told them to write on any topic they desired to write about. Each student had to support his or her thesis with reasons and documentation. 4

5 One Student Argued: “All morals are relative; there is no absolute standard of justice or rightness; it’s all a matter of opinion; you like chocolate, I like vanilla.” The student submitted the paper in the proper length by the due date. He even placed it in a stylish blue folder. 5

6 The Professor Graded the Paper and Wrote: “F, I don’t like blue folders!” 6

7 The Student was Enraged: “F! I don’t like blue folders!’ That’s not fair! That’s not right! That’s not just! You did not grade the paper on its merits!” 7

8 The Dialog: The Professor: “Wasn’t your paper the one that said that there was no such thing as fairness, rightness, and justice? It’s all a matter of taste?” The Student: “Yes.” The Professor: “Fine, then. I don’t like blue. You get an F!” 8

9 We Couldn’t Identify Justice or Injustice “[As an atheist] my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?… 9

10 …A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 45. 10

11 Did Evolution Produce Morality? “Underlying the extensive cross-cultural variation we observe in our expressed social norms is a universal moral grammar that enables each child to grow a narrow range of possible moral systems.”—Marc D. Hauser, Moral Minds: The Nature of Right and Wrong, 419-420.

12 Did Evolution Produce Morality? “The central idea of this book is simple: we evolved a moral instinct, a capacity that naturally grows within each child, designed to generate rapid judgments about what is morally right or wrong based on an unconscious grammar of action.”—Marc D. Hauser, Moral Minds, xvii.

13 Did Evolution Produce Morality? This view fails to consider the possibility that there is an absolute objective moral standard that humans have “discovered” through biological means. Evolutionists hold that ears and eyes have evolved. Does the fact that humans possess eyes and ears disprove the reality of sights and sounds in the external world? 13

14 Did Evolution Produce Morality? Sociobiologists note: “Some animals display a system of morality that resembles human behavior. Therefore, morality is only a biological trait that humans have inherited from lower animals.” Our belief in a moral law is false, because this belief in a moral law has been placed in us through socio- biological evolution.

15 Did Evolution Produce Morality? This is a prime example of the genetic fallacy, which is the attempt to falsify a belief by explaining how that belief originated. A belief could be true regardless of how it came to be held. Evolution could have merely been the means by which humans became aware of the moral law.

16 American Coots Can Count “To most people, coots are noisy, quarrelsome water birds that do a lot of splashing about. But it turns out they are also closet cuckoos. Not only that, they can count….

17 American Coots Can Count “…The discovery was made by Bruce Lyon, a biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His study of an American coot colony in British Columbia, Canada, is the first to show that birds can keep a reckoning of the eggs they lay. It also highlights an extremely rare example of counting by a wild animal.”—James Owen for National Geographic News, “Coot Birds Can Count, Study Shows,” April 2, 2003, is available online at: 0402_030402_coots.html. 0402_030402_coots.html

18 Did Evolution Produce Morality? Mathematical laws exist independently of these birds’ counting behavior. “The scientific theories that prove to be the most effective descriptions of the physical world are invariably mathematical. It is an interesting question, although not one that concerns us here, as to why this should be the case.”— John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 408. Therefore, an objective moral law could still exist even though some animals manifest moral behavior.


20 Did Evolution Produce Morality? Is the difference between Hitler and Mother Teresa their genetic makeup? Or: Is the difference between Hitler and a morally good person their environment? Or: Is the difference between Hitler and a morally good person their genetic makeup combined with environmental factors? 20

21 Did Evolution Produce Morality? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then how could one praise a morally good person or how could Hitler truly be guilty and worthy of punishment? After all, their morality is only the product of their genetic makeup and the environment they developed in. 21

22 Did Evolution Produce Morality? “Nothing in our genome codes for whether infanticide, incest, euthanasia, or cooperation are permissible, and if permissible, with which individuals.”—Marc D. Hauser, Moral Minds, 420.


24 The Atheist Michael Ruse Says: “The man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says, 2+2 = 5.”—Michael Ruse, Darwinism Defended, 275. What makes raping little children morally unacceptable in the atheist worldview?

25 Wrapping Up the Moral Argument: The Moral Law exists. We know this from our reactions when we are treated unfairly. It allows us to identify justice and injustice. The Moral Law is invisible. The Moral Law is immaterial. 25

26 Summing Up 26

27 What is the Cause Like?  Supernatural  Timeless (Eternal)  Immaterial  Since the Cause created nature, time, space, and matter, the Cause must be outside of time, space, and matter. 27

28 The Cause is Intelligent:  It “fine-tuned” so many aspects of the universe.  It gave humans a good view of the universe. 28

29 The Cause is Moral It accounts for an objective moral standard. This standard is: Invisible Immaterial If one thing immaterial and invisible exists, then we should be open to the possibility of an invisible and immaterial God’s existence.

30 Q&A

31 The Euthyphro Dilemma “Either something is good because God wills it or else God wills something because it is good. If it is good because God wills it, then what is good becomes arbitrary. If we say instead that God wills something because it is good, then whether something is good or bad is independent of God, which refutes the idea that atheism cannot legitimately call something good or bad.”

32 Dr. William Lane Craig Responds: Since our moral duties are grounded in the divine commands, they are not independent of God. Neither are God’s commands arbitrary, for they are the necessary expression of his just and loving nature. God, by definition, is the greatest conceivable being, and a being which is the paradigm of goodness is greater than one which merely exemplifies goodness. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith. Third Edition., 181-182.

33 Atheistic Moral Platonism? Suppose that values like Mercy, Justice, and Love just simply exist. How does that result in any moral obligations for us? Why would we have a moral duty to be merciful? Why are we obligated to align our lives with these values instead of Greed, Hatred, and Selfishness?

34 Atheistic Moral Platonism? It is fantastically improbable that just that sort of creature would emerge from the blind evolutionary process that corresponds to the existing realm of moral values. This seems to be an utterly incredible coincidence when one thinks about it.—William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, 179

35 What about Sociopaths? There is a difference between guilty knowledge and guilty feelings. Precisely because they have guilty knowledge, wrongdoers who lack guilty feelings show other telltales, such as depression, a sense of defect, a compulsion to rationalize, or a puzzling desire to be caught.”[1] [1] What We Can’t Not Know, 118.[1] 35

36 What about Sociopaths? “It is an interesting an important fact that most of the diverse criminal types suggested here do tend to justify their conduct one way or another, at least to themselves.”—David T. Lykken, The Antisocial Personality, 28 36

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