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Valley Conference

23rd–25th June 2023

Apologetics Pt 15

Dave Scholes

Dave Scholes

The First Premise of the Moral Argument

  1. If God exists, objective moral values and duties exist

So, last week we looked at the whole argument and defined our terms. So this week we’re focussing in on the first premise of the Moral Argument. Remember, if you agree with the premises in a deductive argument, then you are bound to believe the conclusion. Therefore, we will only attempt to show that the premises of this argument are at least more plausible than their negations or opposites. If we can show that, then someone should believe them.

If you don’t believe in the supernatural, then the natural world is all we have. But how do we get moral values from that (right and wrong)? You can’t figure out what is wrong or what is right for human beings by scientific experiment. And so, if you only believe in the natural world, and rule out anything supernatural, then it is very hard indeed to identify where these values come from. In fact, the only explanation is that they are human constructs, made by us. But that means they are subjective not objective, because, if some person just arbitrarily made them up, why am I forced to go along with them? Or if they evolved into some sort of ‘herd morality’, then under any other conditions, our set of moral values could be entirely different! And so, far from being objective, moral values, apart from God, can only ever be subjective and therefore, why should anyone live their lives trying to follow them?

Now, there is far more that we could talk about here. But one thing I want to make clear is this – some people will hear this argument and say “how dare you! I live a good life without believing in God!” And (humanly speaking), that could well be true! This argument is not trying to show how we come to know moral values and duties (moral epistemology), but rather where did those values originate? (moral ontology).

Basically you have to ask yourself the questions – why does the whole world operate under more or less the same moral code? Where did this moral code come from? Why is it held to be so “sacred”? Why are even atheistscompelled to live good lives?

I put it to you that it’s because objective moral values and duties flow from God’s nature and character and therefore form a part of our existence.

What have I missed? If you have a question about this, I’d love to hear it. If you want to explore something further, please comment and we can do so. What are your thoughts on the argument?

Thanks for reading 🙂

– Dave

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