Dear Dr. Craig,
I have recently been working through your book, "On Guard
," and had a question concerning the Moral Argument (which I have also heard you use in several of your debates). I have seen it most commonly setup as:
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.
Essentially, I find that although the moral argument has a role in our discussions with atheist and other worldviews, it does not seem to be actual evidence for God's existence, but rather an implication of his existence. An atheist can say that morality (although subjective) has developed from biological and sociological influences evolving into what we now consider to be "right and wrong." Although discussing how we come to know morality says nothing about the ontology of morality, it would seem that the only way a theist can show that an objective moral stand exists is by proving (or providing a greater probability through evidence) that God exists. This is due to the fact that the conversation almost always moves from the ontology of morality to the epistemology of morality. It would seem the only way to clear the air is to determine which worldview is true. My concern may be founded on my own ignorance, but the moral argument would seem to be a one way street in that by showing God to exist, objective morality exists. However, following this line of thought in its reverse proves increasingly difficult without pointing to God, since either side can offer an explanation of how we come to an understanding of morality--which again, says nothing about the subjective or objective nature of morality.
I do find that the moral argument helps to count the cost of either ideology or as you said in your book, "what is at stake." But I do not find that the "cost" should be a reason to accept something as true, since our like or dislike of a truth has no effect on that truth. I guess my point is using objective values to show that God exists and then using God to show that objective values exist would seem to be circular reasoning to me. Can we use the moral argument, as given above, as actual evidence for God's existence and if so, how do we 'prove' or give evidence for objective morality apart from pointing to God?
Click HERE to read Dr. Craig's answer