As an apologist, the primary question we are answering is simple: does God exist.
Some will argue that God does not exist because existence implies creations (this is more obvious in the latin). However, most people aren’t versed in dead languages enough to be aware of the subtle nuances. So the question, “does God exist,” is still an applicable one for the general population and laity.
There are many arguments for why it is reasonable to believe that God exists, however. Though some take more defending than others. But don’t let that fool you – of the six main classical arguments (classical because they have been in use longer than others) – contingency, kalam, design, morality, actuality of evil, and ontology – the one that best explores whether or not God exist’s, I have found to be, is the Moral Argument.
The argument is simple:
- If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
- Objective moral values exist.
- Therefore, God exists.
Pretty straight forward.
The main opposition to this argument is two fold: 1) Objective moral values do not exist, implying, morality is often (if not always) subjective and 2) well, if objective moral values do exist it’s not because of God.
The first fold is easy: yes, objective moral values do exist and we all know it. The second fold naturally follows.
Opposition: Different societies have different morals. Who are we to say they are wrong?
Reply: Are you saying the Nazis weren’t wrong?
Opposition: No, they were.
Reply: But that worked for the Nazis society. You just said you can’t say they’re wrong.
Opposition: Well obviously we all agree mass genocide is wrong.
Reply: Then objective moral values exist.
Opposition: Well, we still don’t need God. Society can decide what best for itself.
Reply: Like the Nazis?
Opposition: Well, no. Not like the Nazis.
Reply: But they were the leaders of their society.
Opposition: But not everyone agreed with them. Just because the majority of society says something is right doesn’t mean it is.
Replied: Agreed. Especially if part of that society was being killed by the majority of that society because of whatever reason.
Reply: So objective moral values do exist.
Opposition: Well, no. That’s just your opinion.
Reply: No it isn’t. According to the rules of logic, a truth value statement, like objective moral values exist, is either true for false. There is no room for opinion.
Opposition: Well, then I believe they don’t exist.
Reply: How come?
Opposition: Because morality is just a bi-product or our evolution.
Reply: But that would imply that morality, the distinguishing between good and evil, actually has nothing to do with good and evil and has everything to do with survival. If that’s the case, then morality isn’t about truth, justice, fairness, discipline, correction, or punishment, but about survival. If that’s the case, how can you trust your sense of morality?
Opposition: Huh. Good point. I’ll have to think about that. But why do you think that this means God exists?
Reply: I believe that we are made in God’s image.
Opposition: What does that even mean?
Reply: Primarily, that we are reasoning creatures. And since God wills that which is good because he is good, we all have a sense of morality. Would you agree that the world is a messed up place?
Reply: Me too. And I think we would both agree that this is because humanity keeps screwing things up, right?
Reply: But then, why if we know what we ought to do, where does this idea of “ought to do” come from? We believe from outside humanity and from God.
Opposition: But then why would a good God allow evil to exist?
Reply: That’s a good question for another time, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now. The very fact that all of humanity acknowledges that there is “right” and “wrong” even if they disagree with what is right and what is wrong helps us understand that morality is an abstract concept that has to exist outside humanity for us to grasp it.
Opposition: Do what now?
Reply: Do you see good and evil in reality?
Opposition: Oh yeah, all the time.
Reply: Such as?
Opposition: Such as rape is evil and sharing is good.
Reply: No, those are actions that we have assigned a moral value to.
Opposition: Gotcha. I see.
Reply: So how do you know there is such thing as good and evil?
Opposition: I never thought of that before.
Reply: Because God is good, and we are made is his image, we have an acute awareness of God’s existence, and therefore, the distinction between good and evil.
Opposition: But that doesn’t prove that God exists.
Reply: I haven’t heard a better explanation for the existence of objective moral values from you.
Opposition: Well, I have to be going. you’ve given me some stuff to think about.
Reply: I hope to talk to you soon.
Of all the arguments, the Moral arguments carries an amazing weight of practicality and immediacy to the conversation.
What are your favorite arguments for God’s existence? Please leave a comment below and let’s see what we get!