Deep down human beings are aware of objective morality. It’s what ultimately convinced C.S. Lewis to leave atheism behind. It was the Moral Argument for the existence of God that led this intellectual giant of the 2oth century down the path of theism, and eventually to the divinity of Jesus.
Simply put, this classical argument states that humanity’s universal awareness of morals and values come from a moral Creator, therefore our innate sense of morality proves that God exists.
This short video from Reasonable Faith is a nice summary.
Lewis would admit that there are differences in moral codes. We can’t dispute these minor nuances. However, some differences in moral codes can be explained in terms of differences about the facts. So, he concluded from three separate logical arguments that objective morality comes from God.
In his classic work, Mere Christianity, Lewis wrote the following about his pre-conversion reasoning:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? 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?”
Not only did Lewis believe that morality was convincing enough to close the case on the existence of God, he said the very ability to question God’s existence was itself a signpost to the Creator, a transcendent moral lawgiver.
Lewis said, “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
In The Case for Christianity he elaborates on this point:
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
So when Richard Dawkins, and other skeptics today, belligerently scoff at the idea of God based on what they perceive to be “evil” deeds done by Yahweh in the OT, they actually prove God’s very existence in their condemnation.
Why does Dawkins get to decide what is good or evil? Isn’t morality simply a by-product of human evolution and the formation of culture? Notice that Dawkins uses a moral law code set forth in Scripture to make such a judgment.
Furthermore, by condemning any “evil” thing with morals and values explicitly set forth in the Scriptures as given by God, the skeptic affirms objective morality and a moral lawgiver. Without God, good and evil are only subjective—nothing more than personal opinions and cultural perspectives.
As I heard it put once, a skeptic trying to refute theism, and Christianity more specifically, by making moral judgments afforded to them via the Scriptures, is to hop in the “Christian car” in an attempt to run it into a tree.
If this proves anything, it merely points out that there is indeed such a thing as objective morality, and that it has been indelibly imprinted on our souls by our Creator. It is the signature of God on our lives.
I agree with Lewis that an atheist or an agnostic has to embrace all sorts of illogical contradictions in order to maintain their skepticism. A world without God is definitely a world without morality.
It’s no doubt a world in which none of us would want to live.
D.D. Flowers, 2015.
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