Hi Max, it’s me again with a second question. I would first like to thank you for being the Christian voice in academia, taking on the challenges of those who speak so loudly and brazenly against God and those who believe in God. I noticed that some of your research is on the moral argument for God’s existence, and the nature of rationality and knowledge. Can you share with us some of your conclusions and thoughts which may be relevant to and will help us in engaging the academics in our lives better? Thank you.
Regarding your research on the moral argument for God’s existence, can you share with us your conclusions and thought?
Sure. In terms of the moral argument, there are actually several different moral arguments for God’s existence, some of them stronger than others. Let me mention what I take to be the two best moral arguments. The one you’ve probably encountered already argues that God is needed in order to ground objective moral values. I think this argument certainly has some merit. I wouldn’t put it quite as strongly as the claim that moral truths couldn’t possibly exist in a world without God, because there are what I regard as some moderately plausible attempts by atheist philosophers to show how certain moral truths (e.g. that pain is bad) could simply be brute facts. But I do think it remains plausible to say that objective moral truths are much more at home in a theistic worldview than an atheistic one; or put another way, the existence of objective moral truths is much better explained by theism than atheism.
A distinct argument is one that argues that we wouldn’t be able to have moral knowledge if atheism were true, even if there could be objective moral truths without God. The idea here is that we need some explanation for the reliability of our moral intuitions. Why should we think that our moral intuitions are a good guide to the objective truth of the matter? If atheism were correct, then it appears that there simply wouldn’t be a good answer to this question. After all, our moral intuitions would be the product of unguided process of natural selection, and there isn’t any good reason to suppose that natural selection would be selecting for accurate moral intuitions, as opposed to biologically useful moral intuitions. So in short, we need some explanation for the reliability of our moral intuitions, and given the truth of atheism there just doesn’t seem to be any such explanation. But if theism is true, then there clearly is such an explanation: God ensured that our moral intuitions are fairly accurate, because God would want us to have a significant amount of moral knowledge. Therefore, our having moral knowledge is much better explained by theism than by atheism.