Proving God with Objective Morality
By Christopher Jethro
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017
The existence of God can be proven through the argument from objective morality. The moral argument is one of the best proofs of God’s existence; however, it is also a very complex topic that can take time to grasp for some. I have done my best to compress the moral argument in this page.
What are objective moral values?
In short, objective moral values are moral axioms. They are moral principles that are inherently true, regardless of human opinion, meaning they are both universal (apply to all people) and metaphysical (these moral laws exist outside of the human mind and are not altered by human opinion). When it comes to the subject of ‘objective vs. subjective morality’, it all boils down to these questions:
- Where do morals come from?
- How can we truly know what is right or wrong?
- What foundation can we use to execute justice?
- Who has the right (genuine authority) to assert moral obligations and prohibitions?
Differences between objective and subjective morality
Objective morality means that there are universal truths that transcend the human mind because they don’t come from man, they come from God. On the other hand, subjective morality is the belief that moral values come from man (not God); ethical opinions created and shaped by man to merely help us survive in the evolutionary chain.
Subjective morality says anything is morally right or wrong that anyone wants to believe, even if there are conflicting opinions among individuals. In order to prove that subjective morality is false, and that objective morality is true, it is simply needs to be demonstrated that some moral principles remain true despite the opinion of others. The below examples do so…
Did mankind evolve morals?
Atheists, who adhere to subjective morality, argue that morality stems from Darwinian evolution; that morality was evolved as an aid to survival in which socially disadvantageous deeds became taboo. There are two problems with the evolutionary argument of morality. First of all, Hitler’s attempt at genocide was actually socially advantageous for his goal was to eliminate a lesser race (a form of social Darwinism). “Socially disadvantageous” does us absolutely nothing when we say that genocide or abortion is wrong, for those actions are actually socially advantageous in most instances.
Secondly, if moral values were something that humanity evolved then that means that they are something a person or society says one ought to do or something one should not do, without any real grounds for proving that these ethical values are actually true. Therefore we must ask, who has the right or authority to decree or enforce those moral obligations? There is no concrete way to justify why any one of us could have the genuine authority to set up rules about right and wrong.
Why morality is not subjective
If tomorrow, everybody in the world decided that rape is no longer evil but good, would it really be good just because everyone thinks so? Of course not! This easy example proves that there are indeed universal moral truths that exist even when others disagree. Nazi Germany once thought that genocide was good as an evolutionary advancement. Again, we can see that just because a society believes that something is good (or evil) does not make it true. If such examples prove that people can’t determine moral values, it means that man is not the source of morality. If man is the source of morality (i.e., he determines what is good or evil according to whatever he chooses to believe) then is impossible for us to deem the actions of Nazi Germany as wrong.
Subjective morality is an unfeasible worldview because if objective moral values do not exist, we have no rational, empirical basis by which we can rightly judge and punish criminals. Punishing people according to our opinions is unfair and fatuous. The action must be wrong according to an absolute truth, not because some people merely view it is as wrong. We can’t go by what the consensus of a society’s ethics are because history has proven (i.e., Nazi Germany) that even whole societies can believe that something is right which isn’t. In short, we need a solid foundation that is not based on human opinions/ideas in order to prove that something really is good or evil in its nature.
Objective moral values do exist
Everybody has objective moral values. I’m certain the reader would agree with me that acts like rape, molestation, and murder are truly moral abominations. It is easy to demonstrate that these things are not just ethical opinions, but absolute truths. For example, the moral proclamation “rape is evil” is an ethic that nearly everyone holds to. Now do we think that rape is evil, or do we know that rape is evil? Rape is not evil simply because we “believe” it is. It is not just our “opinion”. It is truly morally wrong. Rape cannot be evil just because we think it is, or else it would not be a universal truth. If rape were evil just because some people believe it is, then we have no logical reason to punish the rapist who does not believe it is wrong. Yet we do rightly punish the rapist – not because we are judicially imposing some ethical opinion on him – but because we are executing justice according to a universal moral axiom.
Conclusion: Who makes the rules?
In short, if man alone makes the rules, then he could decide that actions like rape, thievery, murder, and molestation, are good. Even though an atheist can recognize objective moral values without believing in God, they have no foundation to prove that their opinion is actually true. Secondly, when people alone determine what is right and wrong, they could also change their mind! One day they could say it is wrong to steal, then the next day they could say it is now okay.
On the other hand, if God makes the rules, we have an authentic foundation for objective morals. Why are things good or evil because God says so? Because God, as the Creator of all things, is highest pinnacle of all reality. This means He is the embodiment of absolute truth and goodness. God did not create goodness, God is the very embodiment of goodness itself. From His own nature of goodness, does God declare that which is morally wrong, which opposes itself against His own nature of goodness. Evil is that which is opposed against the inherent good nature of God Himself. Evil, especially in terms of human sin, is that which refuses to conform to the all-good, holy, righteous nature of God. Thus God, who is morally perfect, all-knowing, and transcends all reality, has the right to establish and assert moral obligations and principles. Because God says things are wrong (through His written Word and through the moral Law He writes on our minds), we can say they are wrong too. We are simply repeating His moral proclamations. We can rightly execute moral justice because we are enforcing God’s moral laws.
In conclusion, objective moral values cannot exist if God does not exist. Otherwise, moral values would simply be opinions and ideas, lacking concrete reality, proposed by an evolved creature. It is obvious that objective moral values do exist however, meaning God must exist. Objective moral values, existing as metaphysical truths, are not the invention of man but rather come from an all-good God who establishes objective moral truths based on His holy nature and has the right to enforce them too.