Does Objective Moral Truth Exist?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 9, 2015 0 comments

by Steve Risner

This is the last of a three part series I've written concerning some of my favorite arguments for the existence of God. Some claim there is no evidence God exists. This, of course, is nonsense, especially when we consider such statements almost always mean there is no physical or naturalistic evidence for a non-physical, supernatural God. I encourage you to read my post on the creation or cosmological argument and on the design or teleological argument as well as this one. As a believer, I hope they encourage you in your faith to know it's not blind or going against logic or reason. In all honestly, believing in the God of the Bible is the only logical belief one can have if being consistent is of any importance. So today we're looking at argument number 3: the moral argument. Most often, this is the argument that is the most controversial of the three. This is generally because atheists have no basis for morality and they hate being reminded of that. So walk with me…

The Bible tells us in Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” God has also given us the Ten Commandments. And Jesus summed up all the moral law when asked which was the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” This is the entire moral law in short form. This is the basis for Christian morality. But God also tells us in Romans 2 that God has imprinted this in the heart of every person. You can read more on there here.

A huge question that often comes up is: Is there objective moral truth? This is a heavy question, and there are many answers to it. However, it really boils down to “yes” or “no.” You can read about absolute truth here and subjective truth here. The atheist most generally will have to answer, “No. There is no objective moral truth.” If they claim there is objective moral truth, they would need to find a naturalistic explanation for that objective moral truth. There isn't one, to my knowledge. From a Christian perspective, there is obviously a source of moral truth—God. If nothing greater than man determines what is right or wrong, then morality is subjective and can change at any moment. Morals are whatever you decide they are if you're an atheist. This is a common objection to objective moral truth from a higher Authority—that it's up to the individual and it's all relative. However, this is extremely illogical and no one really practices this. How can you condemn me for having a different moral standard, right? If I think lying is not immoral, you can't judge me for that. If I think stealing is not immoral, you can't be upset with me if I steal from you. What makes your morals better than mine? Tim Lambesis of heavy metal band As I Lay Dying gives us a very honest look at this reasoning. He gave up his faith in Christ and became an atheist. After doing so, he walked a very short path to a high degree of immorality, which included adultery and attempting to murder his wife. This is what he says:

“The first time I cheated on my wife, my interpretation of morality was now convenient for me. I felt less guilty if I decided, ‘Well, marriage isn’t a real thing, because Christianity isn’t real. God isn’t real. Therefore, marriage is just a stupid piece of paper with the government.’ I thought of myself as super-scholarly at the time. ‘My academic pursuit has led me to this.’ I was sincere to a certain degree, but we all hear what we want to hear to justify our actions.”

Atheists will attempt to say this isn't true and claim to agree there are objective morals we all have just because. But the truth is, for the atheist, there is no reason to care at all about morality. In fact, they can easily just blame religion for forcing things like morals on us. Since it's the result of religion, they have no need for it.

Another common argument from the atheist is that morality is determined by society. But this just isn't logical. First of all, if society decides pedophilia is not wrong, it's still wrong. Secondly, if this is true, there is no such thing as an immoral society. This means that Nazi Germany was not wrong for the systematic murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, Christians, homosexuals, and anyone else they decided was not worth having around. It means communist Russia was not immoral for mass killings. The list of awful things societies have done is pretty long. You can see, I hope, that this argument is illogical at best.

So what is the best explanation for a morality that exists outside of opinion? God. We all agree cold-blooded murder is wrong. We all agree that child molestation is wrong. We all agree stealing is wrong. Why? Because God imprinted those values on our hearts. We can go against those values and, after a while, we can even become hardened to the point of no longer feeling any remorse when we violate the moral code we have received from God. But this doesn't make it any less true. Whether you agree or not, beating a little old lady and taking her purse is wrong. Your opinion actually isn't relevant. With very little variance, we see societies all over the world who believe murder, stealing, lying, rape and a whole host of other things are immoral. Why? Again, God has written those things on all of our hearts. There are certainly exceptions to this, but, as previously stated, over time we can become hardened to our God-given conscience.

It's pretty clear that objective moral truth exists. I would be cautious in trusting anyone who disagrees with that. It seems equally clear the source of such truth must be God. I hope this blog post series is helpful in fortifying your faith as well as equipping you to handle the questions atheists may ask concerning your belief in God.

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