Sunday, December 03, 2017

How to Answer Some Questions About God and Morality

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Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Detroit

(Especially for my Redeemer family.)

This morning at Redeemer I preached on God and Morality. I answered two questions.

1) Where does morality come from?

2) How do we know what is right and what is wrong?

The answers are, briefly:

1) From God. God, in his essence, is good.

2) Persons are made in the image of God. God has placed his Goodness-DNA in us.

Thus, moral values are objective (outside of us), not subjective.

I mentioned some objections. Here they are. I'm going to point you in a direction, so you can respond to these objections.

Some say morality comes from our evolving to believe in moral values. But even if this is true, it is irrelevant to the matter of the values themselves; viz., are there moral facts? Are certain moral values true? Is it really wrong, e.g., to sexually harass people? Is racism wrong, objectively (i.e., for everyone, whether they believe it or not)? To think evolutionary theory weighs in on the truth or falsity of moral values is to commit the genetic fallacy

Some think moral values are relative. A moral value may be "true for you, but not for me." This commits the subjectivist fallacy

Some think we just invent moral values. If there is no God, then of course we're just making up these things. But if God exists (as I believe), then we have reason to believe moral values are objective, and discovered (rather than invented) by us. Further, if moral values are only invented, then I have no moral reason to follow the values you have invented. 

Some say we believe certain moral values because we have been taught them. This reasoning commits the genetic fallacy. How we came to believe that Raping little girls for fun is morally wrong is irrelevant to the truth value of this moral claim.

For more on the matter of objective moral values, see these resources.

Paul Copan, True for You, but Not for Me.

Copan, The Moral Argument for God's Existence.

David Baggett and Jerry Walls, Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality.

William Lane Craig, "The Indispensability of Theological Metaethical Foundations for Morality."

And, tune in to my Facebook Live presentation of "The Moral Argument for God's Existence" this Tuesday, Dec. 5, 9-10 PM. (Become a FB friend to watch it.)

On Sunday morning I made the claim that God is, essentially, Goodness. But some might object, pointing to the "God of the Old Testament" as not being, it seems, good. How do we respond to this? Here are some resources.

Is God a Moral Monster? #1