If God does not exist, then it’s very difficult to find any objective standard of right and wrong, good and evil. In atheism, moral values are just byproducts of biological evolution and social conditioning. Michael Ruse, who is an atheistic philosopher of science from Canada, has said that morality is a biological adaptation; ethics is illusory; morality is just an aid for survival and reproduction and any deeper meaning is illusory. On a naturalistic atheistic view, then, there really are no objective moral values and duties in the world. But the difficulty is that in moral experience we find a realm of objective moral values and duties that force themselves upon us as objectively binding and true. Even Ruse himself in another place admits the man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says two plus two equals five.
So the question is, what then is the best foundation for these objective moral values and duties? And I think the answer is in God. If God exists, then we have a transcendent objective foundation for right and wrong, for good and evil, that atheism cannot supply.
We can summarize this argument as follows:
- if God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist;
- but objective moral values and duties do exist; from which it follows logically and necessarily that;
- therefore, God exists.
And I find this is one of the most powerful arguments for God’s existence, because students recognize the truth of those premises. They’ve been taught relativism in their university classes. They’ve been taught that if there is no God, then everything is relative; objective moral values do not exist. But at the same time they’re deeply committed to premise two—that objective moral values do exist. They do not want to be thought of as judgmental. They prize the values of tolerance and open-mindedness and love. They’re scared to death to condemn someone who disagrees with them. They hold to that as an objective value. So, in fact, they’re committed to the truth of both of these premises, but they’ve just never put two and two together and drawn the logical conclusion.