There's an atheist who can hardly wait to "rip apart" my description of objective morality. Oh dear. What will I do? This conversation will of course be as useless as any other conversation that I have with atheists, at least in relation to helping them see the futility of their thinking. On the other hand, there may actually be someone reading to is interested in learning - so - here we go again. The statement that is causing trouble is one that goes something like:
. If God does not exist, then objective morals, values and obligations (def. below) do not exist.
First of all I am NOT saying that people can't be moral without God. Nor am I saying that people can't recognise morals or can't form a system of morals without God. Objective morals are not dependent on whether anyone agrees with them or not. Ok?
Belief in God's existence is not necessary for objective Morals, Values and Obligations to exist.
God Himself is necessary for objective Morals, Values and Obligations to exist.
If God does not exist, then what we call morals, values and obligations are nothing but desires, good ideas, likes and dislikes. If God does not exist, then what we call moral obligations change with the ebb and flow of who ever has the most power - In a secular world, might does in deed make right.
The thing is, we know from our interactions with other people that objective morals, values and obligations DO exist. We know, and we know absolutely when someone does “wrong” to us. We don’t have to wonder for one second what our community standard on the event is. We don't have to wonder for one second what society thinks about what the person did to us. We KNOW that we were wronged. At the moment that we’ve been wronged we believe that objective right and wrong exist.
So why point to God being the source of objective morals?
God by definition is the least arbitrary stopping point.
God by definition is the least arbitrary point of final authority.
God doesn’t just exemplify goodness. He IS goodness.
God isn't just one authority, He is THE ultimate authority on right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust.
Almost everyone is willing to recognise and ultimate standard of goodness. Choosing, as Hugo does, the individual as the ultimate standard of good and bad, right and wrong sets up such obvious issues of conflict that only those who are dull of mind and profoundly slow of thought could not see that.
Why point to God being the source of objective morals?
Just as physical laws are fully realised in the physical world, objective moral laws are fully realised in Jesus and Father God. As I stated above, our daily interactions with others shows we believe without doubt that objective moral order is as real and independent of our recognition as is the natural order of things.
Our perceptions of natural and moral laws are givens of our experience.
People who are God’s enemies and who therefore can’t possibly understand the Bible, claim that God acts in a capricious and arbitrary manner. That is simply not true.
. Objective moral Goodness and Obligation are based on God’s character.
Therefore, God’s commands are not arbitrary, for they are the inescapable expression of His Just and Loving nature. And, since our moral obligations are grounded in the Divine commands, moral values and duties do not exist independent of God.
. What God commands or permits is good and what He forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive.
This is what it means for morality to be objective vs. subjective, selective or relative to the situation. Morality is not based on the individual’s character or personality or level of empathy, or that person’s likes or dislikes, sanity or insanity.