In a world without God, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say you are right and I am wrong.
— William Lane Craig
Basic moral intuitions such as “It is wrong to murder” or “It is right to be loving, truthful, courageous, and compassionate” testify to the truth of objective moral values. These values appear to stand as distinct from, and independent of, the human mind and will. In other words, they are discovered, not invented.
But what accounts for the existence of objective, universal, unchanging moral principles? What guarantees their validity? And what is their source and foundation? Continue reading
We’ve all heard the question, “Who are you to impose your morality on others?” Of course, the person raising this question believes it’s morally wrong to impose morality on another! The question presupposes a moral standard. But where did that standard come from?
— Paul Copan, from “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong”, kindle location 1455
[Abraham] Lincoln provided another example of principled moral reasoning in assessing the sorts of arguments that his contemporaries put forth to defend the enslavement of black people by white people:
You say A. is white and B. is black. It is color, then: the lighter having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own. Continue reading
Some attempt to argue that they don’t need God to have morality. They can live a moral life even though they don’t believe in a divine being. But no one argues that an atheist can’t behave in a way one might call moral. The real question is, Why ought he? Trappist monk Thomas Merton put it this way: “In the name of whom or what do you ask me to behave? Why should I go to the inconvenience of denying myself the satisfactions I desire in the name of some standard that exists only in your imagination? Why should I worship the fictions that you have imposed on me in the name of nothing?”
— Greg Koukl and Francis Beckwith, from Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-air, p. 169
The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something—some Real Morality—for them to be true about.
— C. S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity, kindle location 401
What best explains the existence of morality? A personal God whose character provides an absolute standard of goodness. An impersonal force won’t do because a moral rule encompasses both a proposition and a command; both are features of minds. Ethicist Richard Taylor explains: “A duty is something that is owed … but something can be owed only to some person or persons. There can be no such thing as a duty in isolation…. The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain, but their meaning is gone.”
— Greg Koukl and Francis Beckwith, from Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-air, p. 168