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According to the theory, the human experience of moral obligations was the result of evolutionary pressures , which attached a sense of morality to human psychology because it was useful for moral development; this entails that moral values do not exist independently of the human mind. Morality might be better understood as an evolutionary imperative in order to propagate genes and ultimately reproduce. No human society today advocates immorality, such as theft or murder, because it would undoubtedly lead to the end of that particular society and any chance for future survival of offspring.

Scottish empiricist David Hume made a similar argument, that belief in objective moral truths is unwarranted and to discuss them is meaningless. Because evolutionary naturalism proposes an empirical account of morality, it does not require morality to exist objectively; Linville considers the view that this will lead to moral scepticism or antirealism. Lewis argued that, if evolutionary naturalism is accepted, human morality cannot be described as absolute and objective because moral statements cannot be right or wrong. Despite this, Lewis argued, those who accept evolutionary naturalism still act as if objective moral truths exist, leading Lewis to reject naturalism as incoherent.

Gaskin challenges the first premise of the argument from moral objectivity, arguing that it must be shown why absolute and objective morality entails that morality is commanded by God , rather than simply a human invention. It could be the consent of humanity that gives it moral force, for example.

Kant’s Moral Argument for God

Martin also argues that a non-objective account of ethics might be acceptable and challenges the view that a subjective account of morality would lead to moral anarchy. Related to the argument from morality is the argument from conscience, associated with eighteenth-century bishop Joseph Butler and nineteenth-century cardinal John Henry Newman.

He argued that emotivism is an inadequate explanation of the human experience of morality because people avoid acting immorally, even when it might be in their interests. Newman proposed that, to explain the conscience, God must exist. British philosopher John Locke argued that moral rules cannot be established from conscience because the differences in people's consciences would lead to contradictions.

Locke also noted that the conscience is influenced by "education, company, and customs of the country", a criticism mounted by J. Mackie, who argued that the conscience should be seen as an "introjection" of other people into an agent's mind. He uses the example of the internalization by humans of social pressures, which leads to the fear of going against these norms.

Even if a supernatural cause is required, he argues, it could be something other than God; this would mean that the phenomenon of the conscience is no more supportive of monotheism than polytheism. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Part of a series on the Philosophy of religion Religious concepts. Ethical egoism Euthyphro dilemma Logical positivism Religious language Verificationism eschatological Problem of evil Theodicy Augustinian Irenaean Best of all possible worlds Inconsistent triad Natural evil. Criticism of religion Ethics in religion Exegesis Faith and rationality History of religions Political science of religion Religion and science Religious philosophy Theology. A Dictionary of Philosophy of Religion.

Continuum International Publishing Group. Retrieved 2 December Lewis offered a popularized version of such an argument in a series of talks for the BBC during World War II, later published in his Mere Christianity Lewis argued that conscience reveals to us a moral law whose source cannot be found in the natural world, thus pointing to a supernatural Lawgiver.

The Moral Argument For the Existence of God | HuffPost

An Introduction to Christian Doctrine. In his highly influential book Mere Christianity, C. Lewis revived the moral argument for the existence of God. By moving from the fact of human quarrels and the moral law that these presuppose, to the reality of God as the moral Lawgiver whose law people break, Lewis set forth a foundation not only for the existence of God, but for the message that "the Christians are talking about The tell you how the demands of this law, which you and I cannot meet, have been met on our behalf, how God himself becomes a man to save a man from the disapproval of God.

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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved March 24, Eschatological verification Language game Logical positivism Apophatic theology Verificationism. Augustinian theodicy Best of all possible worlds Euthyphro dilemma Inconsistent triad Irenaean theodicy Natural evil Theodicy.

Criticism of religion Ethics in religion Exegesis History of religion Religion Religious language Religious philosophy Relationship between religion and science Political science of religion Faith and rationality more Christianity Hinduism Islam Jainism Judaism. Abrahamic prophecy Aggadah Denominations Kabbalah Philosophy. Retrieved from " https: Ethics Arguments for the existence of God. Views Read Edit View history. What would you do if there were no God?

Would you commit deception, robbery, rape, and murder, or would you continue being a good and moral person? If the answer is that people would continue being good and moral, then apparently you can be good without God. The answers to Shermer's questions are that one can certainly be good without believing in God, and the lack of belief in God obviously does not automatically lead to such bad behavior. So it appears that the moral argument falls apart.

But Shermer's response stems from a common, and deep, misunderstanding of the moral argument, because he assumes that it is based on belief or doctrine. In order to understand the moral argument we must begin by first clearly stating what it does not mean:. The moral argument does not require a belief of any kind because it is based on the essential recognition that objective moral standards -- absolute right and wrong -- exist.

Does God Exist: The Moral Argument

And we know absolute right from wrong internally; they are not "given" in any documents or beliefs. We do not need the 10 Commandments to know that murder is wrong, but the 10 Commandments, instead, reinforce the moral imperatives that we already intuitively know to be true. Objective morality, then, does not rely on, or require, any external imposed belief structure, just as one does not need to "believe" in anything in order to experience the existence and qualities of love. But where does objective morality come from? According to the moral argument it cannot arise from natural processes alone, because while random, undirected events that proceed without deliberate plan or purpose can perhaps account for the instinct of survival and procreation, they cannot account for the existence of absolute right and wrong.

A universe that is random and uncreated and that operates purely on unintentional interactions can only result in subjective inclinations, not absolute morals. Friedrich Nietzsche, who asserted a universe without God, recognized this when he proposed that the driving force in human beings is the will to power, and that conventional morality is simply a restraint devised by the weak to control the powerful.

Such a position can lead to horrors -- as we've seen -- but at least it is internally consistent. The existence of objective morality necessitates a supernatural source. This is not a denial of the physical mechanism of evolution -- which is a scientific truth -- but is the assertion that the best explanation for the existence of objective morality is that it is consciously built in to the process of creation itself. And the source of this morality is the creative, conscious, sustaining power of the universe that is called God.

Emmanuel Kant proposed that we are all "bound" to these moral laws, regardless of our own particular goals. As our individual consciousness evolves, the strength of the connection to this universal consciousness, which contains moral laws, grows. The more evolved we become as a species, then, the more we connect to the morality that is embedded in creation, and the more moral we naturally become.

One does not need to believe in God for this mechanism to work, as one does not need to believe in gravity for a dropped object to hit the floor.

This is the basis of moral argument, and from this perspective Shermer's questions are irrelevant because he confused cause and effect. But there still remain reasonable objections. First, there are schools of philosophy that deny the premise of the existence of objective morality, proposing that all morals are culturally derived, and that what is good for one is evil for another.

This position posits that if the Nazis had won World War II then genocide and racial hatred would be seen as good, and compassion for the weak and acceptance of diversity would be seen as bad. The only reasonable response to such a position is to say that, unless one is sociopathic, we can all agree that the mass slaughter of innocents, gratuitous torture and totalitarian subjugation are absolutely morally wrong, and that freedom and compassion are absolutely good.

To deny this is to embrace narcissism and nihilism. Another objection is, "If morality is absolute, why do we see so much evil in the world?