IDr Craig is asked the question whether Morality isn’t subjective because it depends on God’s will.
To this Craig responds: “Great question. If moral values were simply rooted in the divine will, if God just made up what is right and wrong arbitrarily, then I would agree with you. That would be the ultimate in subjectivity. Moral values would just be arbitrary declarations of God. That position has a name – it is called voluntarism. Voluntarism would be the view that moral values are rooted in the will of God, and the will of God just decides what is good and evil, right and wrong. The view that I’ve laid out is quite different than that.”
Well, for once I agree with the good doctor. Voluntarism is indeed ultimatively subjective merely depending on God’s will. It remains to be seen, how Dr Craig’s morality escapes this glaring problem of a subjective morality, as he claims his framework is able to.
Dr Craig lays out how he thinks he accomplishes this in the following: “Yeah, right. The view I’ve laid out is quite different from that because it says that moral values are not rooted in the divine will. His commands to us are expressions of his will, but these are rooted in the divine nature – in his essential moral properties like justice, kindness, compassion, truthfulness, and so forth. Those aren’t arbitrary. Those can’t be changed. Those are logically necessary and therefore exist in all possible worlds. There is no possible world in which God lacks these properties and does not exist.”
As you might have guessed I still see many problems. The biggest one by far is, that I see blatant question begging in Dr Craig’s assertions: Why are his properties justice, kindness etc. good (see Yesterday’s post)? Why couldn’t they be changed?
I know many people who are perfectly capable of changing their nature. I know many people, who were total douchebags in their childhood but have come to be decent adults now. People go from compassionate, good, moral humans to corrupt, merciless criminals all the time and vice versa. I’m pretty sure if we all look back at our past, we all see how our nature has evolved and how our nature has therefore changed. In some people it has changed to the negative, in some people to the positive for some more drastically for others only minimally. So what reason is there, that they can’t be changed? Why can’t God go through a character development? I guess you could back it up with scripture and say God is unchanging (which is evidently not true, the God of the NT is completely different compared to the God of old) but that doesn’t do anyone any good, because I contest the accuracy of the Bible and to prove it’s accuracy is (near) impossible. You can also define God in such a way that he is unchanging but that definition is meaningless, unless it can somehow be demonstrated, that the definition applies to the real world. So what reason is there, that his nature can’t be changed and what’s the evidence for it?
“Those are logically necessary and therefore exist in all possible worlds.”
Again, he merely asserts this, without justification.He defines God such, that these are his essential properties. In principal there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s the evidence, that this being with these properties exist? What’s the evidence, that these are his properties and that these are logically necessary, as opposed to other properties?
“There is no possible world in which God lacks these properties and does not exist.”
Well that is just fantastic. There is no possible world in which God doesn’t exist? What? How did he reach that conclusion? I realize, that I’m going off topic here but this just way too outrageous to be ignored. I suspect since he brought up all possible worlds, that he gives merit to God being a necessary being as the ontological argument claims. This of course is again, blatant question begging and circular reasoning!
For the next few little paragraphs Craig takes a few shots at Voluntarism and David Brink who as Craig says has failed to attack the theistic morality he subscribes to.
I hope I did and will continue to do a better job than David then.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation