Welcome to part 4 of my series where I examine the moral framework of Dr Craig. The article which I examine can be found here . I encourage you to check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you haven’t done so already.
Before I continue further I must inform you, that I skipped a few paragraphs, because it would be too repetitive to raise the same objections to Craig over and over and over.
I will also in my following posts, skip a little bit more in order to keep it interesting and in order to not extend this project unnecessarily.
The next point I’ll be addressing is how Craig solves the problem of how we can know these objective (absolute) moral values. To this Craig says the following:
“Well, the Bible says in Romans 1 and 2 that God has written his moral law on the hearts of all men so even those who do not have the Bible do by nature the things that the law requires. So there is a kind of innate moral sense, I think, that we have in virtue of being created in God’s image.”
Well first of all it is true, that we have a moral sense (though I don‘t think it’s innate) , namely our conscience. It is of course well documented, that our morality is a result of evolution as we are a social species. Due to our high intelligence we have moral capabilities, that our Primate cousins lack but Chimpanzees and the other great apes do show moral behavior.
Now to the most important and really damning part of what Craig just asserted: Craig claims, that moral truths exist as part of God’s nature. He claims, that these are true independent of human opinion, human consensus etc.. If every conscious being were to die right now, these truths would still exist. Yet to the question of how we know these truths, he replies with the assertion, that God has given every subjective being this knowledge. He appeals to our subjective sense of morality, the subjective sense of our conscience. He appeals to human consensus, that certain actions are wrong in order to establish something, that explicitly rejects that morality has anything to do with human consensus or the subjective feeling that something is wrong to begin with.
In essence his argument goes like this: There are moral truths that are true independent of human opinion or consensus because my conscience tells me intuitively, that they exist and most people would agree.
Except for the fact, that some people have a different conscience then others. Going by my moral intuitions I would think it’s moral to steal food, in order to save some children from death by starvation (if there is no other alternative to theft, that is). I know for a fact, that other people don’t share my opinion on this. Their conscience tells them that that would be wrong, mine tells me it would be right.
When pressed on the intuitiveness Craig says the following:
“That would be one way I think that you could call it. Other values that are not so intuitively obvious would be communicated to us by divine revelation.“
He claims, that some values are intuitively obvious. I would agree, that there are actions by which I am revolted. Actions that go against my conscience, actions that I see as obviously wrong by my subjective moral standard. In many cases, I think there is a gray area when it comes to morality, such as the example of the starving children I gave earlier. Other actions like torturing babies for fun, would go against everything my conscience tells me, therefore I would not do it. It’s intuitive to me, that this ought not be done. My subjective moral intuition tells me not to. I can tuck on my empathy for that, in order to figure it out. As I said we all have a have a conscience and empathy (except for Psychopaths and Sociopaths perhaps). Nobody disagrees there, I grant that without contention.
But did you catch the last part? Other actions that are right and wrong are given by divine revelation he claims. You can’t make this up. Personal revelation is BY DEFINITION SUBJECTIVE . He appeals to the most subjective experience it is possible to have, in order to establish objective morality. What if someone claimed a different revelation, that disagreed with Craig’s? In case some of you didn’t notice: As far as morality is concerned, not all believers in one God, much less believers in other Gods, or people who don’t believe in deities at all, are on the same page. This should give you a pretty good clue, that something doesn’t add up here.
When you appeal to subjective revelation in order to establish objective morality, then your argument collapses period. But that won’t stop me from continuing my critique even further.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation