Welcome to my sixth installment where I critique this article on Dr Craig’s website reasonablefaith.org .
You can find the previous parts here: part 1 , part 2 , part 3 , part 4 , part 5 .
Dr Craig when asked why not everybody agrees on these objective values, has this to say: ” I think to say that moral values are objective is not to say that they are always clear. Certainly there can be areas of gray. Some things are clearly right or clearly wrong but in between there can certainly be difficult moral questions that are hard to discern what is right and wrong. To say that there are objective values and duties is to say that in any moral situation that you find yourself in there is a right thing to do and there is a bad thing or a wrong thing to do. But it is not to say that that is always easy to discern. So we must not confuse epistemology (which is how you know moral values and duties) with ontology (which is the reality of the moral values and duties). I am not making a claim that because these things objectively exist that they are always easy to discern.”
My question to Craig is simply the following: When it is the case that “any moral situation that you find yourself in there is a right thing to do and there is a bad thing or a wrong thing to do” but we do not have the abilities to recognize, what is right and what is wrong, then what are these objective moral values and duties good for? Even if I were to concede, that they exist (and I definitely don’t) then it wouldn’t do us any good. In that case one person may say, “it is objectively wrong, to abort a fetus at any given time during the pregnancy” another person may say “I’d say after 12 weeks in, then you shouldn’t abort anymore.” If Dr Craig is right, then there is an objectively right answer to that question. But so what? How can we find out? We can’t. All we can do, is argue with each other and find some common ground, which is impossible with a moral absolutist. In the end, even if Dr Craig is right it makes no difference whatsoever.
When confronted with the fact, that we misapply them subjectively he says this: “Yeah, that is absolutely right. This is what sin is. Sin says that we are fallen in our nature and therefore we love wickedness and unrighteousness rather than righteousness. We are bent in upon ourselves and pursue our own selfish interests. So it is not surprising that when you look out at the world you find cultures that are deeply warped and evil. One thinks of Apartheid in South Africa or of Nazi Germany or in dictatorial societies and cultures like Marxist or Communist nations or even in materialistic consumer-driven Western nations. It is not surprising in virtue of people’s sinfulness that we would see entire cultures infected with evil and existing in a morally fallen way. So the objectivity of moral values doesn’t mean that everybody follows them.”
Well first of all, Dr Craig needs to substantiate his claim, that the Fall of man into sin really happened. Otherwise of course, his entire theology essentially becomes moot. If the fall didn’t happen, then there was no sin and Jesus died for something else, if his death had any purpose at all.
To the rest of what Craig says I just wanna say: Exactly. You made my point perfectly. Even if these objective values exist, it doesn’t make a damn difference. Everybody already follows his subjective standard, even though some shape their subjective standards around what they perceive to be a perfect objective standard, which they call God. The world behaves exactly the way it does, if there was no objective standard at all. Everyone has a different moral Philosophy. And none of us humans are deities. None of us know, if a deity exists (even though some claim otherwise) and we don’t know, which deity is the right one. Maybe the Muslims have it right and their standard is the objective one. In that case, Craig would follow a standard he perceives to be objective (the Bible) but which is in fact subjective. If this standard exists we are blocked from knowing it. It’s existence is utterly useless. All it does, is give Christians the feeling, that they possess the moral highground. Even if we concede Craig’s Philosphy (and I showed, why it fails and why I don’t) it falls short of informing our moral decisions and it accomplishes nothing.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation