I am a proponent of a moral argument, taken from William Lane Craig, given in the following form:
- If God doesn’t exist, then objective moral values and duties don’t exist
- Objective moral values and duties do exist
- Therefore, God exists
I’ve had a number of previous posts here dealing with specific details of this argument’s defence. Here I wish to discuss a defence of the second premise that goes like this:
- In the absence of any defeaters, we are rationally compelled to trust the deliverances of our various faculties
- In our moral experience we perceive objective moral duties and values
- We have no defeater for these deliverances of our moral faculty
- Therefore, we are rationally compelled to believe in objective moral duties and values
Clearly, this argument falls in the realm of epistemology. Perhaps it will be helpful to clarify a few terms for those who aren’t familiar with them.
First, some examples of the various faculties we have are our five senses, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, abductive reasoning, memory, and our moral sense. I suppose I should probably explain those three reasoning faculties a little more. Deductive reasoning uses principles of logic that seem to be objectively binding, like the principle of excluded middle (for any proposition A, A is either true or false), the principle of non-contradiction (for any proposition A, it is not possible for both A and not-A to be true at the same time), the validity of certain reasoning schemes (like, if A entails B, and A is true, then B is true), and so on. Our deductive reasoning faculty is that part of us that perceives that certain principles are true and others false, how to apply these general principles to specific examples, and so on. For example, I hope that everyone reading this will see that the examples I gave of logical principles are self-evidently true.