The Moral Argument for God’s Existence

Christian apologist C. S. Lewis used this proof in his witnessing as found in his foundational texts Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man. The essence of the argument is that the existence of an awareness of the need for an objective moral composes a compelling witness to the existence of a Standard-giver. Here’s a quotation to chew on:

“If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies.” (31)

Here’s a corroborating quotation from the secular philosopher James Q. Wilson from his text The Moral Sense. I find it quite compelling and reflective of Romans 1.

“Lest we adults think that these childlike prejudices disappear with age, we should remember the countless places where one group of adults has systematically reduced another to servitude and the numberless centuries during which men have used torture and merciless warfare to impose on others religious convictions that to someone from Mars would differ only in esoteric and irrelevant detail from the beliefs of the victims. Even people who fancy themselves too moral and cosmopolitan to practice slavery or religious persecution would do well to recall how wary they are when they encounter people who differ in race, accent, dress, or political outlook. Mankind has a moral sense, but much of the time its reach is short and its effect uncertain.” (192)

What do you think about the moral argument? Is it a good argument for the existence of God? Should we use this proof and other theistic proofs (teleological, cosmological, etc) in our witnessing? Does the “moral sense” really point to God’s existence?

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