Can we prove the Existence of a God? PART III

Quick recap of the previous series: First, we looked at the Ontological Argument, which seeks to prove the existence of God based wholly on logic or reason alone. According to this argument, there is no need to prove the physical existence of God but we can conclude that He exists just by thinking about it, for it is impossible for the mind to conceive of anything that is non-existent—then we looked at the cosmological argument is actually derived from the law of cause and effect that states: “every effect must have an adequate cause.” It supposes the very existence of the universe (the effect) requires the existence of a being that created it (the cause).
We also looked at the Teleological Argument or the Argument from Design, which focuses on the fact that the universe is ordered and fit for habitation. Anything that is designed implies a Designer behind the design. The world shows abundant evidences of design; and so it has to have an intelligent Maker.
The fourth proof we are going to examine is the Moral Argument, which attempts to prove God’s existence from the fact that moral laws exist.
Facts show what the world really is. It is a fact that predator go after their prey and not the other way around. It is a fact that Beijing is the capital of China, because there is such a city that is the capital of China. And for the majority of the facts, the objects are there to render them factual.
But moral laws are not facts. They do not have physical characteristics that can be observed to make them true. It is because moral laws are not descriptive but prescriptive; they are made up of commands. And since moral laws have the form of commands, they tell us what ought to be done.
If they are commands, there has to be a commander. A command cannot exist without a commander. And since moral laws are commands, the question comes, “who is it that commands us to act morally?” or “who commands morality?”
To respond to this question, the moral argument proposes that we evaluate the importance of morality.
Morality is of prime value in the world we live in. If we are morally obligated to do something, this would essentially take precedence over any other factors coming into play. If one is motivated to get a thing done but morally ought to get some other thing done, then he should be doing the other thing after all factors are taken into consideration. To cite an example: it might be in my interest not to aid someone in need, but morally I should when all things have been taken into account. Morality overrides everything else; it is essentially authoritative.
Commands are only as authoritative as the commanding person. If I were to command everybody to pay additional tax for the purpose of building public roads and highways, nobody would be obligated to obey me. However, if the state imposed the tax, it would be a totally different story, since it does have the authority to do so. So it is with morality.
As morality has definitely more influence than any individual or institution over our actions, the moral argument argues, moral laws could not have been commanded by any individual or institution. As morality supersedes everything else, it must have been commanded by a being who exercises authority over all things. The existence of morality therefore directs us to someone far more superior than we are and who reigns over all creation.
Mankind has a virtuous nature. They seem to have a sense of what is right and what is wrong. There is a general belief that we will one day all be held accountable for who we are and what we do. The Creator of our moral nature must be a higher, moral Being who is aware of good and evil, and who rewards the good and penalizes evil.
Of course, that Being is God who inspires holiness in those created in His image. As the Holy Scripture states, “He is glorious in holiness” (Exodus 15:11). And according to the late reformed Baptist preacher Ferrell Griswold, “Holiness belongs to God originally. He is the source and fountain of all holiness. Any holiness seen in the creature is from Him. Holiness belongs to God underivatively. It being original with Him is derived from no one, or thing. Even when God dwelt alone He was the great Holy One. Holiness belongs unto God perfectly. All holiness that is within the creature has a flaw, but in God it is infinitely perfect, with nothing being added unto it. Holiness belongs to God immutably. He always has been, He ever will be the Holy One.”
Based on this argument, there could be no morality apart from God. A quotation ascribed to the famous 19th century Russian author Feodor Dostoevsky states, “If there is no God, then all things are permissible.” And the fact that moral law exists, then not all things are permissible, attest to the existence of God.
We have examined four philosophical proofs for the existence of God, namely: the ontological argument (argument by logic); the cosmological argument (first cause argument); the teleological argument (argument from design) and the moral argument. None of these proofs is totally successful, neither are any of them clearly a failure. Many of the greatest intellectuals that have ever been existed have defended and rejected some of them in some way.
As a summary: The ontological argument is an argument for the existence of a perfect Being, omnipotent, omniscient and all; the cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a Creator, eternal and uncreated; the teleological argument is an argument for the existence of Creator who is concerned over humankind; and the moral argument is an argument for a existence of a Being of moral authority.
Each of these arguments, if successful, will confirm a certain religion to the degree that it matches that religion’s concept of God. If some, or perhaps all, of the arguments were successful, we would have a complete representation of the nature of God that could be compared against the concept of God depicted by every other religion. These arguments, then, might reveal to us which religion is true, or at the very least, which religion is nearest to the truth.
None of these arguments is entirely convincing when considered separately, but when taken together, it would provide evidence that there exist a perfect, essential and eternal God who created the universe with the purpose of bringing about life and who has the moral authority to command us on how we ought to be living our lives.
With my chief interest being in Christianity, these evidences would be sufficient to prove that the Christian concept of God and His attributes are near to the truth. The proper response would be to seek and obey the will of God. But whether you choose to accept these arguments and their conclusions, it is up to you. I end with this quote:
“I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find out there isn’t than live my life believing there isn’t a God and die to find out there is.” —Author Unknown

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