#483

July 17, 2016

Could God Be Amoral?

Dear Dr. Craig

I've recently had my worldview shattered and pretty much torn apart by the natural arguments for the existence of God, the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, and a few others which you present in outstanding accuracy and clarity. Being 17 years old, as any other teenager I thought I had everything figured out, I had responses ready for every argument that could've threatened my atheist belief.

Until I heard your talks, that is. I must admit I was furious after hearing you relentlessly break the "Universal natural selection" hypothesis, and then proceed to render the Multiverse hypothesis orders of magnitude more improbable than God.

Needless to say, I am no longer an atheist. But there is one thing I have not resolved yet, which is the issue of God's moral nature. First, the natural arguments for God simply prove the existence of a primordial creator, but do not have anything to say about God's goodness.

Although I once read one of your answers to a question dealing with this problem, stating that it is impossible for God to be evil, because in order to be evil one must be breaking some sort of higher standard, which is by definition, impossible. Nothing is higher or greater than God. But this leaves me with two options, either God is amoral or God is all-good, but my question is if there is any reason or argument that makes a good God more probable or plausible than an amoral God?

P.S. Sorry if my grammar seems a bit off, I barely learned English three years ago.

Anyways, thank you for all of the insight and logic you provide to the layman.

Claudio

USA

United States

It thrilled my heart to read your message, Claudio! I’m so glad for your new-found faith. I hope that you will follow your path all the way to Christian theism.

You evidently have some familiarity with the arguments for God’s existence that I’ve defended. But you seem to have overlooked the moral argument for God’s existence. Here are links to our animated videos that we have developed on four of the arguments (the ontological argument is in the works!):

1. Leibnizian Cosmological Argument https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPCzEP0oD7I&index=3&list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX

2. Kalām Cosmological Argument https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CulBuMCLg0&list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX&index=1

3. Teleological Argument https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0&list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX&index=4

4. Moral Argument https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU&list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX&index=2

You should look at and think about the fourth of these videos. It is an argument for God as the ground of the objective moral values and duties we apprehend in moral experience. While it’s true that the first three arguments do not give us any information about the moral status of the Explanatory Ultimate, this fourth argument does.

Moreover, you seem to have overlooked the fact that the ontological argument also gives us God’s nature as absolute goodness, for maximal greatness is defined to mean “all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good in every possible world.” Goodness is obviously a great-making property; it is better to be morally perfect than morally flawed. Therefore, God, as the greatest conceivable being, must be perfectly good. So, as Anselm realized, if the argument goes through, it delivers to us a Being of perfect goodness.

Another way to see that God cannot be an amoral being is by reflecting on the fact that God is, by definition, a being which is worthy of worship. Nothing amoral is worthy of worship. Hence, God, if He exists, must be good. Of course, that leaves us wondering whether God does exist, rather than a mere Creator and Designer of the universe. But that’s where the moral and ontological arguments come in.