Moral Argument

This argument begins with some feature of morality or moral life and ends with the conclusion that God exists. There are basically three approaches to this: 1) theoretical moral arguments, 2) arguments from human dignity or worth, and 3) practical moral arguments.

Theoretical Moral Arguments

These arguments conclude that God exists, because His existence is the best explanation for our knowledge of objective moral truths. For example, in murdering six million Jewish men, women, and children, were the Nazis guilty of a real moral wrong? If one were to answer "yes" to the question, it was in recognition of an objective moral value, and theoretical moral arguments defend the view that there are objective moral truths.

The argument can be seen in this form:

  1. There are objective moral facts.
  2. God provides the best explanation of the existence of objective moral facts.
  3. Therefore, God exists.

CS Lewis used this approach:

  1. Everyone knows, and so believes, that there are objective moral truths.
  2. Objective moral laws are very peculiar in that they are quite unlike Laws of Nature and "natural" facts.
  3. The hypothesis that there is an intelligence behind, or beyond, the natural facts that implants the knowledge of right and wrong in us and serves as the foundation for the objectivity of such judgments is the best (or a good) explanation of our intuitions of objective moral facts.
  4. Therefore, the existence and nature of objective moral facts supports the existence of an intelligence behind them serving as their basis and foundation.

Arguments from Human Dignity or Worth

These arguments claim that if human beings have a kind of intrinsic dignity or worth and if it provides a key foundational principle of morality, then it means that God exists. The argument can be seen as follows:

  1. Human persons have a special kind of intrinsic value that we call dignity.
  2. The only (or best) explanation of the fact that humans possess dignity is that they are created by a supremely good God in God's own image.
  3. Therefore, there is a supremely good God.

Practical Moral Arguments

These arguments are grounded on practical reason and conclude, not that God exists, but I (as a rational moral agent) ought to believe that God exists. An example of this argument is as follows:

  1. Moral behavior is rational.
  2. Morality is only rational if justice will be done.
  3. Justice will only be done if God exists.
  4. Therefore, I ought to believe that God exists.


1. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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