Can the Moral Argument get us to the God of the Bible?

Monday Musings for September 09, 2019

Good morning, Musers,

I was raised a Roman Catholic… and if you were raised in the 1950s in Massachusetts, chances are you’d be one too. But if you’re not from here — and if you’re not from then — it will be hard to get a true sense of how that culture permeated our society.

That being said, my family was more nominally Catholic than they would have liked to admit. They sent me to church with great fervor… but rarely went to church themselves. Nevertheless, herds of us Catholic youth attended weekly CCD classes where we learned basic Catholic doctrine, prepared for our First Communions (Eucharist), and ultimately, for our Confirmations.

Life got a little tricky for me back then… and I was emancipated earlier in life than were most youths. The result was, shortly after confirmation, I was free… so I took all those years of religious training and pitched them out the window. “Good riddance!” I thought… and good riddance, I meant.

Now, I wasn’t a horrible kid. I had my moments, of course. But mostly I was just free… and for a person who has no responsibilities, freedom can be quite intoxicating. But I had to “be” something, so I called myself an atheist… although at that time I had no idea how untenable that philosophical position would be.

For me, the decision was a practical one, not a moral one. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. I wanted to do what I wanted… and I wanted to do what I wanted without anyone telling me why I shouldn’t — and I believed my wish would come true when I set God aside. But it didn’t. Someone — or something — was still telling me what to do!

Now, I wasn’t hearing actual voices, of course. I was hearing those niggling ones… the ones that come from the conscience. So, although I had told everyone that God and I had parted ways and although I considered myself to be a free moral agent… I was still hearing voices.

But do you know what I’ve learned in the half-century since? Everyone hears those voices! If you are a human being — and if you have not become calloused by ignoring him for too long — you will hear God’s voice, too… even if you’re an atheist… and that’s the crux of what we call “The Moral Argument for the existence of God.”

Do I have proof that this voice exists? Sure! The world is still going on! … but it’s still going on because diverse and unconnected people from around the world and throughout history have followed a core moral code that has kept their societies together. Furthermore, that tendency towards altruism is something that evolution and DNA can’t quite explain!

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that we are particularly good at running the world. What I am saying is that the world is only holding together because of the provisions God made for it in Romans 2:14-15. This proves that, collectively, we are at least minimally proficient in hearing God’s voice... and that we respond somewhat morally.

Today’s questioner wants to know if the Moral Argument has the juice to go beyond mere theism to the point of monotheism, or more so, to the God of Christianity. This is a great question! Think about it for a few minutes before you read the article — and as always — enjoy the musing.

(Click here to read the article referenced above. For comments, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, email us at mainsailep@gmail.com.)