Moral Arguments and Natural Signs for God

C. Stephen Evans

in Natural Signs and Knowledge of God

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199217168
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191712401 | DOI:
Moral Arguments and Natural Signs for God

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This chapter considers a theoretical moral argument for God's existence: if there are objectively binding moral obligations, then God exists. There are such obligations. So, probably God exists. This chapter first examines some arguments against the second premise, especially those of Nietzsche and Mackie. It then examines some arguments against the first premise that rely on alternative accounts of morality, such as naturalistic reductive accounts, social contract accounts, and neo‐Kantian accounts. The chapter argues that, while all such objections are themselves problematic, it is clear that theoretical moral arguments for God's existence fall short of being conclusive proofs. After a discussion of divine command theory, it is argued that two theistic signs can be seen in moral arguments for God's existence: (1) our recognition of ourselves as responsible and accountable moral beings, and (2) our perception of human persons as possessing intrinsic worth and dignity. The chapter concludes by showing how these perceptions, while resistible, are widely affirmed by many different moral theories, and point clearly to God.

Keywords: moral obligations; error theory; utilitarianism; social contract; self‐legislation; divine command; constructivist; human rights

Chapter.  16984 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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