The Question Is…

If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist? Like Mackie and Ruse, I just don’t see any reason to think that in the absence of God, the morality evolved by homo sapiens is objective. After all, if there is no God, then what’s so special about human beings? They’re just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved rela- tively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in a hos- tile and mindless universe and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time. On the atheistic view, some ac- tion, say, rape, may not be socially advantageous, and so in the course of human development has become taboo. But that does absolutely nothing to prove that rape is really wrong. On the atheistic view, there’s nothing really wrong with your raping someone. Thus, without God there is no absolute right and wrong which imposes itself on our conscience.

But the problem is that objective moral values do exist, and deep down we all know it. There’s no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral val- ues than the objective reality of the physical world. Actions like rape, torture, and child abuse aren’t just socially unacceptable behavior; they’re moral abominations. Some things, at least, are really wrong. Similarly, love, equality, and self-sacrifice are really good. But if objective values cannot exist without God, and objective values do exist, then it follows logically and inescapably that God exists.

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4: God makes sense of the historical facts concerning the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, was a re- markable individual. New Testament critics have reached something of a consensus that the historical Jesus came on the scene with an unprece- dented sense of divine authority, the authority to stand and speak in God’s place. That’s why the Jewish leadership instigated his crucifixion for the charge of blasphemy. He claimed that in himself the Kingdom of God had come, and as visible demonstrations of this fact, he carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcisms. But the supreme confirmation of his claim was his resurrection from the dead. If Jesus did rise from the dead, then it would seem that we have a divine miracle on our hands and, thus, evidence for the existence of God.

Now most people would think that the resurrection of Jesus is just some- thing you believe in by faith or not. But, in fact, there are three established facts, recognized by the majority of New Testament historians today, which I believe support the resurrection of Jesus: the empty tomb; Jesus’ postmortem appearances; and the origin of the disciples’ belief in his resurrection. Let me say a word about each one of these.