William Lane Craig’s central thesis is that objective morality is indefensible apart from the existence of God, and therefore, that the evident fact of objective morality is evidence for the existence of God. Craig justifies his thesis by noting the inability of atheism to account for moral evaluation, moral responsibility, and moral accountability. He is careful to stipulate that he is not arguing that belief in God is required for moral action and character.
Rather, “that if God exists, then the objectivity of moral values, moral duties, and moral accountability is secured, but that in the absence of God, that is, if God does not exist, then morality is just a human convention, that is to say, morality is wholly subjective and non-binding. ” For me, I found the argumentation amazingly systematic and I don’t think I can make such a sophisticated defense for the existence of God, since the central idea of the argumentation differs from my worldview. Strictly speaking, I am not a one-hundred-percent real Buddhist, so I am not completely a theist.
I accept quite a lot of materialism views. I noticed that the author has mentioned: Our subjective perception of objective moral values. Then why the existence of God is not our subjective perception? If I were to think deep into the matter, I prefer believing that gods are formed by people; gods may posses all the things that we think is superior and excellent. In Chinese culture, the gods may not be almighty and morally perfect. They are powerful, in certain realm respectively. People always put what they want and what they thought to be nice to on gods; this is how I think the character of god is created.
However, I also believe things like miracle do exist. I will not try to deny the existence of God, nor will I believe it. I just think that the most important is the faith in life and the love for life. I confess that I accept the objectivity of morality before I think about where it originated from. Most people conducting moral behavior are not for earning a “good” comment. Therefore, serious reflection on standard of good and evil rarely happens to most of us. What I am sure about is that God is not necessary for the accountability of nice things in life, including morality.
First, we may discuss it under the premise of theism. We find in different cultures the native language’s counterpart of “morality” while not every English word has its counterpart in other language. They have different gods. That is to say, morality exists no matter the culture honors God or not. That Craig is unquestionably wrong is made evident by the fact that there have been many, many cultures in existence where people have been moral but haven’t believed in Craig’s god. Then, we may discuss the problem on atheistic view.
The argument of the cruelty of Nazi was mentioned in the argumentation. The author points out that “if naturalism is true, our world is Auschwitz”. Nazi was just an extreme example. We still have other moderate ethic and value among atheists. Peter Haas’ word was quoted to support Craig’s view, but there is a point I can make use of: the Holocaust as a sustained effort was possible only because a new ethic was in place. In various forms of ideologies, some of them do not have god, but the leader or the leader group sets the ethic and moral value for people.
If you are guided by the ideology, you accept its ethic and believe it to be right. According to the leaders themselves, their ethics are certainly right; and their leader or god, who is shaped as perfect as saint is transcendent, as Craig discourses that “only from a vantage transcendent point” can one verdict properly. Atheists get their standards from what or who he believes in as theists draw their standards from their gods. As a Chinese saying goes: If you succeed, you words will be followed; if you fails, no one will listen to you. Nazi failed and its ethic no longer affects people.
Finally, I’d like to reflect upon a couple of quotes on afterlife and naturalistic. I can not agree that “If life ends at the grave, it makes no difference whether one lives as a Stalin or as a saint. ” Like what I have said at the beginning, faith in life and love for life is of much importance. The other is that “Somebody might say that it is in our best self-interest to adopt a moral life-style. But clearly, that is not always true: we all know situations in which self-interest runs smack in the face of morality. “We know, in many cases, selfish people end up tragically.
In my opinion, an outstanding selfish person will not be that shortsighted do things which defies his ultimate goal or biggest self-interest. They understand that they must restrain themselves for self-interest. Besides, even there is no afterlife, we naturally consider what we do will be the best for our children because children is a special afterlife of us. So the self-interest theory is not a plain explanation. All in all, I do not agree with the point that religion is the foundation for morality, despite my appreciation for the writing. I also think it groundless to relate the objectivity of morality to the existence of god.