The following short essay by Peter Kreeft, a prominent Catholic theologian and apologist at Boston College, is the one of the most clear and convincing arguments I have read concerning the existence of God. I strongly urge my blog readers to look carefully at this essay.
The following argument for the existence of God comes from Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy, Boston College:
“I’m going to argue for the existence of God on the premise that moral good and evil really exist. They are not simply a matter of personal taste; not merely substitutes for ‘I like’ and ‘I don’t like’.
“To clarify, this does not mean that atheists cannot be moral; of course they can. Just like theists can act immorally.
“So, where do good and evil come from? Atheists commonly propose a few possibilities: evolution, reason, conscience, human nature and utilitarianism. None of these, however, can be the ultimate source of morality.
“Evolution? Any supposed morality that is evolving can change. If it can change for the good or the bad, then there must be a Standard above these changes by which we judge them as good or bad.
“Throughout human history, more powerful societies have enslaved weaker societies—and prospered. That’s just the way it was, and no one questioned it.
Today, we condemn slavery. But, based on an evolutionary model, one that is ever changing, who is to say that slavery might be acceptable again one day?
“Slavery was one accepted, but it was not, therefore, acceptable. If you can’t make that distinction, then you can’t criticize slavery! If you can see the distinction, then you are admitting to objective morality.
“Reasoning? Whereas reasoning is a powerful tool to help us discover and/or understand morality, it cannot be the source of morality. For example, criminals use reasoning to plan a murder, without their reasoning telling them that murder is wrong. And was it reasoning or something higher than reasoning that led those Gentiles to save the lives of Jews threatened by the Holocaust? The answer is obvious: it was something higher than reasoning, because risking one’s life to save the life of a stranger was a very unreasonable thing to do.
“Conscience? Conscience, alone, cannot be the source of morality. Every person has his own conscience, and some appear to have none. Himmler, commander of the brutal Nazi SS, successfully appealed to his henchmen’s consciences to help him do the ‘right thing’ in murdering and torturing millions of Jews and others. How can you say that your conscience is right and Himmler’s was wrong if conscience alone is the source of morality? Answer: you can’t.
“Human Nature? Some people say that human nature is the ultimate source of morality. But, human nature can lead us to do all sorts of reprehensible things. In fact, human nature is the very reason we need morality. Our human nature can lead some of us to do real evil, and all of us to be selfish, unkind, petty and egocentric. We surely would not want to live in a world where human nature was unrestrained.
“Utilitarianism? Utilitarianism is the claim that what is morally right is determined by whatever creates the greatest happiness for the greatest number. But, to return to our slavery example, if 90% get great benefit from enslaving the other 10%, would that make slavery right? According to utilitarianism—it would.
“Now that we see where morality cannot come from, let’s see where it does come from. What are moral laws?
“Unlike the laws of physics or the laws of mathematics, that tell us ‘what is’, the laws of morality tell us ‘what ought to be’. But, like physical laws, they direct and order something, and that ‘something’ is right human behavior.
“But, since morality does not exist physically (there are no moral atoms, or cells or genes) its Cause has to be something that exists apart from the physical world. That thing must, therefore, be above nature, i.e. supernatural.
“The very existence of morality proves the existence of something that is beyond nature and beyond man. Just as a design suggests a designer, moral commandments suggest a Moral Commander. Moral laws must come from a Moral Lawgiver. That Source is God, the One Who has revealed Himself in His Word.
“So then, the conclusion of this argument is that whenever you appeal to morality, you are appealing to God, whether you are willing to admit it or not. You are talking about something religious, even if you think you are an atheist.”
When we discuss the existence of God, we define Him as a perfect Being, greater than anything else which can be conceived. If God does not exist, then the very name "God" refers to an imaginary being. This makes the definition of "God" contradictory, for to be real, to be living, to have power, is greater than to be imaginary. It is clear that I cannot even discuss the word "God", by definition, if He does not exist. I have to conceive of Him as really existing in order for Him to be greater than anything else, for a God Who does not exist obviously cannot be greater than anything else.
For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: Let God be true, though every man were a liar. Romans 3.4
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11.6