Is God needed for morality to exist? Billboards have been plastered about claiming that God is not needed for non-believers to be moral.
Atheists often respond by claiming, “I’m as moral as the next guy. I have a conscience.” These may be true. The issue is not whether atheists can do moral things, it’s how they account for morality in a matter-only chance universe. It’s the “accounting for” that makes all the difference.
Theists argue for the existence of God by rational argumentation, compiling a list of evidences, arguing for the impossibility of the contrary (without God nothing makes sense) that includes the impossibility of establishing an obligatory morality.
But even rationality, the ability to reason, must have a source. How did it arise? How do we know if our reasoning is reasonable?
How does someone who believes reason is the source of all truth prove that reason is the source of all truth? By reason. If something else is used, then that something else is a greater authority than reason and it becomes the pou sto—the standing place—the ultimate epistemological authority to evaluate all proximate authorities. It becomes the ultimate epistemological authority.
“Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth” — Archimedes (c. 287 – c. 212 BC)
A materialist must explain how something not material arose from the material. Of course, there’s still the question of the origin of matter. Matter consists of atoms. Do atoms reason? Do conglomerations of non-reasoning atoms reason? Do atoms, singularly or in combination with one another, have the ability to reason and act morally?
Then there’s the issue of information to make the conglomerations of atoms do something. How did the programming to animate the atoms arise? Information is not material in nature.
Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen makes this point in his debate with Gordon Stein in what has been called “The Great Debate” in which Bahnsen shows that logic, the laws of nature, and the laws of morality make no sense unless God is presupposed.
Learn how to defend the Christian faith in Greg Bahnsen’s book Against All Opposition
Computers require a physical architecture as well as programming. The computer and the programming had designers. So how did the computer builders and the program developers gain the ability to reason? Does reason even exist in a matter-only cosmos? Is what we call “mind” nothing more than the firing of electrical synapses in the material brain?
No materialist has an observational or empirical answer to these questions? Theories, yes, but no scientific methodology to prove anything. The existence of reason must be assumed as a given. Reason is necessary to prove the existence and use of reason. It’s a necessary operational presupposition like the eye is needed for seeing to prove the eye sees.