In this video, Dr Craig argues that we have good reason to accept the objectivity of ought, and from that we see that there is a credible ground of such, God.
In slightly more details, if one rejects the objectivity of the general sense of OUGHT as governing our behaviour, we are implying a general delusion.
Where, as there are no firewalls in the mind . . . a general delusion undermines the general credibility of knowledge and rationality.
And in practice even those who most passionately argue for moral subjectivity live by the premise that moral principles such as fairness, justice, doing good by neighbour etc are binding. That is, there is no good reason to doubt that reality.
OUGHT, credibly, is real and binding.
But if OUGHT is real, it has to be grounded in a foundational IS in the cosmos.
After centuries of debate, there is still only one serious candidate, the inherently good Creator-God, a necessary and maximally great being.
Essentially, the being we find referred to in the US Declaration of Independence of 1776 (which also shows the positive, liberating historic impact of such a view):
When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .
(Readers may wish to see this discussion in context as well.)
By way of contrast, on the evolutionary materialist perspective, we may for instance see Dawkins, in as reproduced in “God’s Utility Function” in Sci Am in 1995:
Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This lesson is one of the hardest for humans to learn. We cannot accept that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous: indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose . . . . In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference . . . . DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. [[ “God’s Utility Function,” Sci. Am. Aug 1995, pp. 80 – 85.]
. . . or (adding overnight), Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson in the 1991 form of the essay, “The Evolution of Ethics”
The time has come to take seriously the fact [[–> This is a gross error at the outset, as macro-evolution is a theory (an explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the orbiting of planets around the sun etc.] that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day . . . We must think again especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will … In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. [= evolutionary materialist philosophical premise, duly dressed up in a lab coat . . . ] Once it is grasped, everything falls into place. [Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and Brace, 1991.
. . . and Provine in his Darwin Day address at U. Tenn 1998:
With Sir Francis Crick backing up in an inadvertent self-refutation:
. . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” [–> But Sir Francis, what does this imply about your own responsible freedom and ability to choose to think reasonably?] This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing. [Cf. dramatisation of unintended potential consequences, here.]
So, it seems that if we are inclined to accept evolutionary materialist scientism and to reject God, we do end up in a want of foundation for morality. Which carries the onward implication of a general delusion and breakdown of the credibility of rational mindedness and responsible freedom.
Thus, reductio ad absurdum.
At least, that is how it looks from where I sit and type. Thoughts? (And if the thoughts are evolutionary materialistic, how do you ground credibility of mind and morals on such? For surely, blindly mechanical computation is not contemplation.) END
PS: I think it worth adding (Jan 29) a Koukl lecture: