This argument is also presented in a general way in philosophical circles; Moral Law only makes logical sense if there is indeed a God, though they don’t really attempt to label which God it is from a philosophical perspective. As always, I’ll present this from that general perspective, and then show how it does indeed point to The God; The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The God of Christianity.
There is a distinction to be made before really getting into the main argument; that is the distinction between moral laws and Moral Law. Moral laws (notice the lower case “l” and the plural), are those laws that vary from culture to culture, and person to person. Moral Law (capital “L” (which is a personal notation preference of mint) and the fact that it is singular) pertains to morality in and of itself; the fact that everyone recognized that there is “a” right and wrong, even if disagreeing on the particulars. Moral Law denotes moral principles that are absolute, and objective; in other words meaningful morality.
Humans have a definite sense of right and wrong, there are even areas of “universal” morality; such as each and every human culture having some kind of laws about marriage, and/or sexual practices. Then, even with the differing moral laws, we see a high level of similarities.
CS Lewis brought this point home by urging people to compare the laws and moral thinking of the various civilizations; Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Hindus, Chinese, Babylonians, etc… Lewis tries to get people to imagine a culture where cowardice in good causes is admired and taught to the next generation; it just wouldn’t happen, it would be illogical. The idea of morality and Moral Law, or Real Morality is discussed by Lewis in depth in Mere Christianity, which I recommend to anyone digging into this.
But, as mentioned before, the Moral Argument rests more on Moral Law, instead of the changing laws of culture. Moral Law is moral consciousness; everyone has a sense of right and wrong, even someone like a psychopath. Now, that psychopath won’t have the same idea of moral laws, but there will be somethings that he will indeed hold to be “right” or “wrong.” He might very well think it ok for him to kill someone, but he probably would think it wrong for someone to steal his car.
On another level, the psychopath example serves as another illustration; the vast majority of humans recognize that there is something wrong and deviant with that psychopath. We all recognize that we don’t just have a difference of subjective opinion with Hitler, no, we recognize that Hitler was absolutely and objectively wrong in his actions, even to the point of being evil.
There can only be objective and meaningful right and wrong, good and evil, with an Absolute Law-Giver. That Law-Giver is labeled “God.” Of course there are some philosophers that claim to be relativists; they claim that indeed all morality is completely and utterly subjective…but how many of those philosophers actually live out that perspective?
If I stand up in front of a room of people and declare it perfectly ok to kill a little three year old child that annoys me, simply because he annoys me, they are going to very rightly disagree. A relativist has to admit that it is a valid opinion, and just as true or good as those that argue against killing that child. That means there would be not actual right nor wrong, no good nor evil, all of it is just opinion.
Relativism also falls by pulling the logical rug out from under its own feet; if every opinion is just as true or right as every other opinion, then what about the opinion that there is an absolute and objective morality?
To any rational human being that is a totally outrageous claim that does not jive with reality. So, if we claim any kind of meaningful morality at all, it requires a Source; an objective, absolute and unchanging source; that source is God.
One wonderful thing about Christianity is that Christ Himself embodies God’s will, and His unchanging nature. Not only did the Law-Giver reveal His will and Law to mankind, He also sent us the Son Who is the absolute model of that Law. He fulfilled the Law without ever sinning (which is simply missing that perfect bulls eye of God’s Will), and He is unchanging in that perfection.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
If morality is right and wrong, we get and act in all true “rightness” via God. God isn’t just the author of Righteousness, and He doesn’t “just” define it like we define a word, He is Righteousness. If Righteousness is “right-ness” everything God does is “right;” God is right if you want to.
Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
It’s not about a matter of arbitrariness, righteousness from God is, just as God is (He is “I AM”). Without God, there is not an actual, useful idea of righteousness, without Him it is a meaningless, subjective, arbitrary concept. This idea is backed up by one of His names; Jehovah-Tsidkenu; The LORD our Righteousness. It’s one of those wonderful teachings of Christianity; we don’t have to really on our own poor righteousness; The LORD Himself is our righteousness. I’ll have to do a longer blog post on this name of God soon.
Leviticus 2:18 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.
He is constantly revealing Himself to us as Righteousness and Holiness itself. As with the other arguments for God, the God of the Bible fits the bill perfectly.