I now see the moral argument as more coherent

(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

So I have said before that I find the Moral Argument (as presented by Francis Collins) to be unconvincing. Theistic youtuber InspiringPhilosophy and Atheistic YouTuber CosmicSkeptic recently had a debate on the moral argument:

In short I am undecided as to who won the debate, however after watching more of IP’s videos regarding the moral argument, I now see (his version of) the argument as much more convincing.

For those of you who did not watch the video, I will explain here.

Premise 1: Morality is a rational enterprise.

Premise 2: Moral Realism is true (the best argument for moral duties being real is that if moral facts did not exist, then epistemic facts would not exist, the two are very similar, see this video for more information)

Premise 3: There are too many disagreements and moral problems amongst humans for morality to be derived from human rationality.

Conclusion: Morality is derived from a higher rational being, who is God.

I find the logic hard to disagree with.

(John Dalton) #2

An alternate view is that we have evolved moral capacities. This contradicts the idea that morality is rational. Some of it is certainly, but much comes from innate, evolved capacities, which to an extent are shared with our mammalian relatives. To build on an example used in the video, if we see someone harming someone else, do we not have an innate response? Won’t that response inform our actions to a great extent, perhaps without any rational reasoning whatsoever? Or fear or other innate responses might take over. It actually seems quite unlikely that in such a visceral situation we will reason things out in purely rational terms, and then act on that basis. This video gives an outline of an evolutionary timeline for moral capacities:

(Matthew Pevarnik) #3

I’m not much of a fan of any philosophy arguments for or against God as you may have seen in other threads, but I am curious how God being the source of morality actually solves much of anything but opens up a whole new unsolvable can of worms…

  1. Which god is the source of all morality? If he is not contingent, then which of the non-contingent possible gods is the real, actual source?
  2. Does this god have a holy book? Which interpretation of the holy book is the true derived morality? You yourself Reggie seem to have a blend of your own ideas + the Old Testament for what you work through as moral. You certainly don’t get that from the book itself.

There are so many disagreements about these two points I just listed, I’m not sure how your premise 3 is particularly useful here.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #4

I never said this is any particular god, only that it potentially demonstrates that there is a God. Whoever this God is, he is clearly not deistic, because he cares about how he lives our lives. He best fits the God of one of the major religions.

btw, do you believe in God? If so I’m curious to know why?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #5

Evolution only shows us how we came to ‘understand’ morality, not where morality actually comes from.

(John Dalton) #6

But your first premise is “morality is a rational exercise”. That’s what I was addressing by noting that we have evolved moral senses which lead us to moral feelings without rational thought. Neither your premise or my rebuttal are connected to whether there is an external morality which derived from another source.


This premise seems to need some support. I haven’t watched the videos, so forgive me if I go over material that is answered in those videos, but I guess I don’t see how if morality was subjective that epistemic facts would not exist. Does my favorite ice cream flavor have to be an objective truth in order for epistemic facts to exist?

It seems that you are simply inserting objective morality into the premises instead of the premises leading to that conclusion.