(Book: On Guard, by William Lane Craig. Chapter 6: “Can We Be Good Without God?”)
Remember those “objective” moral values that are the foundation of Craig’s moral argument for God? Turns out he does not actually believe they exist either.
What does it mean to say, for example, that the moral value justice just exists? It’s hard to make sense of this. It’s easy to understand what it means to say that some person is just, but it’s bewildering when someone says that in the absence of any people justice itself exists. Moral values seem to be properties of persons, and it’s hard to understand how justice can exist as an abstraction.
Nor do objective moral duties exist either.
Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that moral values like justice, loyalty, mercy, forbearance, and the like just exist. How does that result in any moral obligations for me? Why would I have a moral duty to be, say, merciful? Who or what lays such an obligation on me?
Exactly. Moral duties, like moral values, exist in the minds of those to whom they apply. They are subjective, not objective. Craig is refuting his own argument.
To be fair, Craig thinks he’s refuting what he calls “atheistic moral platonism,” but as you can see above, he’s actually talking about moral values that exist objectively, i.e. moral values whose existence does not depend on and/or consist of someone’s perception of them. As I’ve been pointing out all along, this idea is literally nonsense, and now I think we can fairly say that Craig knows it. And yet the first premise of his argument is, “If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist,” followed by the second premise, “Objective moral values and duties do exist.” But if that’s all nonsense, then where does that leave Craig’s argument from morality?