عصير كتاب: حراسة العقيدة لـ ويليام كريج On Guard

Posted: نوفمبر 30, 2015 in لاهوت طبيعي, الكتابات العامة, الإلحاد, عصير الكتب

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

by William Lane Craig

On-Guard

What Difference Does It Make If God Exists?

· Something is objective if it’s real or true independent of anyone’s opinion about it. “Water is H2O” is an objective fact. Something is subjective if it’s just a matter of personal opinion. “Vanilla tastes better than chocolate” is subjective. You can keep these terms straight by remembering that “objective” is like an object that is really there, whereas “subjective” is like a subject or a person on whose opinion something depends. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 401-408). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· These three notions—meaning, value, and purpose—though closely related, are distinct. Meaning has to do with significance, why something matters. Value has to do with good and evil, right and wrong. Purpose has to do with a goal, a reason for something. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 408-410). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· My claim is that if there is no God, then meaning, value, and purpose are ultimately human illusions. They’re just in our heads. If atheism is true, then life is really objectively meaningless, valueless, and purposeless, despite our subjective beliefs to the contrary. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 413-415). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· If God does not exist, our lives are ultimately meaningless, valueless, and purposeless despite how desperately we cling to the illusion to the contrary. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 419-420). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· And the universe, too, faces a death of its own. Scientists tell us that the universe is expanding, and the galaxies are growing farther and farther apart. As it does so, it grows colder and colder as its energy is used up. Eventually all the stars will burn out, and all matter will collapse into dead stars and black holes. There will be no light; there will be no heat; there will be no life; only the corpses of dead stars and galaxies, ever expanding into the endless darkness and the cold recesses of space—a universe in ruins. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 431-435). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Historian Stewart C. Easton sums it up well when he writes, “There is no objective reason why man should be moral, unless morality ‘pays off’ in his social life or makes him ‘feel good.’ There is no objective reason why man should do anything save for the pleasure it affords him.” [ Stewart C. Easton, The Western Heritage, 2nd ed. (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1966), 878.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 485-487). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Richard Dawkins’ assessment of human worth may be depressing, but why, given atheism, is he mistaken when he says, “There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference.… We are machines for propagating DNA.… It is every living object’s sole reason for being”? [The quotation seems to be a pastiche from Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden: a Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books, 1996), 133; and Richard Dawkins, “The Ultraviolet Garden,” Lecture 4 of 7 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, London 1991).]  [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 492-495). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Bertrand Russell, too, was inconsistent. For though he was an atheist, he was an outspoken social critic, denouncing war and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views “incredible.” “I do not know the solution,” he confessed. [Bertrand Russell, letter to the editor, The Observer, October 6, 1957.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 607-610). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· For example, the outspoken atheist and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg, at the close of his much-acclaimed book The First Three Minutes, writes, It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that somehow we were built in from the beginning.… It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless. But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators, and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. [Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes (London: Andre Deutsch, 1977), 154–155.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 647-657). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

Why Does Anything At All Exist?

· G. W. Leibniz, co-discoverer of calculus and a towering intellect of eighteenth-century Europe, wrote: “The first question which should rightly be asked is: Why is there something rather than nothing?” [G. W. F. von Leibniz, “The Principles of Nature and of Grace, Based on Reason,” in Leibniz Selections, ed. P. Wiener (New York: Scribner’s, 1951), 527.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 800-802). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Necessary or Contingent: Things that exist necessarily exist by a necessity of their own nature. It belongs to their very nature to exist. Things that exist contingently can fail to exist and so need an external cause to explain why they do in fact exist. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 838-841). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· In Leibniz’s view there are two kinds of things: (a) things that exist necessarily and (b) things that are produced by some external cause. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 843-844). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· A fallacy is an error in reasoning. Fallacies can be either formal or informal. A formal fallacy involves breaking the rules of logic. An informal fallacy involves an argumentative tactic that is illicit, such as reasoning in a circle. The “taxicab fallacy” would be an informal fallacy. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 870-872). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· So some atheists have tried to justify making the universe an exception to premise 1. They say that it’s impossible for the universe to have an explanation of its existence. Why? Because the explanation of the universe would have to be some prior state of affairs in which the universe didn’t yet exist. But that would be nothingness, and nothingness can’t be the explanation of anything. So the universe must just exist inexplicably. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 885-888). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· This line of reasoning is obviously fallacious. For it assumes that the universe is all there is, so that if there were no universe there would be nothing. In other words, the objection assumes that atheism is true! The atheist is thus begging the question, arguing in a circle. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 892-894). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· As we’ve just seen, the atheist typically asserts the following: A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence. This is precisely what the atheist says in response to premise 1. The universe just exists inexplicably. But this is logically equivalent to saying: B. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, then atheism is not true. So you can’t affirm (A) and deny (B). [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 908-912). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Abstract versus Concrete Objects Philosophers distinguish objects as being either abstract or concrete. The defining difference between them is that abstract objects are causally effete or impotent, whereas concrete objects can cause effects in the world. Various objects have been identified by different philosophers as abstract, principally mathematical entities like numbers, sets, and functions, but also propositions, properties, fictional characters, and even musical and literary works. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 915-919). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· For think of what the universe is: all of space-time reality, including all matter and energy. It follows that if the universe has a cause of its existence, that cause must be a nonphysical, immaterial being beyond space and time. Amazing! [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 921-923). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Now there are only two sorts of things that could fit that description: either an abstract object like a number or else an unembodied mind. But abstract objects can’t cause anything. That’s part of what it means to be abstract. The number 7, for example, can’t cause any effects. So the cause of the existence of the universe must be a transcendent Mind, which is what believers understand God to be. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 923-926). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· What can the atheist do at this point? He has a more radical alternative open to him. He can retrace his steps, withdraw his objection to premise 1, and say instead that, yes, the universe does have an explanation of its existence. But that explanation is: The universe exists by a necessity of its own nature. For the atheist, the universe could serve as a sort of God-substitute that exists necessarily. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 933-935). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· As we look about the universe, none of the things that make it up, whether stars, planets, galaxies, dust, radiation, or what have you, seems to exist necessarily. They could all fail to exist; indeed, at some point in the past, when the universe was very dense, none of them did exist. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 944-946). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Now it seems obvious that a different collection of fundamental particles could have existed instead of the collection that does exist. But if that were the case, then a different universe would have existed. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 955-956). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Analogies and Disanalogies: An analogy is a point of similarity between two things. A disanalogy is a point of difference or dissimilarity between two things. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 965-968). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· No one thinks that every particle in the universe exists by a necessity of its own nature. It follows that neither does the universe composed of such particles exist by a necessity of its own nature. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 974-976). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

Why Did the Universe Begin?

· Al-Ghazali’s Argument: What is the argument that had caused such controversy? Let’s allow one of its greatest medieval champions to speak for himself. Al-Ghazali was a twelfth-century Muslim theologian from Persia, or modern-day Iran. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1091-1093). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· After thoroughly studying the teachings of these philosophers, Ghazali wrote a withering critique of their views entitled The Incoherence of the Philosophers. In this fascinating book, he argues that the idea of a beginningless universe is absurd. The universe must have a beginning, and since nothing begins to exist without a cause, there must be a transcendent Creator of the universe. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1095-1098). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy devoted to exploring questions about the nature of ultimate reality. Prominent issues in metaphysics include the nature of existence, the nature of time and space, the relation of mind and body, the reality of abstract objects, and the existence of God. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1128-1130). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Properly understood, “nothing” does not mean just empty space. Nothing is the absence of anything whatsoever, even space itself. As such, nothingness has literally no properties at all, since there isn’t anything to have any properties! [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1138-1140). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Quentin Smith of Western Michigan University responded that the most rational position to hold is that the universe came “from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing” [ Quentin Smith, Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 135.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1144-1146). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· This is simply the faith of an atheist. In fact, I think this represents a greater leap of faith than belief in the existence of God. For it is, I repeat, literally worse than magic. If this is the alternative to belief in God, then unbelievers can never accuse believers of irrationality, for what could be more evidently irrational than this? [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1147-1149). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Why is it only universes that can come into being from nothing? What makes nothingness so discriminatory? There can’t be anything about nothingness that favors universes, for nothingness doesn’t have any properties. Nor can anything constrain nothingness, for there isn’t anything to be constrained! [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1151-1153). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Premise 1 does not say that everything has a cause. Rather it says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Something that is eternal wouldn’t need a cause, since it never came into being. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1164-1165). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The Fallacy of Composition Each part of an elephant may not be heavy, but that doesn’t mean the whole elephant isn’t heavy! [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1279-1282). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· That beginning may or may not involve a beginning point. But theories (such as Stephen Hawking’s “no boundary” proposal) that do not have a pointlike beginning still have a finite past. The universe has not existed forever, according to such theories, but came into existence, even if it didn’t do so at a sharply defined point. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1380-1382). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· “Not only did the Big Bang model seem to give in to the Judeo-Christian idea of a beginning of the world, but it also seemed to have to call for an act of supernatural creation.…” [J. M. Wersinger, “Genesis: The Origin of the Universe,” National Forum (Winter 1996), 11, 9, 12.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1384-1389). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· “It took time, observational evidence, and careful verification of predictions made by the Big Bang model to convince the scientific community to accept the idea of a cosmic genesis.” [J. M. Wersinger, “Genesis: The Origin of the Universe,” National Forum (Winter 1996), 11, 9, 12.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1384-1389). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· “… [T]he Big Bang is a very successful model … that imposed itself on a reluctant scientific community.” [J. M. Wersinger, “Genesis: The Origin of the Universe,” National Forum (Winter 1996), 11, 9, 12.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1384-1389). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Vilenkin is blunt about the implications: It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning. [Alexander Vilenkin, Many Worlds in One (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 176.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1403-1406). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The prominent atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett agrees that the universe has a cause. But he thinks that the cause of the universe is: itself! Yes, he’s serious. In what he calls “the ultimate boot-strapping trick,” he claims that the universe created itself. [Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Viking, 2006), 244.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1504-1506). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Notice that he’s not saying that the universe is self-caused in the sense that it has always existed. No, he’s saying that the universe brought itself into being. But this is impossible, for in order to create itself, the universe would have to already exist. It would have to exist before it existed. Dennett’s view is logically incoherent. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1507-1509). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

Why Is The Universe Fine-Tuned For Life?

· According to Plato, there are two things that lead men to believe in God: the argument from the existence of the soul, and the argument “from the order of the motion of the stars, and of all things under the dominion of the Mind which ordered the universe” (Laws 12.966e). [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1569-1571). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Plato employed these arguments to refute atheism and concluded that there must be a “best soul” who is the “Maker and Father of all,” the “King,” who ordered the primordial chaos into the rational cosmos that we observe today (Laws 10.893b–899c). [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1571-1573). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Definition of “Fine-Tuning”: Now what scientists have been surprised to discover is that these constants and quantities must fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of values for the universe to be life-permitting. This is what is meant by the fine-tuning of the universe for life. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1627-1630). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The number of subatomic particles in the entire known universe is said to be around 1080 (1 followed by eighty zeroes). Such numbers are so huge that they’re simply incomprehensible. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1633-1635). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The so-called weak force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature, which operates inside the nucleus of an atom, is so finely tuned that an alteration in its value by even one part out of 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe! [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1642-1644). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Similarly, a change in the value of the so-called cosmological constant, which drives the acceleration of the universe’s expansion, by as little as one part in 10120 would have rendered the universe life-prohibiting. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1644-1645). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· We can present a very simple three-step argument: (1) The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. (2) It is not due to physical necessity or chance. (3) Therefore, it is due to design. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1681-1684). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The three possible reasons why our universe is fine-tuned for life are: (1) Physical necessity: The constants and quantities must have the values they do. (2) Chance: The constants and quantities have the values they do simply by accident. (3) Design: The constants and quantities were designed to have the values they do. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1687-1691). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Notice that by focusing on cosmic fine-tuning this argument does an end run around the whole emotionally charged issue of biological evolution. The argument from fine-tuning, if successful, will show that the evolution of intelligent life anywhere in the cosmos depends upon the design of the initial cosmic conditions. Any design arguments based on the origin of life, the origin of biological complexity, the origin of consciousness, and so on, will simply layer on more improbability, making it all the more unlikely that all this can be explained apart from a Designer. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1704-1708). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The Anthropic Principle: We can observe only those values of the fundamental constants and quantities that are compatible with our existence. This reasoning is fallacious. The fact that we can observe only a life-permitting universe does nothing to eliminate the need of an explanation for why a life-permitting universe exists. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1781-1785). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Imagine you’re traveling abroad and arrested on trumped-up drug charges. You’re dragged in front of a firing squad of one hundred trained marksmen standing at point-blank range. You hear the command given: “Ready! Aim! Fire!” You hear the deafening sound of the guns. And then you observe that you’re still alive! That all of the one hundred marksmen missed! Now what would you conclude? “Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they all missed! After all, if they hadn’t all missed, I wouldn’t be here to be surprised about it! Nothing more to be explained here!” Of course not! It’s true that you shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t observe that you’re dead, since if you were dead, you wouldn’t be able to observe it. But you should still be surprised that you do observe that you’re alive, in light of the enormous improbability that all the marksmen would miss. Indeed, you’d probably conclude that they all missed on purpose, that the whole thing was a setup, engineered for some reason by someone. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1785-1793). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· This objection is what Richard Dawkins calls “the central argument of my book” The God Delusion.[2] He summarizes his argument as follows: 1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises. 2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself. 3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. 4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection. 5. We don’t have an equivalent explanation for physics. 6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology. Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1849-1859). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Naturalism is the belief that only natural explanations (as opposed to supernatural ones) should be considered. Because a designer is defined as supernatural—beyond nature—naturalism rules out this explanation, regardless of evidence. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1871-1873). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Several years ago the atheist philosopher Quentin Smith unceremoniously crowned Stephen Hawking’s argument against God in A Brief History of Time as “the worst atheistic argument in the history of Western thought.” [Quentin Smith, “The Wave Function of a Godless Universe,” in Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology, by William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 322.] [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1905-1907). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

Can We Be Good Without God?

· What Is the Basis of Our Values? Are they based on: (1) Social convention? (2) Personal preference? (3) Evolution? (4) God? [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1934-1938). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· For now, we can argue: (1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist. (2) Objective moral values and duties do exist. (3) Therefore, God exists. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1957-1959). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Values and Duties First, notice that I distinguish values and duties. Values have to do with whether something is good or bad. Duties have to do with whether something is right or wrong. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1978-1979). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Values and Duties: Moral value refers to the worth of a person or action, whether it is good or bad. Moral duty refers to our obligation to act in a certain way, whether that action is right or wrong. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1982-1984). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Objective and Subjective Second, there’s the distinction between being objective or subjective. By objective I mean “independent of people’s opinions.” By subjective I mean “dependent on people’s opinions.” So to say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is good or bad no matter what people think about it. Similarly, to say that we have objective moral duties is to say that certain actions are right or wrong for us regardless of what people think. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 1994-1998). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The other response you can count on getting from unbelievers is the so-called Euthyphro dilemma, named after a character in one of Plato’s dialogues. It basically goes like this: Is something good because God wills it? Or does God will something because it is good? If you say that something is good because God wills it, then what is good becomes arbitrary. God could have willed that hatred is good, and then we would have been morally obligated to hate one another. That seems crazy. Some moral values, at least, seem to be necessary. But if you say that God wills something because it is good, then what is good or bad is independent of God. In that case, moral values and duties exist independently of God, which contradicts premise 1. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 2076-2081). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· There’s a third alternative, namely, God wills something because He is good. What do I mean by that? I mean that God’s own nature is the standard of goodness, and His commandments to us are expressions of His nature. In short, our moral duties are determined by the commands of a just and loving God. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 2082-2084). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· The Euthyphro Dilemma (1) Is something good because God wills it? Then the good is arbitrary. (2) Does God will something because it is good? Then it is a moral value independent of God. Solution: God wills something because He is good. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 2085-2089). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

· Humanism is the view that man is the measure of all things. In particular, man takes the place of God as the anchor of moral values, and moral duties are determined by what promotes human flourishing. [William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 2125-2127). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.]

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