“Can morality be independent of God?”
Many people argue that God is not the source of morality and that people can act ethically without religion. Outside of God, society has complete control over what is considered right or wrong. Morality without religion is completely subjective. There were times when slavery was allowed and alcohol was banned; now it is the opposite.
So who determines the foundation for our morals? From the theistic point of view, objective morals are rooted in God. Without God, those morals would be rooted in the opinions of imperfect people.
The problem with separating morality from God is that people will never universally agree on set rules for right and wrong. For example, Nazi Germany believed in anti-Semitism and that their part in the Holocaust was morally right. The majority of the world would strongly disagree with them, holding vastly different opinions. This is a large scale example on the bias within the world when it comes to deciding on moral principles. Our world is so diverse in its laws that every state, country or continent can have two completely different views on moral laws.
From the theistic point of view, our moral values are rooted in God. God’s holy and perfect nature gives us the absolute standard by which we can measure all actions and attitudes against. He is without flaw and holds all of the desirable traits necessary to be morally perfect.
God also holds all people morally accountable for their actions. His righteousness will always prevail, punishing all evil and wrongdoing. God has already triumphed over evil through His son Jesus, and because of that, we live in a moral universe. Despite all of the sin prevalent in societyGod’s justice will balance the scales in the end. Thus, the moral choices we make in our lives will have internal significance and consequence. I think it is clear that theism provides a solid foundation for morality.
Now, hypothetically, say that atheism is true. Objective morals would no longer exist. So, if God is non existent, who decides on the foundation of morality? More specifically, who would decide on the value of human beings? Without God, we have no reason besides our own self-interest to believe humans are special and hold great value or that their moral standards are true. Who even decided in the first place that we had moral obligations? In the absence of God, who or what imposes moral responsibility on us?
“Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory,” wrote Philosopher of Science Michael Ruse.
So, if God does not exist, then it is plausible to think that there are no objective moral values, that we have no moral duties and that there is no moral accountability for how we live and act. In theory, a morally neutral world would be horrific. If, on the other hand, we can rationally conclude that objective moral values and duties do exist, then we have good grounds for believing in the existence of God. We cannot truly be good without God, but if we can, in some measure, be good, it proves that God exists.