William Lane Craig responds to objections to belief in God
Kevin Harris: Hey, come on in. We're glad you're hear for the Reasonable Faith podcast with Dr. William Lane Craig. Dr. Craig, good to have you in the studio, and we're going to be looking at some objections to God's existence, or objections to belief in God based on some questions that we've received at ReasonableFaith.org. This first one says,
Dear Dr. Craig, I was recently looking through a website on the philosophy of religion, and encountered an argument for atheism called the argument from autonomy, and it goes like this: if God exists he is worthy of worship; if God is worthy of worship he requires unconditional obedience; but morally autonomous agents cannot have a moral obligation to obey anything unconditionally, since to do so would cause the forfeiture of moral freedom, and if moral freedom is forfeited then the moral agent ceases to be moral at all, and all moral obligations are destroyed; therefore God is incapable of being worshiped; therefore God cannot exist
The argument from autonomy.
Dr. Craig: Well, it's interesting, Kevin, this really isn't an argument against the existence of God—this is an argument against having unconditional moral obligations. So this would be a problem for any ethicist who thinks that we do have unconditional moral obligations, which is what most ethicists do believe, that we have an unconditional moral obligation, for example, to treat other persons as ends in themselves, and worthy of respect rather than as means to ends. So this is an important attack upon objective ethics. And I think that it's just clearly mistaken in that a person can be unconditionally obligated to do something morally, but he has the freedom not to do it, he has the freedom to disobey. And that's all that moral freedom requires, is the ability to do immoral things. So if we have unconditional moral obligations – which I think we most certainly do, such as to worship God – nevertheless we have libertarian freedom to not live up to our unconditional moral obligations, to sin and to do wrong and to be immoral…
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