Like The Moral Argument this is also an axiological argument since axio literally means “value”.
Theistic Argument from Absolute Values
– Authored by Ajita Krishna Dasa
1. If God does not exist, absolute values do not exist
2. Absolute values do exist
3. Therefore God exist
Before defending the first premise of my argument I would like to mention that this is an argument and not a proof. It’s not an absolute proof. For 99% of all the propositions we accept as true we don’t have 100% proof. Science, for example, never talk about proofs but about justifying. The scientific method relies on induction which per definition can’t give us certain knowledge. To demand an absolute proof for God would be inconsistent since we mostly accept things as true even though we haven’t seen absolute proofs for them. So I’m not giving a 100% proof for the existence of God, but I’m showing that the premises in my argument are far better than their negations, and that it’s conclusion therefore also is far better than it’s negation. I will go so far as to say that if after reading this argument one does not accept the existence of God one is unintelligent.
Defense of premise one:
1. If God does not exist, absolute values do not exist.
According to our experience values are always produced by a mind. We don’t see values flying around in the air or lying on the streets. Whenever we see values they are produced by a mind. Therefore, based on an inductive argument rooted on our experience with values as always being produced by a mind, we have to conclude that if absolute values exist they are also produced by a mind. That’s where the evidence points. But fallible and limited human minds can’t establish absolute values. Absolute values are values that are objective and true even if some or all people disagree with them, don’t know about their existence or can act contrary to them. For a value to be absolute it also has to be true in all possible worlds. If there were other worlds the value of human life would also be a value in them in order to be an absolute value. It should be obvious that a fallible and limited human mind can’t establish such absolute values. Just like human minds, for example, can’t establish mathematical truths, but only discover them. We can’t even change the laws of nature. Even if we for the sake of argument accepted that they could it would lead to contradictions. Human A could make it an absolute truth that human life is absolutely valuable while person B could make it an absolute truth that the absence of human life is absolutely valuable. This would make human life both absolutely valuable or not absolutely valuable at the same time which is a contradiction. But what could establish absolute values? The best answer seems to be that such values requires an absolute mind with absolute power so that no other person or entity can change or overrule the created values). Such an absolute mind with absolute power must be labeled God.
First objection to premise one
Atheist: “well if value A is true for a person, and is caused by gene A, and everyone has gene A, then everyone has value A. by definition value A is true to everyone and by your definition it is a absolute value. If it is true that a square has four sides, and all squares have the same properties as that square, then it is absolutely true to say that all squares have four sides.”
AKD: “What does it mean that value A is “true for a person”? And what you have to prove is that value A is in fact true, and it doesn’t become true even if a certain kind of gene make all people think value A is true. And if it isn’t true, it isn’t an absolute value.”
Atheist: “By Value a being true i mean that that person feels that value and knows it. Now by logic, if that person’s value is true for them, and it is caused by Gene A, and everyone has gene A, That value is universal and it is true. Because for something to be true it has to be universal.”
AKD: “You fail to argue how it can become “true”. It’s also not universal since it’s not eternally existing, it’s contingent on the existence of humans and their specific gene and it’s not existing in all possible worlds. So basically you have no argument here.”
Atheist: “If its universal for every single human alive, and was ever alive how is it not true? so by your logic are you saying unthinking bacteria or even viruses have these values? What is your definition of being true?”
AKD: “Like I’ve said a couple of times now: Just because all humans have a gene that makes them feel that something has value it doesn’t follow that it’s true that it has value. If all humans had a gene that make them feel the Earth was flat that wouldn’t make the Earth flat. Our feelings are not the standard against which reality is measured. My definition of being true is that proposition A is true if it coincides with the reality. The proposition “the Earth is not flat” is true if, and only if, the Earth is actually not flat. In the same way the proposition “life has value” is true if, and only if, life actually has value. A gene might make me feel life has value, but it doesn’t follow from that that life actually has value. Therefore your gene idea brings you nowhere.”
Atheist: “a gene might tell you a life has value. ok. now if a person has that gene that tells them life is valuable, and every other person that has ever lived has had that same gene, even in a recessive form( where they don’t feel that value or they don’t know it) It means that human life is valuable to every single person that has every lived or will ever live. It means it is true”
AKD: “I’ve already refuted that claim. Just because a gene makes you feel and think that A has value it doesn’t follow that A actually has value. You’re committing a form of the naturalistic fallacy because you infer a value from what “is”. This is the last time I’ll respond to this sort of fallacious argumentation.”
Second objection to premise one
Atheist: “It isn’t IMPOSSIBLE for an atheist to accept absolute values.”
AKD: “But they can’t explain where they come from. And since theism offers a very plausible explanation for them it follows that atheists prefer to reject them – otherwise they’ll cling to the worst explanation (no explanation at all). When you have explanation A for which there’s evidence and explanation B for which there’s no evidence, then it’s irrational to choose explanation B.”
Defense of my second premise
2. Absolute values exist
To say that all values are relative is to say that they are all, objectively speaking, equal. It is to say that it’s an objective truth that no value judgement is better or worse than any other value judgement, and therefore also to say that it’s false to say that some value judgements are better or worse than others. But as soon as the relativist claims that all values are relative then he chooses to put more value in articulating that claim than not to articulate it, or to articulate something else. But this doesn’t make sense, because according to his own position the claim “values are relative” has no more value than it’s negation or some other claim. In other words, we can’t deny the existence of absolute values, and thereby argue in favor of value relativism, without at the same time denying the logical outcome of value relativism, which is that all values have the same value. So it’s a self-contradiction to deny the existence of absolute values, and so we have to reject value relativism and accept value absolutism, because the latter doesn’t make us contradict ourselves.
First objection to premise two
Atheist: “absolute values do not exist. A thief stealing to survive doenst think its wrong. A rich man thinks its wrong just becuase he doens’t want someone stealing his property. Murder in self defense is not wrong, yet the ;aw sates that one can’t kill. Thats just because they don’t wont that happeneing to them. It has nothing to do with absolute morals. its actually very egotistical preservation. So by your argument god does not exist”
AKD: “You’ve just commited a fallacy called “inflation of conflict”. You can’t conclude that no absolute values exist because some people disagree about what’s valuable or what is morally correct. Even if some values are relative and subjective it surely doesn’t prove that there’s no absolute and objective values. In fact, most people and societies agree very much about what is valuable–courage, honor, respect for authority, the value of life, truthfulness, seeking knowledge etc. They might sometimes disagree on how to practice or live these values, but they more often than not agree they are values. So your refutation fails and my argument stands.”
Since my argument is logically valid and since I’ve argued successfully in favor of both it’s premises then the conclusion of the argument has to be accepted. Thus theism is shown to be more rational than atheism.