6 Reasons Christians Say God is the Necessary Source for Morality
1. If You Create Someone, You Can Expect Them To Do, Think, and Feel However You Want.
This is a complete non sequitur. If, to use a fairly provocative example, I create a beautiful woman, that does not in itself make it morally wrong for her to object to my raping her. In fact, it could be argued that because I created her with the ability to object to my raping her, I am validating that choice and thus don’t have the moral standing to condemn it without making a condemnatory moral judgment on my own design. The premise that you created something doesn’t mean that it has lost the right to object to the way you treat it, especially when you gave it that right to begin with. That reasoning simply doesn't follow.
2. Might Makes Right...Therefore God Is Needed for Morality.
So what? You don’t need God to define right and wrong by this principle – you can just say that “right” depends on the opinion of whoever is the most powerful in any particular situation. The claim that moral decisions are influenced by who has the most power in a given situation seems to have some weight to it (although the claim that morality itself is determined by power is far more controversial), but even if you go the extreme claim that “might makes right” there is no way to follow that with “therefore God exists.” That’s a standalone claim that does not require God. And, in addition, the mere fact that someone is mighty does not seem to mean that they need to be followed – most people do not agree that “might makes right,” and would argue that a weaker individual is not necessarily morally obligated to conform to the demands of a stronger individual.
3. God Says He's A Know-It-All. Which Means He Must Exist and He's Right. Because Faith.
This argument is usually used in contrast to the nonbeliever's lack of knowledge. We clearly don’t know everything and thus cannot create a moral system, while God DOES know everything and can, then, create the perfect moral system, or so the reasoning goes. But this proposition does not solve the problem of knowing enough to create a moral system – it actually makes it worse.
First, if you don’t know enough to determine a moral system’s existence on your own, how do you know enough to divine the existence and opinion of something far harder and more controversial – God (especially when definitions and claims concerning God, many of which don't appeal to the Bible, abound)?
Second, when you say you don’t know everything and thus can’t create a moral system, so that we need God, you have merely displaced the problem – even if we assume this God exists (which I’m not), how would this God know that HE knows enough to determine a moral system? I mean, he’s just there, in His context as we are in ours. How does HE know that there’s not a bigger context or that, as the Mormons claim, He’s not one God out of many? So the uncertainty as to whether there is enough knowledge to build a foolproof moral system has not been solved – it’s been made more complicated, because you’re assuming now that you have enough knowledge to determine the existence of God (and yet not enough to determine, on your own, a moral system) AND that this God somehow can be sure that HE is all knowing, when it’s quite possible He may not be, even if He did exist. You’ve introduced more, not fewer, assumptions into the mix.
4. God's Law Is Written on Your (and Everyone Else's) Heart...Whether You Know It or Not.
This is nonsense -- even if we all did, deep down, feel similarly about morality, that would not validate God's existence. It just would mean we had similar thoughts on morality, and there would be a myriad of possible explanations for this phenomenon without any appeal to this particular God.
There are several other reasons this claim doesn't seem to hold true. For one, there are psychopaths who literally cannot feel empathy, so our empathy-based morality seems to them like rules that need to be learned, rather than something that comes out of a natural care for another human being. In addition, there are many different manifestations of love that lie outside of the pale of God's supposed law in the Bible, so stating this is to say that a great many people who honestly state their love for other human beings (for example, many of those in the lgbt community) are lying. Finally, shame has long been known to be something that can easily be manipulated in human beings, so that such claims as this can deaden people to the manipulation in potentially harmful ways (for example, many of the Nazis, who had "God Is With Us" on their belts, firmly thought they were doing the work of God and didn't doubt it precisely because claims to God's morality being written on their hearts barred rational thought that would criticize said morality). This thought also, arguably, deadens people to the thoughts of their fellow human beings, because, no matter what they say or what their sense of morality seems to be, the thought remains that they are, deep down, ascribing to the Bible's definition of morality.
5. We Can't Have Moral Concepts Like Love without God Because, According to Our A Priori Concept of Love, God Loves Us.
How do we know that God is good and loves us? The only way we can gauge that is by having a moral system to judge Him by…which means that the moral system comes first…which means we don’t need God to validate it, but, rather, we need the moral system to validate God. But if you insist that God is needed to validate the moral system, then this is redundant – regardless of the way God acts, it is loving (or any other positive quality) simply because He did it -- you're appealing, then, to his nature, not to some outside quality of love that his nature can be judged by. This leads to a last argument.
6. God's Personality Is Necessary to Define Good, Because...Well, Just Because.
This common statement from apologists that doesn’t make sense. Everyone has a nature. What makes God’s so special that it defines morality more than anyone else’s, outside of one’s say so? It is common here to answer this question with several paths of insistence, and indeed this is how many apologists may use it – as a kind of hub from which they can implicate aspects of God’s supposed moral authority that have already been refuted. From God’s nature, you can implicate several of His supposed characteristics – His status as creator, His power, His knowledge, our natural sense for His morality, and His love. Because the term “nature” vaguely encapsulates all these characteristics, it serves the function of consolidating all these qualities which, individually, don’t hold water but, collectively and vaguely in the term “nature,” are difficult to coherently refute. However, once you show that these claims that God is creator, all-powerful, all-knowing, and loving do not make God a moral authority, there seem to be no aspects left in God’s nature to appeal to that would make Him a necessary moral authority.