Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Does Robert Adams Reject Craig's Moral Argument?

It is no secret that W.L. Craig relies upon the work of Robert Adams regarding metaethics, to defend his moral argument. It's therefore surprising no one has pointed out that Adams appears to reject a key premise of Craig's moral argument:

"What is true about goodness if God does not exist, or is not in fact a suitable candidate for the role of the Good? This is a conditional question about the actual world, not about other possible worlds; and I am confident of my answer to it. If there is no God, or if God is in fact not a suitable candidate for the role of the Good, then my theory is false, but there may be same other salient, suitable candidate and so some other theory of the nature of the good."

Robert Merrihew Adams, Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 46.


Adams' book is very dense and so I openly admit I may be misinterpreting him, but I don't think that I am. Adams seems to be saying, "I think the Good = God, but if I am wrong about that, then good (or even the Good?) can still exist even if God does not."

Now consider William Lane Craig's moral argument for God's existence:
  1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values do exist.
  3. Therefore, God exists.
If I am interpreting Adams correctly, then it would seem to follow that Adams rejects premise (1).

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