The Case for a Creator (Part 3)

A lecturer in Hyde Park, London was speaking out against religion one day and said, “My hatred of religion is inherited; my grandfather was an atheist; my father was an atheist; and, thank God, I’m an atheist, too.”

Unfortunately, that little tirade is representative of a growing number of people in America and around the world—and so is the logic. According to a new worldwide poll, called “The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism,” the number of Americans who say they are “religious” dropped from 73% in 2005 (the last time the poll was conducted) to 60% in 2013. At the same time, the number of Americans who say they are atheists rose, from 1 percent to 5 percent, with the reminder identifying themselves as non-religious or agnostic. The seven years between the polls is notable because 2005 saw the publication of “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris, the first in a wave of best-selling books on atheism by authors like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett—sometimes called the Four Horsemen of the New Atheism. Sadly, many of these “new atheists” either don’t understand or have never considered the incoherence of atheism.

That’s why it is more important than ever that Christians, like you and me, be able to articulate good reasons why our faith makes sense. And, as our anchor verse for this series makes clear, God expects nothing less of us: “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16 HCSB).

In keeping with this command, I want to equip you five good reasons to believe in God so that you can gently and respectfully defend your faith. I want you to think of these as a series of lights. And if you are skeptical about God’s existence yourself or maybe you’ve just been struggling with doubts—then these five lights should illuminate the path to personal faith in God. They are:

  1. The Light of Cosmology
  2. The Light of Creation
  3. The Light of Conscience
  4. The Light of Christ
  5. The Light of Conversion

Last week and the week before, we focused primarily on the scientific evidence for God’s existence—namely, the lights of Cosmology and Creation. Cosmology reveals that the best explanation for the existence of the universe (why there is something rather than nothing) is a transcendent, timeless, spaceless, unimaginably powerful, personal Cause. The light of Creation then reveals that the best explanation for design in nature—namely, the fine-tuning of the universe’s physical constants and quantities for the existence of life—is a Divine Designer. That brings us to the third light, which is the evidence of Conscience.

I like how Jiminy Cricket responded in the 1940 classic, when Pinocchio asked, “What’s a conscience?” Jiminy Cricket said, “What’s a conscience!? I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today…” To paraphrase the Blue Fairy’s follow-up, your conscience is what allows you to differentiate between right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral.

The Bible has something to say about that, too: “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right” (Romans 2:14-15 NLT).

By letting our conscience be our guide, we discover a powerful argument for the existence of God. I have it laid out for you, again, in the form of a logical argument:


  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values do exist.
  3. Therefore, God exists.


What makes this argument so powerful is that almost everyone agrees that the first two premises are true! However, they may not have made the connection that if the first two premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true.

In a moment, we’ll take a closer look at each premise, but first let me define exactly what we mean by objective moral values.

I’m reminded of this little boy who had been attending Sunday school and had the same teacher for many years. She would finish every lesson by saying “And the moral of the story is…” But, after graduating from elementary school, the little boy moved up into the senior Sunday school class. His mom asked him how he liked the new Sunday school teacher, and he said, “She’s alright, but she’s got no morals at all.”

Those aren’t the kind of morals we’re talking about! By objective moral values, we mean moral values that are valid and binding independent of human opinion.

So, for example, to say that the Holocaust was objectively evil is to say that it was wrong even though the Nazis who carried it out thought that it was right. And it still would have been wrong even if the Nazis won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everyone who disagreed with them.

As William Penn once put it, “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” If William Penn was right, then God must exist. Let’s see why.

1.   If God Does Not Exist, Objective Moral Values Do Not Exist.

Put another way, if there is no God, then there really aren’t such things as good and evil; there’s no real difference between right and wrong. The values that we hold dear—such as, do not lie, do not steal, or love your neighbor as yourself—are just social conventions, like driving on the right side of the road versus the left side of the road. Or they’re simply matters of opinion, like preferring pizza over tacos.

Traditionally, human morality has been grounded in the nature of God, but in an atheistic worldview, human beings are nothing more than highly evolved primates—the by-product of natural selection acting on random mutations. And our morals are simply a sort of “herd mentality” that evolved from sociobiological conditioning as a means of propagating the species. Human beings simply invented the concept of right and wrong to help our species survive.

Certain actions such as rape or murder may not be biologically or socially advantageous and so, in the course of human development, have become socially unacceptable. But that does nothing to say that rape or murder is really wrong. Such behavior goes on all the time in the animal kingdom. When a hawk snatched a fish out of the river, he kills the fish, but he doesn’t murder the fish. He hasn’t done anything wrong. And when a bigger hawk swoops down and takes the fish from the smaller hawk, he takes the fish, but he doesn’t steal the fish. Morality is completely foreign to the animal world and if we are just highly evolved apes, then why would it be any different for us? As Charles Darwin explained in the Descent of Man: “If men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be any doubt that our unmarried females would, like-worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters; and no one would think of interfering.”

Michael Ruse, a noted philosopher of science, elaborates, “The position of the modern evolutionist… is that… morality is a biological adaptation no less than our hands and feet and teeth… Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction… Any deeper meaning is illusory.”

In his book, The Blind Watchmaker, atheist, Richard Dawkins writes, “There is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference…We are machines for propagating DNA… it is every living thing’s sole reason for being.” Dawkins assessment may be depressing, but if there is no God then he’s absolutely right. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.

But, that brings us to the second premise.

2.   Objective Moral Values Do Exist.

And we all know it! We know that planting explosives at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, murdering three innocent people and injuring 175 more is categorically wrong. We know that walking into an elementary school with a rifle and murdering first-graders is objectively unarguably evil!

These actions are more than mere breaches of some imaginary social contract; they are moral abominations! Even the most ardent atheists agree that some things are really wrong. Take Richard Dawkins, for instance. With one hand he writes that there is no such thing as good or evil. But then, with the other hand I guess, claims that the abuse and harassment of homosexuals and the Incan practice of human sacrifice, among many other things are morally wrong. He’s even gone so far as to write his own version of the Ten Commandments for guiding the moral behavior of atheists.

Michael Ruse, the other atheist I quoted a moment ago, has likewise said, “The man who says it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says 2+2=5.” So it’s clear even to non-religious people and unbelievers that some things, at least, are really wrong. And similarly, some things—like love, equality, and self-sacrifice—are really good.

Again, as Scripture puts it: “Even though they do not have the law, they show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, just as the law commands. And they show this by their consciences. Sometimes their thoughts tell them they did wrong, and sometimes their thoughts tell them they did right” (Romans 2:14-15 NCV).

Our own consciences—our personal moral experience—confirms that some things are objectively good or evil, right or wrong. Therefore, we have good grounds for believing premise 2 to be true—objective moral values do exist. Therefore, if we are convinced that some behaviors are truly wrong and others are truly right, then we must believe that God exists!

  • 3.   Therefore, God Exists.

From the two premises, it follows that God exists. This argument is a very important compliment to the Cosmological argument and the Creation argument. See, the light of Creation and the light of Cosmology reveal that a timeless, spaceless, immeasurably powerful and intelligent Creator must exist. But they don’t tell us much about the character of that Creator. The moral argument, however, shines a light on the nature and character of our Creator—namely, that God is good.

Our moral values—like honesty, integrity, compassion, self-sacrifice, kindness, and goodness—are all grounded in the nature of God. God himself is source of moral rightness and his commandments—treat others as you would want to be treated, care for orphans and widows, help the weak, don’t lie, cheat or steal—are reflections of his nature. God is good and, therefore, we have a reason to be good too. Like the psalmist, we can say, “You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands” (Psalm 119:73 NLT).




I think that this is one of the most effective arguments for the existence of God, because it appeals to a person’s conscience—their innate sense of right and wrong. And so it touches people where they live. Every day you wake up and answer the question of whether there are objective moral values by how you live.

I want to encourage you to not only share this argument with your friends or family members who may be skeptical about God’s existence, but also live your life in a way that consistent with your own conscience and God’s commands. I also want to invite you to come back again next week as we explore the Light of Christ—evidence for God’s existence based on the resurrection of Jesus.




In the meantime, let me remind you that the God, who created you and gave you a conscience, also wants you to know him personally. The Bible says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8 ESV). I want to embolden you to do that right now as we stand and sing together.

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