Romans 1 tells us that everyone knows God exists, even if they suspend belief in Him. God has made his presence known through His creation and intrinsically. Whenever one appeals to moral objective values and duties, they are appealing to God, who in His very nature is the standard of morality. In order to escape the inevitable fact that God is the source of morality, secular thought has produced three major ethical systems: subjectivism, relativism, and utilitarianism.
Moral subjectivism states that morality is subjective, based on what each person thinks. Essentially, lying is wrong for you because you say it is, for me its fine because I say it is. Many postmodernists adhere to this philosophy. However, this can cause serious problems.
Imagine if a criminal is arrested for rape and murder, and before the judge he says, “But judge, I felt it was right, who are you to impose your views on me?” This would be ludicrous, and society would collapse if people were allowed to use excuses like these.
Moral relativism is more common than subjectivism, as it involves the opinions of cultures instead of singular people. It essentially states that cultures decide what is right and wrong. If an African tribe practices cannibalism, or a European military leader decides to commit mass genocide, neither culture can be condemned because they decided what is morally right and wrong based on what their culture felt. Cross-culture condemnation is not permitted in this ethical theory. If moral relativism was practiced, then there is no reason why a society who allows its citizens to steal and rape without punishment should be told to stop. This too, would be highly problematic.
Since the first two ethical systems are extremely dubious, the “new atheists” have adopted the philosophy of utilitarianism. In this morality, the largest group of people decides what is morally right and wrong. I remember seeing the fallacy of utilitarianism in a debate with atheist Michael Shermer. He was asked how he could condemn the Nazis for what they did. His response, the Jew’s well-being was damaged. But wait a second, the Nazis felt that their well-being was improved! If a large group of people decides to commit horrific acts, they cannot be condemned since they are the majority and therefore correct according to the utilitarian view.
Sometimes atheists will invoke the idea that acts are wrong because they damage well-being, not because they are objectively right and wrong. This is highly fallacious and ambiguous. For example, if someone robs an old lady of her money, the thief’s well-being is being improved while the old lady is worse off. Once again, this morality all based on opinion and subjectivity.
In conclusion, all non- objective ethics that are not based on Christian morality fail. If God’s immutable nature and standard is not how we judge morality, then all moral judgements become opinion. It would be disastrous and dangerous to adopt secular ethics into a culture. According to atheists humans are simply evolved primates and matter in motion, thus there is no reason to not lie and steal and rape. If we deny there is a God and a conscience within us, then secular ethics becomes a dangerous theory. As Dotzvoyesky once wrote, “If God is not, then everything is permitted.”