Generally actions may be picked out simply by their moral status. Yet actions cannot be just obligatory or right or wrong. They must be obligatory or wright or wrong in virtue of their possessing certain natural properties (that is, properties that could be recognized by someone without moral concepts). And, once one has described an action in terms of all the natural properties that it possesses (in terms of all its circumstances and effects), then - if it is wrong - it will be necessary that it is wrong; and if it is good - it will be necessary that it is good. For, if one action is right, and another imagined one is wrong, there must be some natural feature that the second action has and the first action lacks that makes the second action wrong. It is not coherent to claim that a is wrong, and that b differs from a in no natural property but that, unlike a, b is right. There could not be a world that was different from our world solely in the respect that murder was wrong here, but right there. There would have to be some natural features of the other world that made murder right there. It follows, given moral objectivism, that contingent claims that some actions are right (or wrong) hold in virtue of contingent truths that the action has certain natural properties and necessary truths that actions with those properties are right (or wrong, as the case may be). Fundamental moral principles must be (logically) necessary.
This is the view of most philosophers. The problem here is that because some moral truths are necessary then it would seem that they require no further grounding and hence, no God is required for their existence. Indeed, this is the view of Swinburne. I think William Lane Craig successfully answers this objection though. Says Craig:
I agree wholeheartedly with Swinburne that some moral truths are necessary truths. (Some may be contingent in virtue of a divine command issued contingently by God, e.g., the command to keep the Sabbath.) Those who have heard me defend the moral argument for God’s existence in debate know that I am fond of quoting Michael Ruse: “The man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says 2+2=5.” Here Ruse ascribes to a moral truth the same sort of broad logical necessity that is typically ascribed to mathematical truths. So the necessity of certain moral principles does not serve to separate Swinburne’s view from that of divine command theorists like Robert Adams and myself....The bone of contention, then, will be, not the necessity of certain moral truths, but Swinburne’s tacit assumption that necessary truths cannot stand to one another in relations of explanatory priority. Why should we accept that assumption? Not only do I see no reason to think that assumption true, but it strikes me as obviously false. For example, the axioms of Peano arithmetic are explanatorily prior to “2+2=4”, as are the axioms of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory to the theorems thereof. In metaphysics, I should say that “No event precedes itself” is necessarily true because it is necessarily true that “Temporal becoming is an objective and essential feature of time.” To give a theological example, I should say that “States of consciousness exist” is necessarily true, since “God exists” is necessarily true. That is to say, the fact that a personal, metaphysically necessary being like God exists explains why it is necessarily true that states of consciousness exist. I should regard as utterly implausible the suggestion that the relation of explanatory priority in such cases is symmetric. It would be inept to maintain, for example, that the reason it is necessarily true that God exists is because, necessarily, states of consciousness exist.
But if necessary truths can stand to one another in asymmetric relations of explanatory priority, then there is no objection to holding that moral values exist because God exists. On classical theism there is no possible world in which God fails to exist and, since His character is essential to Him, no world in which certain moral values fail to exist. The problem for Swinburne is that he thinks that God exists contingently and therefore cannot ground necessary moral truths. Such a view is not only out of line with classical theism, which holds God’s existence to be metaphysically necessary, but terribly deficient theologically. God a contingent being? The central insight of Anselm’s ontological argument, whether one regards it as a successful piece of natural theology or not, is that if God, the greatest conceivable being, exists, He exists necessarily. God’s existence, then, is either necessary or impossible
Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/can-god- ... z3MQ54kV8i
What say you?