Morality…Objective or Subjective?

If you are alive and breathing, you have heard every argument against objective morality under the sun.   In fact, subjective morality has rapidly become our society’s litmus test for nearly all moral issues. Subjective morality claims that there is no absolute truth.

Objective morality says there is a higher moral truth that transcends human opinions and judgments. Morals are not invented, they are discovered. Since our society has seemingly transformed into a “post-truth” society, objective morality has come under attack. Many today are not concerned with objective facts, but rather, right and wrong based on personal subjective feelings, tastes, and personal belief.

As Christians, one of the best arguments (apologetics) we have for God is the moral argument. Of all the attacks on Christianity and God, a Christian will most likely hear the greatest number of rebuttals on this subject. Why? Because everyone can relate to this topic. Each one of us makes moral judgments and decisions every day, ranging from opening the door for someone to helping someone who just got in a car wreck.

 There are a host of objections to the existence of objective morality. One of today’s arguments is that morality is not very tolerant of people’s opinions and beliefs. This objection is actually self-refuting. By someone telling a person that his/her beliefs are not very tolerant, they in turn are being intolerant of the other person’s views. Moreover, this objection assumes that tolerance is objectively good.

Another objection is that because there are so many different understandings of morals, there cannot be one superior standard. Just because there is widespread disagreement about a particular moral issue, does not mean that truth does not exist. Think of it this way, just because eight students have different answers to a math problem does not mean that a right answer does not exist. Moral subjectivism, as a standard for decision making, fails on every front.

The Bible makes it very clear that God set moral laws—the standards of right and wrong. People are not given this option (Isaiah 45:19, Romans 1:25). The penalty for challenging God on this is severe (Genesis 2:17, Isaiah 5:20, Romans 6:23, Jude 7). Followers of God are called to speak the truth … the objective truth, not the truth as man subjectively defines it.