Does a moral law require a moral lawgiver? So Christian Apologists claim. But is is true? For a long time, this statement confused me. Why does a moral law require a personal lawgiver? Why can't an "impersonal force" be the source of our moral law? In this short article, I'll explain to you what I found:
Why a Moral Lawgiver is Required Most people who have any sort of common sense would agree that good and evil do exist. It is self-evident, and ingrained into every person. Even those few people who say it doesn't, will suddenly change their mind in protest if you burn their house down (and no, this is not an encouragement for arson). Good and evil - morality must exist. So the real question then is: "Where does morality come from?"
Some people suggest that morality comes from each person's individual beliefs. The idea is, each person determines what's right and wrong for them. The problem is, this unravels into "ascribing moral rightness to all personally justified choices". In other words, as long as someone thinks it's okay to do something, even if that something is "torturing babies for fun", there's nothing truly wrong with that.
Other people suggest that morality comes from the consensus of society. The idea is, each culture, or the the culture of the world at large determines what's right and what's wrong for everyone in that culture or in the world. But that unravels into "ascribing moral rightness to majority-approved horrors" such as slavery. We don't need to be reminded that for the longest time, the majority of the world's society believed slavery was okay.
Some others would suggest that morality comes not from the consensus of society, but rather the wellbeing of society. The idea is, even if people don't like, if something is good for society, then it's right. And if it's bad for society, then it's wrong. The problem is that this too, unravels into ascribing moral rightness to moral wrongs that have a net good on society, such as calculated mass-euthanasia (think "extermination of the weak & feeble").
Still others would suggest that morality comes from the wellbeing of every individual. But this too, unravels into ascribing moral wrongness to actions we would consider both necessary and just, such as the conviction of criminals, because they are not for that specific individual's wellbeing.
A transcendent, authoritative, & personal standard is required for morality. This is what Christian apologists call the "moral lawgiver".
The standard must be transcendent because it must have the capacity to be over all humanity. If something comes in and out of existence, that thing cannot be a standard for an objective transcendent fact.
The standard must be Authoritative because it must have the justification to govern all humanity. Clearly, just because something is commanded, doesn't mean it must be followed, unless that thing has authority to command it.
Finally, the standard must be Personal because it must have the agency to require the moral obligation of all humanity. Many do not understand the reason for this, but the moment I tell you that you owe a debt to my keyboard or my chair, suddenly you see why. We cannot be morally obligated to inanimate objects, only people.
When you put these three things together: transcendent, authoritative, & personal , you are left with only one possible source for objective morality: an eternal, all powerful, personal God.