Natural Law

Natural Law vs. Divine Command Theory

The two predominant positions within Christianity that answer the question of "Where does objective morality come from?" are known as Natural Law Theory and Divine Command Theory. Both theories have strengths and weaknesses, which leads to robust debate between proponents of each. Natural Law Theory says that both human moral values (i.e., what things are good and bad) and moral obligations (i.e., what things are right and wrong to do) come from facts about what causes human beings to flourish. In Natural Law Theory, God created the world, including human beings, and thus something is good or right when it causes human beings to flourish. On the other hand, Divine Command Theory says that our moral obligations come from God’s commands. Right and wrong are determined by what God commands us to do, and God commands us according to what is good. In this lecture, Adam explores each of these theories and discusses objections against each offered by proponents of the other.

Objective Morality and the Moral Argument

In this interview with Ratio Christi’s Truth Matters, Adam discusses the objectivity of morality and the moral argument for God. He gives an overview of Robert M. Adams’ metaethical model which posits that God is the best explanation for morality. What are some common objections to this model? Could evolution have produced morality? What is natural law and how does it relate to objective morality? Does morality come from God’s commands? Did morality change from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why do some of God’s commandments in the Old Testament seem so odd? Watch the interview to discover the answers to these questions and more.

Natural Law and Christian Apologetics

The 2014 movie Interstellar brought to the forefront the conflict between a modern way of thinking and a postmodern way of thinking. The modern way of thinking emphasizes science and the idea that the physical universe is all that exists, whereas a postmodern way of thinking focuses on trusting our feelings. Interstellar argues that love is more than physical, that it transcends the universe and should guide our decisions. Adam agrees that love is more than physical, but if so, we need an explanation for why love exists. Christians argue that we can know that goodness and love exist, and this is best explained by the fact that God exists. Love is good for human beings, and we can learn what’s good for humans by looking at human flourishing. We can learn moral principles from God’s creation. This is sometimes called “Natural Law,” the idea that God built objective moral principles into his created order that we can discover by considering creation. Adam discussed these topics on the “Theology Matters” podcast with Devin Pellew.