Patrick Coffin rephrased Evan's question:

Is it possible that God’s existence is a byproduct itself of human consciousness?

Trent Horn replied:

"It depends what you mean by the term possible. I for one believe that God, because he is a necessary being who can’t fail to exist the odds of him existing are either one or zero. He either has to exist or it’s impossible for him to exist. It has to be one or the other. That God metaphysically, he simply must exist. If it turned out there wasn’t a God, if he was impossible then in that other sense of possibility for all we know God could be some kind of projection. But just merely saying could be a projection of our minds is not enough to show that atheism is true. One could also say that atheism is a projection of our minds, rejecting God as a father or authority figure.

I think Evan’s question may be going at the popular route that many people who believe in God say that the existence of morality is evidence that God exists. That if there was no God there could be no morality or objective morality. So what I would say, even in answer to your question is it depends on what you mean by the word morality.

If the word morality just means a set of behaviors that correspond to interacting with other human beings that try to keep the peace and have a stable society, if morality just involves certain behaviors, then it could be a byproduct of human consciousness. But if by morality you mean a set of objective truths, truths about the way moral beings or human beings should treat one another, such as it is always wrong to rape women or it’s wrong to torture children just for the fun of it. That these statements are true and they're true regardless of time place or culture. I think that if God does not exist it is impossible for there to be these immaterial universal moral truths. How could there be in a purely material universe? If you believe in these truths, if you believe yes, rape is always wrong, it’s always wrong to torture people, human beings are valuable and we should help them flourish. Those truths can’t be proven by the scientific method. We just know they’re true, and if God doesn’t exist I don’t see how they could exist because they're immaterial and universal. They can only reside as part of the character of an immaterial and universal perfect God."


Catholic Answers, "Why are you an atheist?" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

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Show air date: September 25, 2013

Name of show: Why are you an atheist?

Guest comments by: Trent Horn

Question appeared in show: 47:23

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