Volume 21, Issue 1, 2019
20th Anniversary Edition
The Phenomenological Moral Argument
A New Formulation of a Classic Theistic Defense
The moral argument for the existence of God is a popular and rhetorically effective element of natural theology, but both its traditional ontological and epistemological forms rely upon controversial premises. This article proposes a new variant—the phenomenological moral argument, or PMA—that is exclusively empirical in form. The PMA notes several empirical aspects of moral experience (seven are discussed in the version presented here) that cohere much more naturally with a theistic than with an atheistic account of conscience’s origins. It therefore concludes that divine creation best explains the nature of moral experience, and thus, that God exists.