Russell once said that “ethics arises from the pressures of the community on the individual,” and made many other statements showing that he did not consider values to be objective. And Ruse put it even more bluntly: “Morality is a biological adaptation,” he tells us. “Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory.” Craig then goes on to say that, like Russell and Ruse, he doesn't “see any reason to think that in the absence of God, the herd morality evolved by homo sapiens is objective.” (p. 18)
Does this mean that these two well-known philosophers agree that the non-existence of God implies the non-existence of objective morality? After all, they are both atheists, and they do both say there are no objective values.
But the problem is that one can be an atheist and reject the objectivity of values without, however, agreeing with Craig – and Craig almost certainly knows this. So could it be he's being dishonest here?
While it is true that both Russell and Ruse deny the objectivity of values, it doesn't follow that they do so because of their atheism. Russell most certainly did not: his reasons for becoming a subjectivist about values had nothing to do with God (in fact, he rejected theism long before he abandoned belief in objective morality). And I suspect as much in the case of Ruse, since most philosophers who disbelieve in objective values do not do so as a result of of their atheism.
I for one agree with Russell and Ruse about the nature of morality – and I would do so even if I became convinced there is a God. When it comes to the nature of ethics, God's existence or non-existence is simply irrelevant.
(On the next post I will say something about why the rejection of moral objectivity does not mean the rejection of morality – and why Craig's criticism of Dawkins, among others, on this point is therefore all wrong.)