Friday, October 5, 2012

The Moral Argument!

   Hey all, I am sorry it has been so long since my last post. Working 40+ hours a week, being enrolled full time in college, and being a father and a husband, it is tough to find time to blog. Since our last blog my wife and I have been blessed with good news that we will be having another baby! We are extremely excited and will be expecting the little boy/girl next June.
This post I wanted to focus more on some apologetic issues. Recently, I have been having an amazing opportunity with being able to share the good news with one of my college professors. Initially, when I began this I was nervous. This guy has a Doctorate Degree in English Studies and specializes in Critical Thinking! So, to say the least I was going up against a very intellectual person. However, something that I have learned is that no matter what the intellect of a person, the good news Jesus came to share with us address people on the conscience not the intellect. For about three weeks he brought up questions in which he had never been able to get answers to. I am going to highlight one of them in this blog post. This argument I used has worked for me; most of them I have pulled from Dr. William Lane Craig and his Defenders Podcasts and Scholarly Articles.

First Argument: The Moral Argument
Before I get into the details of this, it is a very powerful argument using logical syllogism. Logical Syllogism is an argument that draws its conclusion based off 1 or 2 premises. This is very common in philosophy and allows your conversation to not personally attack someone; this gives them a logical flow in the thinking to lead to why you believe what you believe.

 So The Moral Argument [TMA]

·      If God does not exist; Objective Moral Values Do Not Exist
·      Objective Moral Values Do Exist
·      Therefore God Exists

So, to make sense of this I am going to break it down. First off, lets define objective vs. subjective. Objective means that something is true Independent of human opinion. Subjective means that something is true Dependent on human opinion. So an example is: it is objectively true that I have a tattoo on my arm, this is true independent on what you may think or feel; because I do in fact have a permanent tattoo on my arm.

Premise 1: So an objective moral value would be referring to something that is morally wrong, independent on what the person may think or feel. What I typically say to someone who believes each person determines what is right or wrong [someone who does not believe in objective moral values]. Is, based off of what you just said; if I was a serial killer; I feel that murdering people is ok for me. So if there are no objective moral values I can continue doing this. I then ask the person, if I were a serial killer and I knocked on your door and said, “hey sorry, but you fit my profile for people I wish to kill, and I feel good about killing you.” Would you then allow me to do what I felt was right? No! Of course not, so based off you agreeing with me, you do in fact believe in objective moral values. Another example is to say that the Holocaust was objectively evil, even though the Nazi’s [who carried it out] thought it was good. Even if the Nazi’s won WW2 it would still have been evil even if the Nazi’s brainwashed everyone into thinking it was ok. So, to say that the Holocaust is evil regardless of whether anyone agrees with it or not is objectively true. Most atheists and theists agree; that if God does not exist then moral values are not objective.

Premise 2: So from here, the person [usually] admits that yes, they do believe in some form of objective moral values. Then you say, based off you agreeing with me that objective moral values do exist this leads us to premise 3 that God does in fact exist. This is an ethical argument, which is logically sound and ethically applicable.

I have used this many, many times, and has always proven un-arguable from many atheists, agnostics, and other relativists that deny the existence or the possibility of God. This is just one of many arguments I have followed to help me get the conversation to the point where the individual will even think about listening to the Gospel message. This argument helps because, if you are speaking with an atheist; and he or she will not even admit to the possibility of God, how then will you be able to speak to them in which they would listen to the gospel message. But, if you present this first, and then drawing from the conclusion that they admit it is more logically true than false that God exists based off the fact that Objective Moral Values exist, then you can open up into the gospel!!
            This is an amazing tool and argument to use, which does not require an insane amount of philosophical knowledge to master. So my professor started the conversation saying he believes in relativism and then ended by admitting there is most likely a God! Now something I want to say is, while you are doing this be careful not to focus solely on the intellect. You do not want to engage this person in a battle of wits; you want to engage them on their conscience. In Romans 2:15 it says that God has written his law onto the hearts of man. Each person has a conscience; this conscience is our ally when addressing individuals in matters of the faith.
            I hope this helps you and that the Lord allows you an opportunity to practice this! I will be posting more arguments that I have used for the next few posts. If you have any questions you would like me to explain further please ask away!


  1. Ah...what if an atheist takes issue with premise 1? What if he says that objective moral values do exist apart from God? Where do you go from there?

    Premise 2 is fairly easy to press over against a person's conscience. How do you press premise 1?

  2. Pastor Rick
    That is a very good question and one that I have actually had someone bring up. Before I answer that question; however, let me say trying to practice apologetics via the web and defending the faith with logical syllogism is tough to do. I prefer to do it face to face, when I begin this discussion I usually try and find out their worldview first.
    So with that said, if the person claimed to believe in objective moral values apart from God then they are therefore agreeing with my first premise. If they exist than there must be a God, if there is no God then how do/ can we understand and know what objective moral values are? Most atheists tend to be moral relativists. I would have them elaborate on what they mean when they say objective moral values. If a person claims to be an atheist then they HAVE TO admit that there is no cause for anything, thereby excluding the need for moral values. Do they exist unnecessarily, or do they necessarily exist? If a person claims to be an atheist, then for all they know this world we are currently in could potentially not be real, for all we know our brains are in a vat being probed by a mad scientist.
    Being able to press premise 1 I have found to be fairly easy, most of the time they will argue that each persons declares what is right [relativism] and then I say ok, if you truly believe that, I feel the need that I should take your wallet, and your car because that feels right to me. I then ask them, is that ok? And they will say, well of course not. Then I would reply well you just said whatever I think is right, and I believe that stealing your stuff is right because I want more money and a new car. To which they will have an aha moment, they will most likely then bring up, well you think that is wrong because of where you grew up, people in Africa think its ok to murder etc.... If they say that then I tell them they are committing the Genetic Fallacy [arguing that something is wrong based off where your at] to which I provide them an example.... "if I lived in 3rd century Greece, I would believe that the world is flat" well me and you both know that is not true, but if the genetic fallacy were to apply then that would mean that the world was and is indeed flat, because at that time I believed that is was.
    This conversation can take many different paths. I plan on continuing these arguments and others. I have some for Creationism/Evolution and many others. Please let me know if you wish to discuss this further, I could perhaps call you or Skype.:) take care!