Apologetics Pt 14
The Moral Argument
And so we reach our third and I think the most useful argument in day to day life. The cosmological and teleological arguments, I happen to believe, are excellent for teaching children, because they intuitively follow logic where it leads, with minimal pre-suppositions (filters we have when it comes to looking at new information), or biases towards a certain belief. And so, when you say to a child – look around at the universe, something must have created it, they say “of course!, how else did it get here?!”
However, due to the complex nature of some of the side-issues of the cosmological and teleological arguments (e.g. the impossibility of actual infinities and the constants and quantities of nature), it makes them difficult to implement in day to day evangelism. So, if you were going to remember one argument, I hope you remember this one, the Moral Argument.
- If God exists, objective moral values and duties exist
- Objective moral values and duties do exist
- Therefore, God exists
This is simply an introductory post, so we won’t actually look at the validity of the premises yet, just some definitions.
First of all, this is a logically valid, logically airtight argument. If you agree with (1) and (2), then by all rules of logic and reason, you are bound to believe in (3). For someone to avoid the conclusion of the argument (i.e. that God exists), all they have to do is find a way of disproving either (1) or (2). This is the same way all our arguments for God have worked so far.
Secondly, we must define the word objective. Objective means that something is true regardless of whether anyone believes it. This is opposed to subjective which means that something is relative to the subject who is involved. For example, the best colour in the world is a highly subjective thing! Everyone has different favourite colours of course. However, there is objectively the colour red, or blue or green. These colours are what they are objectively, even if we were all blind and could never comprehend them! And so, when we say objective moral values and duties, we mean that they are true and would be true whether or not anyone ever believed them.
Thirdly, what are moral values and duties. Simply put, values distinguishes between good and bad. Duties distinguish between right and wrong. For example, it is good for someone to train to be a doctor (values), but it is not right or wrong for someone to become a doctor say instead of a teacher (duties). We need both because there are things that are objectively good and objectively bad, but as we’ll see later on the duties are what cause us to actually do good and not bad. Duties give us reason, and the whole point of this argument is to show that these moral values and duties are objective, valid and true for all people because of the nature and character of God.
Stay tuned for more on the Moral Argument next week!