Navy SEAL Chad Williams
The Moral Argument
The Moral Argument (TMA) is a tremendously effective tool on the street. The reason TMA has so much force is because it reaches people on a more personal level. The bottom line is that the conclusions one draws from this argument will translate over to how they live their everyday life. In short, this one gets personal!
TMA comes in a handful of different variations and I have selected the most prominent arrangement for our discussion. It comes in the form of a logical syllogism, and therefore the conclusion will follow inescapably according to the rules of logic so long as one affirms premises (1) and (2) as true premises.
The Moral Argument Stated:
1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2) Objective moral values do exist.
3) Therefore, God exists.
Before expanding on this, I think it would be crucial to distinguish between what it means for something to be “objectively” or “subjectively” true.
By “objective” we mean: Something is to be true independent of human opinion.
By “subjective” we mean: Something is to be true dependent on human opinion.
Objective vs. Subjective Illustrated:
If I have a 5 Dollar Bill in my wallet, it will be objectively true that I have a 5 Dollar Bill in my wallet. To make it absolutely clear, it is objectively true that I have a 5 Dollar Bill in my wallet and this truth is wholly independent of what any human might feel or think about that.
With regards to the appearance of my wallet, it is subjectively true that it is a fashionable wallet. It is dependent upon my opinion and the opinion of others whether my wallet really has that voguish elegance.
Premise (1) the claim is that if God does not exist there is no justification or accountability for objective moral values. That is to say, if God does not exist there would be no foundation outside of the shifty subjectivism that human beings impart. Put another way, there would be no objective grounding or anchoring of moral values. In the absence of God, Richard Dawkins drives the point home for us in premise (1):
“In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication. Some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good; nothing but pitiless indifference.”
Thus, if someone wants to negate the affirmation of premise (1) the burden of proof will lay squarely on them. It will be their responsible to erect a basis for objective moral values in the absence of God.
Premise (2) objective moral values do exist. You would think that this might be a difficult premise to validate but; almost everyone –when feet are put to the fire- will affirm the existence of some objective moral values. Most of us do experience the reality of objective moral values just as we experience the reality of the physical world. For instance, certain actions like raping to fulfill sexual desires or torturing babies for pure entertainment are not actions of “pitiless indifference” equivalent to love and kindness as Richard Dawkins would have it; rather such actions are objectively wrong regardless and independent of what Dawkins or other human beings might think or have to say on the matter! There may be those that disagree with us on this point but that should not slow down those of us that do apprehend such objective moral values anymore than a color blind or deaf person ought to cause those of us that see color and hear fine to doubt we do. Such a person that does not perceive it to be objectively wrong to rape for pleasure or torture babies for entertainment would simply be morally handicapped in the same way a blind or deaf person is physically handicapped.
Conclusion (3) if a person affirms the first two premises then the logic is airtight and the conclusion will forcefully follow that God exists. God would be the transcendent foundation and anchoring of objective moral values, wholly independent of human opinion or feelings. God would be the very source of moral value as His Nature is the “The Good” and anything contrary to His Good Nature would be Evil.
Are there common objections to these premises? Certainly, and there are very good responses too! I will be dealing with these common objections on an individual basis in my next handful of posts. As the common objections are dealt with I will provide links to them below:
Common Objections to TMA
- Addressing Red Herrings (new)
“How to Answer” Archive: Click Here
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The primary reason why we ought to use tracts is because the Holy Spirit has and is willing to condescend and move through His Word (Heb. 4:12) on printed tracts!
A good friend mine recently told me of his conversion. He was sitting on the side walk with his back up against a building as he watched the world go round in a heavily foot trafficked area. As he sat there he thought to himself that no one cares, people are self-centered and don’t even notice me here. As he was considering the absurdity of life alone in the universe his eyes turned down to the ground where he saw a piece of paper on the ground that stuck out amongst the crushed sun-dried gum on the pavement. He picked up the paper as the printed words came alive to him. He read about the true condition of man before God and for the very first time ever he learned of the message and majesty of God’s saving grace through the cross! Eyes filled with tears in that lonely spot on the ground God condescended to a young man through the written Word on a trampled piece of paper.
Tracts are an extremely effective way to get a message across! In fact, even the military recognizes this! As a Navy SEAL I was made aware of this as I entered the SEAL Team 1 compound for the first time. Looking up on the walls amongst the photos
that showed victorious battles, a photo of a C-130 dropping thousands of tracts caught my eyes as peculiar! I learned that the we drop tracts over enemy occupied territory, warning them of the danger and judgment that was about to come in battle if they don’t turn from their ways and surrender. Wow! I am seeing a parallel here, and by the way, it is not just a scare tactic….It is a fair warning of truth, the same as a fair warning about lung cancer to a chain smoker or kidney damage to an alcoholic.
Tracts are effective and simple! If the fear of confrontation is your obstacle to evangelism then use tracts. Again you can see how the military uses the same strategy to preserve the lives of soldiers! Make McDonald’s your “drop zone” or how about going into Barnes & Noble and take a little stroll over to the “New Age” section and strategically place them in the table of contents. You can even crumble up the Trillion Dollar Bill Tracts, toss them on the grounds, and do a little reconnaissance mission aka: “people watching” from a distance as you see pedestrians pick up the eye catching money and stash it in their pockets. It is actually quite funny when you see somebody acting shady about picking up the presumed money, unaware they have the Gospel in their hands!
I have much more to say on this and I think we shall visit it again…In the meantime I leave you with a nugget of wisdom from someone that knows a thing or two about evangelism.
“When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready….Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. herefore, do not go out without your tracts.”
Posted By: Chad Williams StreetApologetics
Last Saturday Ray, Scotty and I open air preached in sunny Huntington Beach which is our custom. Huntington Beach is my hometown, my stomping grounds as it were and it is where I initially was introduced to Ray.
I remember the very first time I saw Ray, it was from a distance and I wasn’t a Christian at the time. I had just gotten back off of a SEAL training trip and met up for lunch with my girlfriend (now wife) who worked across the street from the pier. Now though I was not a Christian I certainly was not an atheist… I knew God existed and that is worth knowing because of what follows.
When I spotted Ray from a distance I saw next to him a gigantic artificial ape that was standing about 6 1/2 feet high. So here I am, walking with my girlfriend as I something to the effect of “Look at this…I leave home for a while to come back and find I have got some moron evolutionist on display!”
I changed my course and headed straight for Ray with intentions of knocking him off his box and kicking down his missing link. My girlfriend saw the fire in my eyes as she latched onto me like a human anchor. She let me know quick that if I did anything stupid in front of her, I would greatly regret it later.
I remember thinking to myself that I would catch Ray some other time…Little did I know (because I was out of ear shot) that he was preaching the Gospel. Chances are I probably would have objected to the message anyways as at that time in my life I was suppressing the truth to suit my Navy SEAL downtown nightlife “rock-star” lifestyle.
About a year later I was a Christian and I saw Ray again…This time I didn’t want to knock him off his box with my arms; instead I wanted to engage in some rational combat with the evolutionist before me.
As I approached the chalk circle I was hit by total disorientation as Ray was preaching Christ next to the artificial “missing link” and some person in the crowd was calling him a Jesus freak. I suddenly realized Ray was a Christian and the hecklers were trying reviling at the preaching of cross. Talk about a turn around!
Ray didn’t know it at the time but I immediately became his body guard. I didn’t understand that Ray “wanted” to be heckled as I was doing everything within my infant Christian walk to contain myself from launching into a physical assault aimed at hecklers.
Anyways…Eventually I got to know Ray and he got me to step up on the box to see what it was like. Much more could be said to fill in the gaps of time but lets get to what this video clip above is about.
So last Saturday was very lively, we had many hecklers and one of them was the young man above (Joshua). I really felt bad for the young guy as I could sense he had some deep rooted hatred to Christianity and which unfortunately manifested in an outrage as he vented his frustrations with what sounded like a works righteousness attempt at belief.
Often times we will have atheists or agnostics approach us during an open-air, insisting that they once were on fire Christians for God but now they have a message to share…God is just imaginary. More times than not this anger they have is rooted in some hypocrites they encountered along the way in church. Two things are worth mentioning here.
One, a hypocrite should never be a test to the validity of Christianity! Jesus said “Follow Me” (Matt. 4:19) not his followers. In fact Jesus even forewarned that there would be tares amongst the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30). Just because there is a label on the outside of the bible doesn’t necessarily make it so.
Secondly, if you dig deep you will find that they never really knew the Lord which means they never really were Christians to begin with! If they didn’t know the Lord, then their false conversion experience was just that, an experience. They were never really born-again and thus it is advantageous to press and plead with someone like this to truly repent and put their faith and trust in the Savior rather than a works righteousness (Matt. 12:1-23).
So just threw this video together over at the ministry headquarters (Living Waters) and we are really looking forward to getting the live program “On The Box” going. It will have Ray Comfort and the Living Waters team consisting of Tony Miano, me, Emeal (E.Z.) Zwayne, Mark Spence, Eddie Roman ect.
The show is tentatively going to be getting its official kick start January 5th 11:30PST; though we have already done a couple of test shows with one more on the way tomorrow!
To see tomorrow’s test show go here and use this password: mark1615
Make sure you folks get your questions in to us via video response to the video that I have embedded above! We might even use your question tomorrow on the test show if you get it to us in time!
This is the 30-second intro for Living Waters’ new program, “On the Box.”
“On the Box” will be a live, web-based program, which will air on UStream, Monday through Friday, and will be available on YouTube and other websites. Ray Comfort and members of the Living Waters team will appear on the program. The focus of the program will be, of course, biblical evangelism. But the program will tackle a host of topics and issues.
The projected premier date for the program is Wednesday, January 5, 2011.
Stay tuned to this channel for more details.