Discussing the Moral Argument: InspiringPhilosophy (Michael Jones) and David Wood

David Wood (Acts 17 Apologetics) was live with Michael Jones (InspiringPhilosophy) discussing the moral argument for God’s existence and the moral argument against naturalism. We began by describing the argument, using William Lane Craig’s formulation from Reasonable Faith) as a starting point. Then we moved on to some of our own formulations.

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Special thanks to everyone who contributed via SuperChat: Kos Juludo, Petar Milich, J Shy, Some Nobody, Niklas Paulsson, Larry Long, Poop Zombie, and George B. Pryor!

I love Pastor Alistair Begg’s take on the Good Thief. When he died and arrived at the Pearly Gates, the angel guard asked him some questions. “Have you been baptized?” to which the GT replied, “What’s that?” “Well, did you attend a bible study?” “No.” “Then why are you here?” “Because the Man in the middle said I could come.”

I think debating Matt Dillahunty is a waste of time because his answer to everything is “I’m not convinced” or “Claims aren’t evidence.”

Morals based on society cultural norms is nonsense. Wonder if those that believe this are the same people that argue where is God when innocent people get murdered, raped and wars…etc.etc.etc.

I find that most people have a lot of baggage in the form of bad philosophical reasoning. As a Christian Apologist, you wind up just helping people do good philosophy long before you even get to actually giving reasons for God’s existence. It’s just the facts of life.

DWood, if you start with the Bible project, don’t skip their podcast. The videos are good, but the podcasts are much better.

hi david… i understand what you are getting at 35:00 however i would stay away from this argument as this is how many pro-abortion advocates justify abortion due to rape… due to a belief that there is a “rape” gene and the child will also we a rapist. however the child like the mother is a innocent victim of the attack & should not be punished with the DEATH penalty… we do not even give the death penalty to rapists… and the baby is an innocent victim… so i disagree but i understand what you are getting at but please be careful not to perpetuate this myth

This may be the single most productive discussion on the moral argument that I have heard.

It’s always cool to see youtubers who I didn’t know had anything to do with each other collaborate! Kinda mind blowing!

I could not believe in evolution except for theistic evolution and even though I don’t understand it I believe it is possible.

Michael is really smart and composed and I learned a lot from listening to him.

THANKS

WLC’s formulation of the moral argument is intended to be used in a discussion/debate, I.e. it’s first premise intended to be provocative. It provokes argument. Those who argue that the simple syllogism Craig defends is all there is to it don’t understand its purpose.

Paradise is not Heaven where God the Father is. Jesus did go to Heaven after a point while his body was buried. But Paradise literally means a walled garden, one that was modeled after Eden, actually. Paradise/Eden was understood in Enoch to be where Abraham and other were at that time and also was the “third heaven” of Paul, but this is getting pretty speculative now.

muhammad is anti christ
2 John 7-11 Beware of Antichrist Deceivers

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that [a]we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.

9 Whoever [b]transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son

A great presentation of the moral argument. I would like to make a case for the other side, because this summer, while I was running upwards a mountain as a daily routine in order to burn some calories and thus solving the imperfections of my design I thought about this. I have thought many hours on this and would like to present the argumentation I have reached to.

In order to understand what moral values are we need to understand what objectivity is and what moral values are.

Objectivity is the way of understanding things without being affected by personal feelings, therefore objective moral values are moral values that we accept, regardless of our subjective feelings.

Moral values are values in the moral realm. In this context, value is something which contributes to the overall good.

Even as an atheist I can see that the point made for the objective moral value is a very interesting, well thought out point. It does not convince me (sorry, IP, but if you come up with an argument, the purpose of your argument is to convince your audience, so this is not a “game”, at least in my case) because I found some flaws in this argument. I’m not convinced about God’s (or Gods’) existence, I’m on the position of avoiding assumptions, hence I don’t believe in God, nor in the lack of God. I’m interested of reality, whatever it is.

Let me explain what faults I have found. Since value, in its moralistic sense is something that contributes to the good, moral duties are duties that we need to comply in order to preserve values and act in a virtuous way. So, if there is any objective definition of moral values, then applying them is acting in a way that we have accepted to be objectively virtuous. Yes, you can say that any standards can be raised, even such standards that we all would utterly reject and that’s true. However, on your turn you have to admit that you have accepted the objective moral values laid out in the doctrine of your religion, so each moral values that we accept passes our subjectivity at least once (at the time of accepting it), hence, on the human level any moral value is at least partly subjective. You and Muslims agree that there are objective moral values, but since the doctrinal input is different, the output is very different as well.

Let me give you an example: it’s a common interest to preserve the Earth, to avoid polluting the planet that we live on, to avoid dying on a massive scale. Since the basis of a moral system which would be based on preserving our planet to be a habitable planet is scientific, we should be able to accept that this moral system that I brought to your attention as an example is objective (if I pour cyan into a river, that’s polluting it regardless of my subjetive feelings), however, if I accept this moral system, then it crosses my subjective filter, so at that point it’s subjective, but objective afterwards.

So, objective moral values are independent of our human subjectivity and what’s right or wrong is decided by the object of that moral value system. If it’s God, then God’s moral system. If it’s environmentalism, then the moral system of environmentalism.

So, we can lay out the foundations of an objective moral system without assuming or following a deity.

However, at this point we need to distinguish between moral conventions and inherent moral values. Your claim with the moral argument is that there are inherent moral values defined by God (if God would say that killing others as Kaffirs is justifiable, then that would be an objective moral value) and my answer is that this is a matter of belief. However, your claim implies that if I say that something is wrong and I expect others to join me in denouncing it, then I could only do that consistently as a theist. My opinion is that even though it’s convenient to have such a claim for theists, it is undeniably true that there are moral conventions that are independent of deities and if they are founded on objective principles, then they are objective.

Yes, the person who have first said that we need to preserve the planet to remain habitable was a subjective being, but since his/her work is scientifically plausible, from my perspective it’s an objective moral system and if someone causes pollution, then I will call that action “wrong”. In the case of theistic objective moral values they are objective from our point of view, but from God’s perspective they are subjective, since God defined them based on his feelings, his tremendous love in some instances of theism.

The creator of moral values is someone who has a goal and wants to achieve it, so at that point they are subjective. On our level, when we meet these values, they have to pass our subjective filter and if we accept them, then they can become objective (provided that we live by them regardless of our subjective feelings afterwards).

I find the leap towards a rational entity outside of us a big step, which does not follow necessarily from the exclusion of our subjectivity from some moral standards and calling that outside entity “God” is an arbitrary definition. What if our moral values were defined by some aliens (implausible scenario, but good for an example)? If that was the case, should we call them “God”? With all these I accept that you think that objective moral values were defined by God, but I just don’t see why should we accept this on a scientific level.

I would also like to point out that the input of the individual should have the potential of affecting the moral standards of society. If we completely lock out ourselves from being a defining factor in morals, then we might end up in some strange theocracy. Ideally all of us are able to form the moral standards of society and some clever bs filter should make sure that most of our bad ideas will not be included into the standards.

That’s why I recognised Mike Jones voice RIGHT AWAY. Love his YouTube broadcasts. Awesome that David Wood has him on the show.

Atheism in itself is a rejection of logic and basic common sense.

Off-Topic - How do I counter that the statement that God ordered the Israelites to rape the Amakelites virgins?