Monday, June 13, 2016

My version of The Classic Moral Argument

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Kant: supported Moral argument

This is my own version of the classic moral argument that I promised as part 3 in my answer to Counter Apologist.[1][2] This version I believe avoids all the pit falls or most of them that his arguments were about. The first and most basic pitfall is that it does not seek to prove the existence of God. So we don't have tpo0 worry about begging they question on assuming God because all that matters is that God as the best source of Grounding warrants believe ot does not have to prove it.


(1) Humans are possessed of moral motions which we find to be real and important. We cannot deny the senes of moral outrage over "evil" or the sense that one "ought" to do that which we find "good."

(2) Such moral motions can be understood as grounded in terms of behavior in our genetic endowment, but no explanation can tell us why we find them moral or how to justify them as "ought's."

(3) Genetic explanations only provide an understanding of behavior, they do not offer the basis of a moral dimension (
trying to turn "is" into "ought").

(4) Social contract theory offers only relativism that can be changed or ignored in the shifting sands of social necessity and politics (this is both a practical issue and a matter meta ethical theory).

(5) matters of feeling are merely matters of taste and should be ignored as subjective (the atheist dread of the subjective).

(6) God is possessed of a loving nature that makes the good a matter of rational on the part of the creator and his status as creator means he is more than qualified to be judge to translate te good  into moral values.

 (7) Therefore, God is the only source of grounding which works as a regulative concept for our moral axioms and at the same time actually explains the deep seated nature of moral motions.

Universal Moral Law.

The Apostle Paul tells us that there is a universal moral law written upon the human heart (Rm 2:6-14). We can see evidence of this universal law throughout the world. Now social science is quick to tell us that moral codes of all cultures differ throughout the world; some are so drastically different as to allow for multiple mirages, in some cultures gambling and even cheating each other are expected, and in a few cultures there doesn't seem to be any notion of right and wrong. But we shouldn't expect that all the moral codes of the world would be uniform just because there is a moral law. The evidence of a universal law is not seen in structured belief systems but in the humanity of humans. People in all cultures have concepts of right and wrong, even though they may attach different kinds of significance to them. There are a few cultures that are actually pathological examples, but in the main most people are capable of being good, exhibit a basic human compassion, and feel moral outrage at cruelty and injustice.

It is this sense of moral outrage and the ability to empathize and to feel compassion that marks the moral law best of all. In Niangua in the 1980s members of the contra army fighting the Sandinistas conducted a campaign of terror to prevent the people from supporting the revolutionary government. To enforce a sense of Terror they cut off the heads of little girls and put them on polls for all to see (see Noam Chomsky Turning The Tide...Chomsky's example comes from United Nations Human Rights Report in 1984). [3] The modern equivalent is Issis. People are also repulsed their doings. There is something about this act, regardless of our political affiliations which fills us with anger and revulsion; we want to say it is evil. Even those who believe that we must move beyond good and evil are hard pressed not to admit this sense of outrage and revulsion, yet if they had their way we would not be able to express anything more than a matter of taste about this incident for nothing is truly evil if there is no universal moral law.

Moreover, the nature of the moral universe is such that we are capable of elevating basic moral motions to the level of ethical thinking. We understand by this that we must deliberate about moral conditions and to do that we must have free moral agency, a sense of the meaning of duty and obligation, and a notion of grounding for moral axioms. All of these things are without foundation in the relativist scheme but they are part and parcel of what ethical thinking is about. Before trying to link the universal moral law to the existence of God we must first explore the objections to it.

PIT 1:As to the a pitfall the argument avoids, the first is the question begging nature of Craig's argument (the one attacked by the CAa0 and also the problematic nature of the objective argument. Craig's argument is:

(1) if God exists, there are objective moral values

(2) there are objective moral values

(3) therefore God exists.

(as stated by CA in part 1. The problem here is that all the atheist has to do is say there are no objective values and then the apologist would have to prove there are. But he can't prove that by appealing to God because it's supposed to prove the existence of God. My argument works in reverse. Rather than assert something I can't prove and hope they agree I argue that I don't; need to pro e iot because I', not arguing it, I didn't say objective morality proves God I said God is the best explanation for our sneeze that morality is valid and meaningful. I do believe moral   values are objective but rather than assert that I argue that God is the best explanation and that with God as grounding we have a good reason to accept the validity of objective values. It's not circular because I don't claim to prove the existence of God. Like Kant I argue that God is necessary as a regulative principle for ethical axioms. I think tye reason he accepts te premise that moral as values exist is because he thinks he can assure them for atheism with moral realisms.

PIT 2: CA's "GMO." The Grand metaphysical Object. This he reads into theistic morality as an object of belief. He asserts that all theists think of morality as this metaphysical stuff that can't be understood but functions as the only valid object of ethical thinking. In my first response I dispelled this myth and explained how it's not true It's not true of any moral argument except the most amateurish perhaps. I think my argument has a built in fail safe ageism kit by appealing to God's loving nature rather than any sort of mystical holiness. Don't get me wrong I am all for mystical holiness. I just don't think we need to appeal to it to make the moral argument work (rom 6-7)..

PIT 3:He doesn't dispute that issue of He faults apologists for not being able to produce real reasons for objective moral values. He says those can work as well for atheism because they don't have to come from God, but apologists can't prove them. Apologists will often observe that life is unlivable without such moral values but that is not proof they exist. "Plus, such an appeal can do as much work for a moral system that is compatible with atheism."

pit 4 Euth

MorL realism, FAILS. I think I gave it to moral realism pretty well in part 1. What he tries to stick theist ethicists with in his post he actually  is stuck with in  moral realism. rather than a big supernatural "object" of goodness  he has moral values grounded in nothing. like presupositionaioists they try to bully them into place as "realism," Christian moral values are truly grounded in reason.

[1] Joseph Hinman, "The Counter Apologist's Attack on The Moral Argument," (part 2) Metacrpcl's Blog (Sunday, June 05, 2016)

Ibid. part 1 May 29,2016,

[2] The Counter Apologiost, "A much longer Counter to the Moral Argument." The Counter Apologist Blog. (May 13, 2016) URL:
accessed 5/28/2016

[3] Noam Chomsky, Turning the Tide:U.S. Intervention in Central America, South End Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 1999)



Anonymous said...

Ah, so instead of trying to prove God exists, you assume God exists. And then that is a rational warrant for thinking God exists...


Joe Hinman said...

you need to read Kant. He legitimized that position, the regulatory principle in Critique of practical reason; it's like saying God is the best explanation as to why we find certain things evil or good.

Eric Sotnak said...

One quick observation: the way your argument is written, it is not logically valid. This can be easily shown by the fact that logically (deductively) valid arguments can't contain information in the conclusion that is not present in the premises (with the exception of arguments that rely on disjunctive addition). Your conclusion contains "God is the only source of grounding which works as a regulative concept for our moral axioms" but that's the first time "regulative concept" appears in the argument.

Joe Hinman said...

yes I wrote taht lomng time ago. It's miner repair.