Friday, August 1, 2014

Refuting Atheism: Atheism Falls Under Its Own Weight

Atheism Collapses: It Fails to Account for Itself As It Tumbles Down

 by Mike Robinson
refute new atheists
Atheism collapses under its own weight
My intention is to establish the idea that the non-theist, in principle, cannot rationally justify anything in human experience. Van Til divulges that “anti-theism presupposes theism.”1 A book written by an atheist opposing theism cannot even get off the ground without destroying the underlying rational necessities that his atheism fails to supply. The atheist rejects the ground for the laws of reason so he is stuck in a logical tangle; he rejects theism while depending on the truth conditions that theism provides. Gordon H. Clark enlightens us: “One cannot write a book or speak a sentence that means anything without using the law of contradiction.”2 And the atheist lacks the metaphysical necessities to have an immutable universal footing for the immutable universal laws of reason; it depends on theism.
 
A book that is coherent must be made up of words that have meanings. This presupposes the logical law of identify (LOI): A = A. The words in a book are what they are. Now this is common sense and must be taken for granted, but the LOI is a transcendent, unchanging, and unphysical law; a physical-only philosophy cannot account for this law of thought. This rational law demands a foundation that is transcendent and invariant. The material cosmos lacks all those attributes. God, who is transcendent and invariant, can provide the necessary rational and moral conditions for the laws of logic, including the law of identity. If you attempt to assert that this law is not required universally, you must still employ it and assume the same usage from all rational men. In principle, the only way to avert total irrationality is to have an unchanging, infinite, infallible, and exhaustive authority that supplies the pre-essentials necessary for the law of identity. The God of the Bible has these attributes and thus is a sufficient ontic ground for what one knows and can know.
 
Eliminative materialism is the radical claim that our ordinary, common-sense understanding of the mind is deeply wrong and that some or all of the mental states posited by common-sense do not actually exist (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). 
 
Propositional knowledge requires order, reason, and grammatical rules. Strict materialistic atheism (SMA) cannot ultimately justify order and rules. It claims that the cosmos is the product of time acting upon matter and motion. Thus, the worldview of firm non-theistic materialism, reason is just an illusion. Within the worldview of SMA human beings are just animated cocktails of water, protein, and minerals. Man has no immaterial aspect to his personality. Therefore, all our thoughts are just the infusion and commingling of chemicals in our gray matter.
 
We must insist that the fact that nothing is immune from criticism does not mean that we have a duty to justify everything. We Western liberal intellectuals should accept the fact that we have to start from where we are.3
 
Van Til exposes the inability of the nonbeliever to supply the justification for rational laws that are indispensable to write or communicate: “No human being can utter a single syllable ... unless it were for God’s existence. Thus the transcendental argument seeks to discover what sort of foundation the house of human knowledge must have, in order to be what it is.”4 The laws of reason and morality are important aspects of that foundation. Atheists deny the truth of theism that grounds these laws, while they presuppose and use them.
 
Theism: The Ultimate Reference Point
 

Try to rebuff theism and one has no ultimate authority to assert that he understands anything in the cosmos. God is the ultimate reference point, and He is the judge of all things. God is the foundation for all meaning, purpose, morals, and rationality. God alone is the one who makes any rational argument possible and reasonable. There is assured proof that God lives. Bahnsen put it well when he specified, “The Christian offers the self-attesting Christ to the world as the only foundation upon which a man must stand to give any ‘reasons’ for anything at all. The whole notion of ‘giving reasons’ is completely destroyed by any ontology other than the Christian one. The Christian claims that only after accepting the biblical scheme of things will any man be able to understand and account for his own rationality.”5 All anti-theists intellectually fail to ground the atheistic foundation they are standing on.

Illogical Illusions

Unless thought is valid we have no reason to believe in the real universe (C.S. Lewis).

The dominant inciter of the self-inflated New Atheists (NAs) is Richard Dawkins. He defines religion as a “virus of the mind.”6 He also embraces a worldview that espouses that all life is ultimately meaningless. This is a contradiction, since even the thoughts of the new atheists would be meaningless and no better than a “virus of the mind.” Their thoughts would just be bouncing neuro-chemicals in their brain box. The ultimate outworking of anti-theism is that everything rational is in fact irrational and just an illusion. This would mean that their own statements are meaningless, thus they are false; obviously, despite the outworking of atheistic thought, there really is meaning.
 
Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course.7
 
To expect to learn anything about important theological problems from Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett is like expecting to learn about medieval history from someone who had only read Robin Hood (Rodney Stark).
 
Dawkins attempts to disprove theism through empiricism (truth is found through man’s unchaperoned five senses). But the form of any worldview, including the NAs’, requires a priori (something prior to or independent of observation and experience, which is assumed to be true) equipment. But a priori truths cannot be justified from observation. Universal norms (laws of logic and moral absolutes) must be taken for granted in forming any worldview, but empiricism cannot provide the conditions that are necessary for universal fixed norms. Resting one’s worldview on observation, apart from the universal pre-essentials, can only result in nonsense and the unintelligibility of that which one observes. Interpreting and making sense of that which is observed cannot come from observation alone. There must be knowledge equipment already supplied that is not wholly justified by the five senses. God provides the prior essentials for the intelligibility of observation that empiricism requires. God is unavoidable for the construction of any worldview, including a faulty one that rests upon empiricism.
 
For the purpose of illustration, Bahnsen likens the argument that God does not exist to the argument that air does not exist. One needs to be breathing air while arguing that it does not exist. If air did not exist, one could not live in order to debate the subject. The new atheists take enormous swigs of God’s logic as they endeavor to disprove theism. Anti-theists depend on God to make their arguments against His existence. God is the compulsory preexistent condition for making any argument possible, including an argument against theism. As the unbeliever debates God’s existence he presupposes that God does in fact live. 

For more see my new book God's Not Dead: Many Proofs HERE

---------------------------
NOTES

1.        Van Til, Survey of Christian Epistemology.
2.        Gordon Clark, Religion, Reason, and Revelation.
3.        Richard Rorty, Objectivity or Solidarity.
4.        Van Til, Survey.
5.        Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready.
6.        Richard Dawkins, Viruses of the Mind.
7.        Michael Ruse, Science and Spirituality.




 
1.    

God Exists: Knowledge and a Discussion on the Gettier Problem


by Mike Robinson

All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope? (Immanuel Kant).

Unless thought is valid we have no reason to believe in the real universe (C.S. Lewis).

All men by nature desire knowledge (Aristotle).
God Gettier Problem

Knowledge in philosophy is most often defined as justified (justified in epistemology: has merit, justified quality, good reasons) true belief (JTB). Nonetheless knowledge cannot be merely justified true beliefs as Gettier revealed. Knowledge is best described as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” For God knows everything exhaustively and perfectly. Additionally, logic is indispensable for the Christian and Christian theism (CT) can sufficiently ground it. JTB is usually, but not always, real knowledge.

Gettier Problem: The tripartite analysis of knowledge as JTB has been shown to be incomplete. There are cases of JTB that do not qualify as cases of knowledge (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
A Gettier-type of illustration: I look at a school yard on a holiday and I see a child. So I have justified belief that a child was in the school yard. But the child I observed was actually a statue of a child. But around the corner in the school playground there was a child climbing up the slide that I did not see or know was in the school yard. Thus I had JTB but I arrived at the belief in a mistaken way. I was justified. It was true that a child was in the school, but I was erroneous in the manner I obtained the belief. The reasons I came to the JTB were incorrect.

A stopped clock was stuck on the correct time when I looked at it. I had JTB concerning the exact time of day. The criteria were satisfied, but I arrived at the JTB in a fallacious way because the clock was broken and was correct only twice a day.

Herein is the problem resulting from the lack of omniscience: one cannot know at a particular moment that one’s belief is true knowledge and not just JTB. In contrast, God is omniscient, He knows all things; men lack omniscience, so real JTB cannot be solely based on empirical observations, one must know some truths based on God’s nature and His revelation. This is a presupposition that furnishes the ground for true truth arrived in a non-erroneous manner. So truth is located in God’s unflawed, utterly precise omniscience.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30; italics mine).
Paul observes: "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The laws of logic (LL) are incontestable, indisputable, and unavoidable forasmuch as to deny the LL, one must utilize the LL to attempt to deny them. CT is sufficient to ground the LL and non-theism is not.

Atheism Cannot Account for the Laws of Logic

In this brief essay I engage the terms atheism, materialism and physicalism interchangeably: I interact with those three positions as per strict materialism. There are selected scholars who make distinctions between the three as well as posit subclasses thereof. Even so, ultimately they appear to reduce to strict materialism. Subsequently, general atheistic materialism is a physical-only philosophy. It asserts the belief that only the physical/material universe exists; there are no gods, angels, or spirits; only matter and motion. The advocate for strict materialism tries to prove that only the material world exists, all the while he uses immaterial reason, thus he supplies his own defeater. Hard materialism cannot justify immaterial objective moral values and the laws of logic.

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines (atheist Bertrand Russell; italics mine).
When Atheists, by necessity, employ the laws of logic while attempting to disprove the existence of God they are ontologically sponging off the Christian Worldview (CWV) since only the CWV accounts for the laws of logic.

1. If an Atheist asserts that the laws of logic are human conventions based on opinion or vote, then the laws of logic cannot be absolute because they depend on non-absolute men.

2. The laws of logic cannot ultimately depend on and spring from the minds of men or the mere cosmos since people and the universe are mutable; however, the laws of logic are immutable.  Moreover, they cannot be grounded on human minds considering the diverse thinking within the different human minds is frequently contradictory.

The CWV maintains that the laws of logic are changeless universals because they come from God who is Himself changeless with universal power. Moreover the atheist worldview is grounded on the always-changing non-universal material cosmos. And God is the supreme Logos and He alone is the immovable and changeless base for the immovable and changeless laws of logic which includes the law of non-contradiction and the law of identity.

The law of non-contradiction is transcendent, immutable, immaterial, aspatial, and universal; only God who is transcendent, immutable, immaterial, aspatial, and has universal rule can supply the a priori necessities to endow an accounting for the LNC.
For more see my book God's Not Dead: Many Proofs HERE

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Science Discovers Truths the Bible Revealed Long Ago: God is the Foundation for Science


By Mike Robinson
science and religion
Science is a marvelous tool that requires God for its foundation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it (C.S. Lewis).

Numerous examples regarding the prescient knowledge of scientific discoveries can be found within the Bible. These scientific truths appear in scripture thousands of years before humanity had the capacity and tools to discover them. These discoveries point to the inspiration of the Bible by a supernatural source. Below I discuss a few of interesting examples.

Undoubtedly, the Bible is not a science textbook. However, when scripture discusses ideas that touch on science, it is accurate. Proper science doesn’t conflict with the Bible. Moreover, God, as the foundation, is necessary for scientific pursuits. [1]

Modern people take it for granted that health and life are in the blood that flows through their veins. Scripture observed, in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, “life is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11).

Present-day medical science has proven that blood is essential for life. Yet, in much of the past, in order to treat (mistreat) a variety of ailments, most cultures have ignored that life-giving truth even to the point of draining blood (blood-letting) from sickly people. What the Bible revealed many centuries ago—life is in the blood—medical science did not discover until it had the proper tools to discern such truths. Before modern times, blood-letting was applied and numerous people died from this practice. These avoidable deaths occurred since draining the blood from ailing people removed that which was necessary for life.

Gravity and The Earth

The book of Job revealed scientific truths unknown to humanity until recent times. Job declared that God “hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). Today, all men know this is correct. Nonetheless, scripture revealed, thousands of years ago, the earth is hung in place by the power of unseen gravity.

Does Science Determine All Truth?

Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true. We may be living nearer than we suppose to the end of the Scientific Age (C.S. Lewis).

Many claim that they only believe in modern science, that all truth is found in the discovering of evidence through the scientific method. This raises the question: Why should we affirm the evidence? Why must one be biased in favor of true facts? These are moral questions and move one out of the realm of evidence and fact and into morals. One must assume and commend honesty in observing, reporting, and affirming the facts that science unearths. Thus the scientist presupposes binding moral law considering that he wants true evidence, not fake, made-up facts or lies that are reckoned as facts. Binding morals presuppose God, insofar as He supplies the obligatory prior conditions for honesty and truth.

The earth is always changing. One cannot completely vest hope, thought, or philosophy on the earthly. One cannot base his ethics, reason, and nobility on a system of thought built on a physical universe that is in a constant state of flux. A constantly-in-flux cosmos cannot produce unchanging things like permanent logical standards, moral absolutes, and love. Again, those entities transcend the physical universe. Intellect in submission to God’s revealed word is the only means by which one can make sense of the universe. Kepler said it best in describing the creation as a “sacred sermon, a veritable hymn to God the Creator.”


Yes, the Bible reveals to humanity that the earth hangs on nothing (Job 26:7) and is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22). Scripture declared these facts thousands of years before telescopes and modern science discovered them. God’s word instructs His people how to wash their hands which would help ward off infections and disease (Leviticus 15:13). God’s word declared to humanity the proper function of the water cycle (Job 38:12-14), the existence of ocean currents (Psalms 8:8), the solar cycle, and the expansion of the universe (Isaiah 40:22) centuries before modern science discovered these truths. These facts are consistent with the authority of the Bible.

Facts and other evidence do not endow the Bible with authority; it is endowed with it because it is God’s word; furthermore science, testing, and examination presuppose biblical revelation. Testing utilizes a number of disciplines, such as the application of the laws of reason and induction. A pure materialistic worldview cannot justify the existence or the use of the laws of reason; these changeless norms are immaterial universals for they come from the nature of the changeless God. We have sure knowledge that the God of scripture lives.

God’s Fingerprints Are Everywhere

We see evidence of God’s fingerprints in every known corner of the universe. Mankind discovers the proof and affirms many of the facts that the Bible records and announces. The greatest miracle is the resurrection of Jesus. The Lord Jesus is alive! He is the only religious leader to rise from the dead. He is the only one who promised a resurrection and duly kept His promise. You can visit the tombs of all the deceased religious leaders and find their remains still in the grave. However, Jesus is alive as the reigning Lord.

We do not think He probably exists; our faith is not just reasonable or plausible. It is impossible for the true and living God not to exist, because without Him, in principle, we can know nothing at all. He is the obligatory truth condition for all knowledge since He provides the pre-environment utilized in all rational pursuits.[2]

To see the massive amount of proof for God’s existence see my new book God’s Not Dead: Many Proofs HERE
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes

   1.  Rational pre-commitments assist in directing one’s investigation and analysis of the data (as well as its interpretation and communication). This admission is often difficult to get from some atheistic inquirers to acknowledge. What worldview can furnish the a priori necessities and rational tools for science, analysis and research? Christian theism can deliver the epistemic ground for the a priori immutable universals utilized in rational enquiry; in principle, materialistic atheism cannot furnish the aforementioned ground. What is obligatory to account for scientific analysis is a first principle that has the ontological endowment to not only ground it, but to account for it and its preconditions—all the universal operational features of knowledge. The loss of the immovable point of reference, in principle, leaves the ungodly bereft of a resource necessary to construct the analytical enterprise. Without God, one cannot hoist the necessary a priori operation features of the intellectual examination of evidence. The Christian worldview supplies the fixed ontic platform as the sufficient truth condition that can justify induction, immutable universals, attributes, identity, and the uniformity of the physical world. But materialistic atheism lacks such a fixed ontic platform. Consequently, it fails to provide the sufficient ground required to justify enquiry and research.
      2.   When anyone attempts to escape the truth that God exists, he falls in a trap he cannot escape. This point is well made in Van Til’s illustration of a man made of water, who is trying to climb out of the watery ocean by means of a ladder made of water. He cannot get out of the water for he has nothing to stand on. Without God, one cannot make sense of anything. The atheist has nothing to stand on (an ontic Archimedean locus of reference) and he lacks a rational apparatus to scale an epistemic ladder that would allow him to view reality with clarity. God and His revealed word supply men their only possible ground with the explanatory clout needed to account for critical and analytical pursuits. The ontological barrenness of atheistic materialism is just one reason the Christian should never grant the natural man the right to determine the criteria for testing truth claims—atheistic naturalism lacks an ontology with a shard of explanatory power. Christianity rests upon God and His Revelation as the ontic Archimedean locus of reference for science. 



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Atheism Fails to Supply the Foundation for Universal Moral Values


Mike Robinson
Granbury, Texas


 
objective moral values apologetics book
God is required for objective moral values

Introduction

Atheism, in principle, is deficient of ontic resources required to ground moral absolutes. Atheists know what is moral: they can know right from wrong. However, atheism lacks an objective, immutable, and perfect ontological foundation to issue objective immutable moral commandments. Additionally, atheism lacks the means to bring justice to all moral lawbreakers.

It is pretty hard to defend absolutist morals on ground other than religious ones (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion).

Atheist Christopher Hitchens observed: Hume said, “You can’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is.’” I think that is true (Hitchens and Wilson Debate, WMTS).

The language … and practice of morality today is in a state of grave disorder (Philosopher of Ethics Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue).

This essay seeks to demonstrate that moral absolutes exist and that atheism lacks the ontological (nature of being; ontology is the study of existence or reality) grounding for moral absolutes. Atheists can know what is moral (epistemic explanation: relating to what we know); they can know right from wrong. Nonetheless, atheism lacks an objective, immutable, and perfect ontic ground to issue objective immutable moral commandments. Additionally, atheism lacks the means to hold all moral lawbreakers to an account.

A moral absolute is true and completely exceptionless. This is sometimes put by saying that a moral absolute is universalizable: it is equally binding on all people at all times… (J.P. Moreland & William L. Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview).

Many ideologies and religions offer moral edicts, but I maintain that secular, Islamic, Hindu, and naturalistic moral values are inconsistent and cannot be ultimately justified. Some people believe it is right to lie and murder in order to promote their agenda. To a consistent atheistic materialist, the concept of immaterial law is nonsensical. It doesn’t seem to make sense to argue that an immaterial objective moral value comes from a material-only world; therefore, for the consistent atheist, immaterial objective moral values do not exist. I will argue that the only consistent and righteous moral system comes from Christian theism. It is justified and it is impossible for it not to be true because Christianity supplies the necessary truth conditions for immutable moral values. Mutable materialistic atheism ultimately tumbles into moral nihilism.

God is Necessary for Objective Morality

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point (Nietzsche).
If the conclusion of a sound argument is rejected because of sinful suppression, clearly that's no fault of the argument (James Anderson).

  • Since the immutable good God with universal reach exists then immutable universal objective moral values exist.
  • The immutable good God with universal reach exists.
  • Therefore immutable universal objective moral values exist.
Below is another valid but not biblically acceptable form (it does not ontologically start with God)
  • If immutable universal objective moral values exist the immutable God with universal reach exists.
  • Immutable universal objective moral values exist.
  • The immutable God with universal reach exists.
-------
Similarly one could argue employing the following form:
  • Objective moral values exist.
  • Objective moral values have the attributes of being immutable and immaterial.
  • The mutable material cosmos and humanity within lack the attributes of being immutable, and immaterial.
  • The mutable material cosmos and humanity within cannot account for objective moral values.
  • The triune God has the attributes of being immutable and immaterial.
  • Therefore the existence of objective moral values furnishes grounds for knowing that the triune God exists.
These are valid and defendable formulations; nevertheless the issue of the ontology of moral values is not merely a matter of reasoning to God utilizing the existence of moral values. It understands that all reasoning depends and presupposes God. This includes reasoning about moral values.

Additionally, I am not asserting that non-theists do not know (epistemic concern) moral principles nor are they directly rejecting the second table of the Ten Commandments. In some ways non-theists do not have to openly affirm the first four commandments in the Decalogue to live by selected moral principles, albeit incongruously. Accordingly, I am contending that God is ontologically indispensable for the existence (ontic claim) of objective moral values. God is the ontological basis and underpinning for immutable moral values.

God is the unchanging foundation for unchanging moral values for the reason that He is the standard of good. Since He is good and perpetually the same, He is the foundation for unchanging moral values. Under non-theism mutable human beings cannot be the ground for immutable moral values. Evolving humans (evolve means change) lack the ontic capacity to provide a ground in of themselves for unchanging moral values. One cannot give what one does not have (universality and immutability).

On non-theism the best we have is a varying subjective opinion (or collection of opinions) of what some men at a particular point in time consider a moral value; possibly conjoined to a moral duty.

An Ever-in-Flux Cosmos Cannot Ground Immutable Moral Values

Moral law has to be derived from us (Christopher Hitchens, Wilson and Hitchens Debate).

If you don’t like my principles, I’ve got others (Groucho Marx).

Materialistic atheism believes that only the cosmos exists; the matter and motion within the universe is all there is. Does the cosmos have the capacity to ground immutable universal moral values and duties? No. The material cosmos comes up infinitely short since it is a particular mutable (changing) thing; it lacks universal reach (it is not omnipresent) and it is always in a shifting and variable flux. Thus the material cosmos and the matter and motion within fail to ground immutable universal moral values. Since immutable universal moral values exist, strict materialistic atheism cannot be true. Mutability eats at the non-theistic ontic base like acid.

Strict materialistic atheism lacks the ontological ability necessary to furnish a suitable foundation for objective moral values and duties. Equally, mutable humanity embedded in the cosmos is also devoid of the ontic capacity to account for immutable moral values.


First ... human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in certain ways... Second ... they do not in fact behave in that way. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in (C.S. Lewis).

Many actions are universally, objectively, and immutably wrong. Actions like killing babies for mere fun. Child sexual assault and torture for crowd enjoyment are universally and immutably wrong. These actions are unremittingly wrong since these prohibitions are based on God’s unchanging nature. Every person with a properly functioning moral sense knows that gratuitous torture and abuse is always wrong.

Moral values are grounded on God and moral duties are commands revealed by a good God in man’s conscience and in Scripture.

A moral duty is obligatory of men when the good God commands it. A moral action is permitted for people when the good God commands it or the action is derived from the general equity of a biblical command. An action is prohibited when the good God commands people not to do such an action.

Accordingly, moral obligations and prohibitions are known by the commandments of God and the application of the general equity thereof. Additionally, in a subservient manner, one’s properly functioning conscience directed by the truth of Scripture morally informs a person.

God’s commandments are not arbitrary inasmuch as they are based on and flow from God’s essentially good unchanging nature. Since God’s commands are based on His nature the truth of God’s existence is invulnerable to the Euthyphro Dilemma (this is discussed in greater detail elsewhere in this volume).


Objective Moral Values vs. Subjective Opinions

By Mike Robinson

Objective Moral Values are not mere preferences


Introduction

One can avoid moral skepticism by depending upon an unchanging, infinite, infallible, and exhaustive moral authority. God has these necessary qualities. God is mandatory inasmuch as He is unchanging, universal in knowledge, timeless, transcendent, and immaterial. Harmoniously, objective moral values are unchanging, universal, timeless, transcendent, and immaterial. God has the necessary attributes to account for objective moral values.


You’re thinking in black and white. Think in shades of gray.[1]
[When I was an atheist], My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But, how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?[2]
Let us change the rule we have hitherto adopted for the judging what is good. We took our own will as rule; let us now take the will of God.[3]
Objective moral values are not determined by the opinions, preferences, or psychological dispositions of an individual man or groups of men. It is a moral value “independently of whether anyone believes it or not” (William Lane Craig). The moral view which is based on one’s personal preference is a type of ethical subjectivism. Ultimately, it is based on preferences similar to one liking clam chowder over chicken soup. It is a descriptive form of ethics that leaves one without an ultimate arbitrator to settle moral disagreements among men with different preferences.

One can prefer torturing babies for fun over forbidding such behavior in the same way one prefers the chowder over the soup; it is a matter of personal taste and choice. In principle, if one observes a greasy old man ready to torture an innocent little baby, your repugnance is no more morally justified than one who is a bit queasy over a friend sipping his clam chowder. Under this sort of subjectivism, formally, it makes no sense to claim that the man torturing the baby for fun is morally wrong. He prefers it and you do not. You have no principled justification to attempt to stop the baby torturer from preferring his behavior any more than you may stop a friend from enjoying clam chowder. Nonetheless, torturing babies for fun is objectively and immutably wrong. It cannot be morally right to engage in such behavior. The subjectivist lacks the foundation to declare that torturing babies for fun is morally wrong. There are no behavior directing moral laws; morality is merely a matter of one’s preferences. Of course most atheists know such actions are morally wrong. Nevertheless I contend that it’s not a matter of knowing right from wrong—atheists can know (epistemological realm) right from wrong (Romans chapters 1 & 2)—I argue that atheists cannot account for the truth that there are objective moral values (right & wrong exist; ontological realm).

If there is no God, anything is permitted.[4]
Regeneration Required
If man is to change ethically, he must be converted.[5]
Jesus taught that for men to change, their heart must change; men must be born again (John 3:3-8). If one dresses up a wolf to look like a lamb, one still has an animal that can viciously attack humans if hungry or alarmed. For the animal to become sheep-like, the wolf needs a miracle: regeneration into a lamb (or a huge genetic swap). The wolf needs a complete change. And that’s what God’s grace does to men by the power of the Gospel. By grace through faith men are born again by the Spirit (regenerated) and after regeneration they have a changed heart that leads them to grow in moral goodness.

Biblical Law
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long (Psalms 119:97).
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).
But about the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever... You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness” (Hebrews 1:8-9).
What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! ... So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good... We know that the law is spiritual (Romans 7:7-14).
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him (John 14:15 & 21).
The moral commandments of Scripture found in the Ten Commandments must be the standard for normative ethics. Biblical ethics are proscriptive (what one ought not to do) as well as prescriptive (what one ought to do) of normative human conduct—the general equity of the Decalogue—should be the ground for our rule of law: deontological. Deontological is obligatory inasmuch as it is the moral will of God in real-life situations: explicit actions that are based on its broad principals. Thus all persons are obligated to affirm and embrace the commandments of God in establishing laws and in living their lives.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands (2 John 6).
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-18).
Morality and Unguided Evolution

The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy defines morality as: “An informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behavior that affects others, having the lessening of evil or harm as its goal, and including what are commonly known as the moral rules, moral ideals, and moral virtues.”[6] The word "ethics" is given the following definition by the same dictionary: “The philosophical study of morality. The word is commonly used interchangeably with morality ... and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group, or individual.”[7] Theologian Norman Geisler states: “Moral law is morality for conduct... Law is a moral rule by which we are led to act or are withheld from action... God’s purpose for law is to regulate human activity.”[8]

The theory of unguided evolution offers no ontological basis for fixed moral values. Many people have fallen for the bamboozlement of the ages, the theory of unguided evolution. This theory, along with selected features of Nietzsche’s philosophy, has accomplished a lot. What has been accomplished by this misreading, this hoax, this fallacy, this misapprehension? This theory has given many of the world’s despots and dictators aspects of their ideological systems for carrying out the atrocities they had ordered. Stalin, Mao, and the Khmer Rouge butchered over fifty million people in the twentieth century under the influence of communism, atheism, and evolution. Unguided evolution not only gives no fundamental basis for morals; it, in principle, disallows essential features of benevolent ethics. The evolutionist’s creed is “survival of the fittest.” This doctrine helps hoist the proposition that “might makes right.” When one applies this to reality, the strong should take everything they can through force. Under that view, they should go through the country raping, trampling the weak, and killing the handicapped. Strict Darwinism undermines selected altruistic endeavors and charitable ethics as it gives men reason to be selfish, inhumane, wicked, murderous, and destructive.

All power grows from the barrel of a gun (atheist Mao Zedong).
In atheistic evolution, ultimately, the only thing that is important is promoting the survival of one’s own genes to the next generation. Turning the other cheek or doing good to the physically and mentally challenged only weakens the gene pool, so charity and benevolence should be rejected. The strong should step on anyone they can to promote their own genetic success. In contrast, I agree with the way Martin Luther King put it in his homily upon receiving his Nobel Peace Prize: “I refuse to believe the notion that man is mere flotsam and jetsam ... unable to respond to the eternal oughtness that forever confronts him.”

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes (Psalms 19:8).
Today, many people assert that there are no moral absolutes. Yet arguing against unchanging moral truths is self-stupefying. What the anti-moralist asserts stifles itself on its own grounds. If he objects to you pointing this out, he also stultifies himself. To state that he rigidly objects to any moral notion is to appear to assume a moral absolute. Hence, his objection is duplicitous. Just ask the non-absolutist, “Do you think that it is always ‘wrong’ to affirm moral absolutes?” If he answers “No,” at that point he has contradicted himself and indirectly affirms moral absolutes. If he answers “Yes,” you point out that this objection is a moral truth; a truth he seems to want you take as an absolute.

Universal Binding Laws Presuppose God

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them (Romans 2:14-15).
The moral law was written on the human conscience by nature. This writing has been defaced, but not obliterated. A clear and correct knowledge of the moral law requires the republication of the commandments, summarized in the Decalogue as the permanent and unalterable rule of man’s duty on earth.[9]
Moral laws are immaterial immutable realities that presuppose an immaterial immutable God who has the wisdom and authority to decree and enact them. Without God, as the moral lawgiver, there cannot be invariant moral laws. A holy, wise, and good God is the essential truth condition for true, invariant, immaterial, and irreducible realities called moral laws. The Decalogue provides apodictic (established by God as immutable commandments) moral duties since they are universal and unconditional; they are laws for all cultures and people in all time periods. A distinction is made regarding case law. Case laws are specific applications for particular people and definite applications of these apodictic commandments.

Materialistic atheism cannot account for irreducible immaterial invariant entities that are to govern human behavior. Without an omnipotent sovereign God, issuing laws that are based on His perfect character, one has no motivation to obey the law simply because obedience is morally good. Leave God out of the picture and one only obeys the law because of the fear of possible penal sanction and civil punishment from an earthly government. When the civil authorities aren’t looking, one can steal, lie, cheat, and rape with impunity. There must be a sovereign God, as the sufficient and universal condition, to obey out of gratitude and love. We have strong motivation to follow laws, when no one is looking, if the laws are intrinsically good, and come from a good all-seeing God. A God one loves, who commands humanity to love Him by obeying His commandments. When you take away the character and authority of God to enact law, one is not obliged to obey them out of mere love and gratitude.

Without postulating the existence of God it would be impossible to link the moral order to the natural order: the two realms would remain separate. How could the moral laws confront me with the kind of demands they do, how could they come to me with the kind of force they do, unless they have their source in a Being who exists objectively that is, independently of me and is essentially good? ... There is something in every man, it may seem, that demands God as a postulate.[10]
Placing No Value on Objective Moral Absolutes

The denial of moral absolutes is a self-diminishing exertion because the denial of moral absolutes presupposes a moral view: it is morally permissible to absolutely deny absolute moral values. So in a sense, the attempt to deny absolute moral values affirms that they exist. To deny fixed moral values is self-deflating; the denial, in the end, leads to the removal of a standard that obligates others to communicate the denial absolutely. If you ask them if they absolutely believe that there are no absolutes; they may say no. Then you just ask them if they absolutely believe their answer of no. At some point they must stand on an absolute or they fall into idiocy.
Conclusion

It is a divine doctrine which teaches what is right and pleasing unto God and reproves everything that is sin and contrary to God’s will (The Book of Concord).
Fearing the Lord is the beginning of moral knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7, NET).
The best way to avert moral skepticism is to have an unchanging, infinite, infallible, and exhaustive authority. The God of the Bible has these attributes. God is required because He is unchanging, universal in knowledge, timeless, transcendent, and immaterial. Correspondingly, objective moral values are unchanging, universal, timeless, transcendent, and immaterial. God has the required attributes to account for objective moral values.
Additionally, the way to avoid eternal condemnation is to turn from your ways and trust in Jesus Christ: the One who died for His people and rose again on the third day. He’s wonderful and full of excellencies that will thrill your heart.

Check out my Apologetics eBook on Amazon The Sure Existence of Moral Absolutes HERE
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NOTES

1. Craig Boldman, Every Excuse in the Book: 714 Ways to Say it’s not My Fault (New York: MJF Books, 1998), p. 94.
2. C.S. Lewis: Martindale and Root, Editors, The Quotable Lewis (Wheaton, Il: Tyndale House, 1989), p. 59.
3. Thomas Morris, Making Sense of It All (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman, 1992), p. 211.
4. Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov, Bantam Classics. Many impute this line to Dostoevsky, but it nowhere appears in the volume. Perhaps it is a summary of a position of one of the characters within the text.
5. P. Andrew Sandlin, We Must Create A New Kind of Christian (Vallecito, CA: Chalcedon Publication, 2000), p. 16.
6. Robert Audi, General Editor, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Second Edition (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Press 1999), p. 586.
7. Ibid., Audi, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, p. 284.
8. Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), pp. 414-416.
9. Carl Henry, Editor, Wycliff Dictionary of Ethics (Peabody, MA: 2000), p. 432.
10.Geddees McGregor, Introduction to Religious Philosophy (Boston, MA: Mifflin, 1959), pp. 117-119.