Throughout his book David makes 2 mistakes. First, he makes a logical blunder. Secondly, he mischaracterizes the Christian's view about how we come to know morality. We will go over these two points and then I will end by asking David a question which he cannot answer consistently.
He made the logical error known as Chronological Snobbery. This term was coined by the famous C.S. Lewis. Before I ever read Lewis' take on it I always called it The Fallacy of the Calendar. Chronological Snobbery is when you attempt to disprove something simply by dating it. The key words people use are "archaic", "medieval", "ancient", "old fashioned", etc... Take a look at some of the statements made in David's book:
- “It (Bible) contains errors, contradictions, and a stagnant moral code, which, in many ways, no longer coincides with the morality of modern man.”
- “The Bible teaches ideas which are increasingly irrelevant and even counterproductive as our social morality and scientific understanding of the world evolves on a global scale.”
In the first quote he calls Biblical morality "stagnant". I assume he means the Bible contains a moral code that hasn't evolved as man has evolved. With the second quote notice that he dismisses Biblical morality as "irrelevant" and "counterproductive". Why does he do this? Can he show sociological reasons? What data does he have? His reasoning is that man has evolved. Therefore, his presupposition is that man has always evolved higher morally. Thus, whatever is new is good and what is old is bad. But lets think about this for a second. I have two scenarios which completely contradict his presupposition.
- If David lived in 1940's Nazi Germany would he argue the same way? I can hear him now..."The Biblical idea of "loving your neighbor" is so ancient. We have evolved to understand we need to murder all Jews, Gypsies, Gays, and people without Blonde hair." If this sounds ridiculous that is because it is ridiculous. Why is it so? Because what is good or evil is true for all generations and David even admits this as we will see later.
- So David thinks we should live by "modern morality" and look to "social morality" rather than private thoughts as to what is right and wrong. Is that sort of thinking practical? Let us imagine a society of all homosexuals. After all the homosexual lifestyle has become glorified in American culture. Now, how is this homosexual culture going to survive? They can't procreate. Therefore, someone is going to be forced to cheat on their partner in order to perpetuate the culture. I don't know about David but having your significant other cheat on you seems like a no no for all cultures; it isn't just an ancient Biblical thing.
He mischaracterizes the Christian's view on morality. David stated, “According to Christian dogma, it is impossible to be moral without Jesus Christ.” (pg. 23). I would like to see exactly what Bible he is reading because the Bible I've read for the past 12 years says the exact opposite.
- Romans 2:14-15 says, "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,"
The Bible is very clear that God put a set of moral standards in the hearts of all people. We can suppress these inclinations, distort them, or ignore them (Romans 1:18-32) but the fact remains that God put them there to begin with. Therefore, this is a straw-man attack on Christianity. That is, we do not believe what he is charging us with believing but he attacks this straw-man and once defeated he acts as if he has beaten our view.
Christians argue that atheists cannot justify their morality. We all agree atheists can act morally. Nobody denies that. Our contention is that people like David do not have ground to stand on in order to tell what why something is wrong. This leads me to my question. Where does David McAfee's standard of morality come from by which he judges Biblical Christianity? He only has a few options.
- His own heart
- Social Opinion
- Majority Vote
If his moral standard comes from his own heart then it is just his opinion against a bunch of ancient men from the Bible. What makes his opinion better than theirs? What about morality from social opinion? Again we could ask, would we accept the promotion of genocide for Jews and Gays if we lived in Nazi Germany? Of course not!!! How about taking a majority vote? This is akin to the last one. What if the majority were Christians? Would David then accept that our views were better than his? So he is only left with one option. Objective Morality comes from God. Therefore, you can't call morals "old" just because they didn't come to us in our lifetime. What happens when we are old and die....does that make our morality evil and the morality of the 2040 generation good? What terrible logic. The challenge for David is to show how the true morality put forth in the Bible contradicts God's will.
David, I challenge you to debate me on the existence of Objective Moral Values coming from God. This is an open-invitation.