Douglas Groothuis

Defending Christian Faith, October 12, 2004




part 3



III.       Four Defective Views of Meaning and Morality


A.        Four naturalist views (continued)


3.         Existentialism (escape from the void): Sartre, Camus (James Sire)


a.         Individual “creation” of value



Meaning, value, purpose, significance (subjective)



World of science and facts (objective)



b.         The unstable metaphysics of freedom:  Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate (2002)


c.         Value has no objective roots


d.         Reduces to anarchism, chaos


For more on this topic, see also William Lane Craig, “The Absurdity of Life Without God” in Reasonable Faith (Crossway, 1994)


4.         Immanent purpose and transcendentalism


a.         Objective values as brute facts


b.         Objections to this odd metaphysic


5.         Postmodernist ethics (without objective reality)


a.         Richard Rorty on ethics:  a freeloading atheist


b.         Reification:  true and false


c.         William Wilberforce:  against the world, for the world


d.         Value creation:  Richard Rorty and Friedrich Nietzsche


e.         Michel Foucault on human nature as constructed


f.          Coming to terms with the divine Lawgiver and Judge


B.        Cosmic purpose and Christian theism (The Moral Argument)


1.         The logic of Christian metaphysics on ethics


a.         God and the good.  Good based on God’s character and the structure of creation.


b.         Anthropology:  imago dei (image of God).  Conscience of the moral law explained by this.


c.         Meaning, morality, and eschatology


2.         Objections to Christian meta-ethics


a.         Arbitrariness of the good based on God


b.         Destroys human autonomy


c.         God and eternal life don’t give meaning


d.         Collapses into theological egoism


For more on God and morality, see C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, part 1; C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man; C.S. Lewis, “The Poison of Subjectivism,” in Christian Reflections