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Absolute truth or relative terms? Apologetics to believe 1
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Absolute truth or relative terms?

Apologetics to believe1

On an Airline flight...

What have we become?

3

4

“And What is Truth?”

5

Absolute truth or relative terms? “And what is truth?”

6

John 18:36-38

Absolute truth or relative terms? “And what is truth?”

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom

not from hence.!Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a

king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the

truth heareth my voice.!Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again

unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” 7

Truth can be measured by (4) four areas:!!Logical Consistency - !

Experiential Relevance- !

Empirical Adequacy- !

Existential Facts-

• Logical Consistency!

• Experiential Relevance!

• Empirical Adequacy!

• Existential Facts

Absolute truth or relative terms? “And what is truth?”

Origin- Logical Consistency-Is there a logical consistency in what is stated? !Meaning- Experiential Relevance-Does it apply meaningfully to my life? !Morality- Empirical Adequacy-based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic : they provided considerable empirical evidence to support their argument. !Destiny-Existential Facts- Existentially undeniable. That means I cannot deny my existence without affirming it at the same time.

*Two Truths:!!

‣ Ice Cream!‣2+2=6 ?

Absolute truth or relative terms? “And what is truth?”

9 *Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air- Beckwith & Koukl

“Haagen-Dazs butter pecan ice cream is absolutely delicious, I have said something true, because this statement accurately reflects my personal tastes. Notice, however, that what I have said is not really about ice cream. I have not made a claim about an object outside of me. Rather I have said something about the subject me. My statement about the taste of Haagen-Dazs ice cream is a subjective truth. The ice cream doesn’t “taste”; I taste. The experience of flavor pertains to me as a subject, not to the ice cream as an object. That’s why when I comment on the flavor, I’m talking about something true about me, not about the ice cream--subjective, not objective.!!Tastes are personal. They’re private. They’re individual. If you didn’t like butter pecan and favored chocolate instead, it would be strange to say that you were wrong. You should not be faulted, it seem, for having different subjective tastes about desserts than someone else.!!However, what if the claim was not about ice cream and its flavors, but about numbers? If I say that the sum of 2 + 2 is 4, I’m making a different sort of claim than stating my taste in ice cream. As a subject, I’m communicating a belief that I hold about an external, objective truth. !If you disagreed and said that 2 + 2 is 6, I could claim you were wrong without being accused of impropriety.!Subjective truths (or in here), are based on internal preferences and change according to our whims. Objective truths, in contrast, are realities in the external world that we discover and cannot be changed by our internal feelings. External facts are what they are, regardless of how we feel about them.

Moral Relativism teaches that when is comes to

morals, that which is right and wrong, people do their

own thing. Ethical truths depend on the individuals

and groups who hold them.

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Moral Relativism defined?”

10 *Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air- Beckwith & Koukl

Believing that ethical truth is subjective, moral relativists therefore react to moral judgments about sexual behavior, for example, much as if someone said they were wrong because of their choice of desserts. “Who are you to tell me what I ought to prefer?”

Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

11 *Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air- Beckwith & Koukl

Relativists can’t accuse others of wrongdoing

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

1.

12

Relativism makes it impossible to criticize the behavior of others, because relativism ultimately denies such a thing as wrongdoing. If you believe morality is a matter of personal definition, then you surrender the possibility of making moral judgments about others’ actions, no matter how offensive they are to your intuitive sense of right or wrong. You may express your emotions, tastes, and personal preferences, but you can’t say they are wrong.

Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil.

2.Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

13

The reality of evil in the world is one of the first objections raised against the existence of God. The common argument says that if God is absolutely powerful and ultimately good, he would deal with evil. But since evil exists, God appears too frail to oppose it.!!The entire objection hinges on the observation that true evil exists. The only way one can have this complaint about God is if evil is “out there” as an objective feature of the world. Evil can't be real if morals are relative to the subject.!!If relativism is true, the objection against God based on evil vanishes. There is no true evil to discuss, only differing opinions about what is pleasant or unpleasant, desired or not desired.!!Ex. If evil exist, then there must be good. If there is good, then there must morals. If there are morals then there must be a moral law giver.

Relativists can’t place blame or accept praise

3.Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

14

Relativism renders that concepts of praise and blame meaningless, because no external standard of measurement defines what should be applauded or condemned. !!Without absolutes, nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic, or worthy of blame. Neither is anything ultimately good, honorable, noble, or worthy of praise. It’s all lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness.

Relativists can’t make charges of unfairness or

injustice

4.Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

15

Justice and fairness are two more concepts that don’t make sense in a world devoid of moral absolutes. Under relativism, these notions are incoherent for two reasons.!!1. How can there be justice or fairness if there are no moral requirements to be just or fair?!!2. There is no possibility of true moral guilt. Justice entails, among other things, punishing those who are guilty. Guilt, however, depends on blame, which we have seen cannot exist. If nothing is ultimately immoral, there is no blame and subsequently no guilt worthy of punishment.

Relativists can’t improve their morality

5.Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

16

With moral relativism, moral improvement or reform is impossible. Relativists can change their personal ethics, but they can never become better people.!!How can one get “better”? Moral reform implies an objective rule of conduct as the standard to which we ought to aspire. But this rule is exactly what relativists deny. If there is no better way, there can be no improvement.

Relativists can’t hold meaningful moral

discussions

6.Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

17

Relativism makes it impossible to discuss morality. What’s there to talk about? A meaningful ethical dialogue can be held only when moral principles are seen as universal action guides.!!Ethical discourse involves comparing the merits of one view with another to find what is best. But if morals are entirely relative and all views are equal, then no way of thinking is better than another. No moral position can be judged adequate or deficient, unreasonable, unacceptable, or even barbaric.

Relativists can’t promote the obligation of tolerance!

7.Absolute truth or relative terms?

“Seven fatal Flaws of Moral Relativism”

18

Finally, there is no tolerance in relativism, because the relativists’ moral obligation to be tolerant is self-refuting. !!The principle of tolerance is considered one of the key virtues of relativism. Morals are individual, relativists argue, and therefore we ought to tolerate the viewpoints of others and not pass judgment on their behavior and attitudes.!!It should be obvious that this attempt fails though contradiction. To relativists, tolerance means, “I (morally) ought to tolerate the moral opinions and behavior of others who disagree with me. I (morally) should not try to interfere with their opinions or behavior.”!!If there are no objective moral rules, however, there can be no rule that requires tolerance as a moral principle that applies equally to all. In fact, if there are no moral absolutes, why be tolerant at all? !!Relativists violate their own principle of tolerance when they do not tolerate the views of those whose morality is non-relativistic. They only tolerate those who hold their ethical viewpoint. They are, therefore, just as intolerant as any objectivist appears to be.!

The Atheistic Argument

20*Can Man Live without God?” Ravi Zacharias

Atheism

*Atheism comes from, literally, the Greek word a-, ‘the negative’; and theism, the word theos for ‘god’ — ‘negative God’ or ‘there is no God.’ It is affirming the non-existence of God. It affirms a negative.

Anyone with an introductory course in philosophy recognizes that it is a logical contradiction. It would be like me saying to you, ‘There is no such thing as a white stone with black dots anywhere in all of the galaxies of this universe.’ The only way I can affirm that is if I have unlimited knowledge of this universe. So to affirm an absolute negative is self-defeating, because what you are saying is, ‘I have infinite knowledge in order to say to you, “There is nobody with infinite knowledge”.’ Atheism, as a system, is self-defeating.

Atheist and morality “How does the atheist deal with morals?”

Fredrich Nietzsche!German philosopher

“God is Dead” Results:!Lenin!

Hitler!

21

Atheist and morality “How does the atheist deal with morals?”

‣ The atheist deals with “good and bad” by “feelings.”!

‣ The problem with this is “whose feelings are correct?”!

‣ In some cultures they love their neighbors; in other cultures they eat them, both on the basis of feeling.

22

Atheist and morality “How does the atheist deal with morals?”

“The Scriptures teach that the problem with human unbelief is not the absence of evidence; rather, it is the suppression of it.” (Hosea 4:6; John 3:16-21)!

“To explain truth to him who loves it not is to give more plentiful material for misinterpretation.” George MacDonald, author 19th century

23

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

24

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Moral Weakness!It identifies my moral weakness and inconsistency. The sense of guilt that I feel from doing wrong. This guilt

cannot be explained away by social theory or psychology. The sense of relief from confession and the desire to atone

for wrongs done.

1.

25

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Romans 3:10-23 !Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 1:5,6 !Romans 7:14-18; John 16:8!

Psalms 51:1-6!Ephesians 2:1-3

26

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Fulfilled Prophecies!The probability of all Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in one man is mathematically impossible. (Probability of One man fulfilling all these prophecies = 1 in 10157)! !The prediction of history in Daniel 2,7,8 & 9 The prediction on cities as Tyre, Babylon, Petra. These cities are now

2.

27

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Luke 24:27,44; Micah 5:2 !Isaiah 9:6; 7:14!Psalm 22:1-10; !Isaiah 46:9,10!

Ezekiel 26:7-14!Jeremiah 49:17,18!

Isaiah 13:20,2128

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Archaeological Record!!

The more archaeologists dig, the more the Bible is!confirmed to be true. Such finds as the Rosetta!stone, the Cyrus cylinder and numerous other!artifacts have silenced the cries of the critics.!

History confirms the Biblical record.

3.

29

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Deut 29:29!Isa. 40:8

30

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Explanation of Origins!!

It takes more faith to believe in evolution than in intelligent

design. Neither the evolutionist nor creationist have first hand accounts. It boils down to faith based on the environment now

impacting upon our senses. Also the explanation of the universal seven day week.

4.

31

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-3!Exodus 20:8-11; !

Psalm 33:6,9; !Romans 1:20; !

Hebrews 11:3;2 !Peter 3:5

32

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

The Realms of Time & Space!Trying to conceive an endless

time and space hurts your brain. We can’t get our minds around it. This points to the evidence of our finite nature and the awesome majesty of God who created all things.

5.

33

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Psalms 19:1!Isaiah 46:9,10!

Romans 11:33-36

34

The Gospel Story!From a comparison of salvation stories, Christianity alone offers salvation as a free gift. It alone portrays God giving His Son to

die for His enemies children. This defies human reason and

could not be invented.

6.

35

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Romans 5:7,8; !1 Timothy 3:16;!Romans 1:16; !

John 3:16

36

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Change in My Life!!

While it is sometimes possible to change life habits by will power, nothing can explain the

joy and peace and power that come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.!

This is the personal testimony of the life of a sinner.

7.

37

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

John 10:10!Isaiah 26:3,4!1 John 1:4,9!

Romans 15:13!

38

Absolute truth or relative terms? “Seven reasons to believe”

Why I’m not an Atheist!

Questions?39

Sources cited

• Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air, Beckwith & Koukl!

• Can Man Live Without God, Ravi Zacharias!

• Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias!

• Searching for Truth, Joe Boot!

• Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis!

• Holy Bible, KJV!

• Christ Object Lesson, E.G.White

THE UNIQUENESS

OF CHRIST

5 Reasons To Believe

Testimony of Jesus Himself

John 5:22-23 "

vs. 30"

vs. 36"

vs. 37

“who sent Me”1.

Testimony of Jesus Himself(Ex. 3:14) John 8:58; Rev. 1:18- “I am”"

10:30- “are one”"

vs. 15- “so I know the Father”"

14:6- “the way, the truth, the life”"

“Not a way, or a truth or a life”"

CS Lewis “Mere Christianity”

1.

CS Lewis- “Either Christ is a liar, a lunatic or The Son of God.”

Testimony of the Disciple

Matt. 16:13-16"

John 20:30-31

“Those closest to Jesus”

2.

John 7:45-46"

18:38- “I find no fault in Him”"

Matt. 27:51-54- “Truly this was the Son of God”"

Mark 1:24-Demons would confess"

5:7; - “Son of God”"

Acts 6:7 -Priest believe

Testimony of His Enemies3.

Testimony of History

Just needed to produce the body and the priest would prove that He was not Divine (Show the body)"

Person of Jesus- Has it increased or decreased"

The evangelism drive that happened after the resurrection-Disciple were willing to die for their belief

The Rise of Christianity4.

Personal TestimonyEveryone has to answer these Questions:"

Origin-Where am I from--------------God created me (Gen. 1:27; 2:7,8)"

Meaning-Why am I here--------------Glorify God (Ps. 34:1)"

Morality-How should I live--------Heart, mind & soul (Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18)"

Destiny-Where am I going------Heaven- (John 14:1-7)

5.


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