moral objectivity

Paul Arveson (
Tue, 20 Aug 96 09:14:18 EDT

Dean Ohlman wrote:
For evangelical churches to approve sin is to deny their very
reason for existence: to bring sinners to Christ in repentance.
Perhaps the most painful cure for proud mankind is the cure
demanded by Christ -- the acknowledgement and confession
of sin and a dependency upon God for salvation. For most,
faith is the final surrender of a rebel will. A rebel will is marked
by a refusal to acknowledge sin. The rejection sensed by the
self-justifying homosexual community in the evangelical church
is not, as they mistakenly believe, a rejection of them. It is the
rejection of their self-justification.

Bill Frix wrote:
The commandment from God to me is clear (Matthew 5:28), my impulses I was
born with are sin and there is no excuse for disobedience. I have
the right to proclaim that homosexuals must repent because I am bound
by the same Word of God that condemns their "natural impulses"
condemns mine; the same grace that God extends me for forgiveness He
offers them, but there is no excuse for sin, only rationalization.


I think there is a consensus on this issue here. Sin seventy times seven times;
ask forgivenness seventy times seven times; but don't ever turn on God and
insist that what you did is not sin!

The fundamental postulate is that we live in a universe with moral boundaries:
we are under a "sacred canopy". The moral law is not subject to redefinition by
us; it has been given to us.

These days many try to change the rules fundamentally (not just incrementally)
in order to relieve their guilt, in the belief that it is caused merely by the
arbitrary opinions of religion. "After all", they say, "the Church is just a
bunch of voluntary organizations. If you don't like one, just try another.
Find one that you like, that appeals to you, that preaches what you already
believe, that doesn't judge what you like to do."

I am aware that there is an irony in the above argument. Note the parallel
between the claims of moral objectivity (deontological ethics), and
philosophical objectivity (realism). I attended a lecture recently at which
Robert Adams, past President of the Smithsonian, quoted physicist Sheldon
Glashow to this effect: "The world has real objective existence, independent of
the observer, and operates without regard for opinions, viewpoints, or
psychological states of the observer. This I believe with all my heart."

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)