Monday, September 19, 2016

John N. Oswalt: Progress Requires God

Introduction

Nobody likes to think that they are holding back progress. The idea of progress is used in many areas of political and moral debate as a weapon against those who tend to hold to "traditional" values. "Progressives" argue against the objective truth of Judeo-Christian morality in an effort to legalize their particular desires. In an effort to do so, though, "progressives' are trying to eliminate the only foundation for judging what can be rightly called "progress" and what can rightly be called "regress." In his book The Bible Among The Myths, John N. Oswalt uses philosophy of history to show the necessity of the Creator for progress to even be possible:
"The idea of progress is dependent on the idea that our Creator has a goal for us, outside of ourselves, toward which we humans were made to progress and against which our progress can be measured. Give up that truth, and 'progress' becomes a chimera."

"The idea of progress is dependent on the idea that our Creator has a goal for us, outside of ourselves, toward which we humans were made to progress and against which our progress can be measured. Give up that truth, and 'progress' becomes a chimera."- "The Bible Among The Myths" by John N. Oswalt

The Foundation Removed

Without an objective goal set, there is no way to determine what truly is progressive and what is not. If an event or action moves a group closer to the realization of the goal, then progress has taken place. If an event or action moves a group away from the realization of the goal, then progress has not taken place. Without a goal, this cannot be judged. In their efforts to eliminate objective morality from public life, "progressives" must argue against God's existence in order to show that morality is relative. But in doing so, they have also forfeited the right to call themselves "progressives."

Conclusion

Interestingly enough, if a "progressive" skeptic wishes to assert and be committed to the idea that progress can objectively be made (by judging those who stand against their views as "regressive"), they implicitly assume that an objective purpose exists outside themselves and outside humanity as a whole. It is up to them to ground such an obligation without God. The reality that progress can be judged against an ideal purpose is evidence that an ideal purpose exists, and that ideal purpose must have a Purposer. If "progress" is possible, God exists.

The Bible Among The Myths contains several nuggets regarding the existence of God, like this one. If you have not taken the time to read this book, you will not be disappointed.

For further investigation into moral relativism, ethics, politics, and purpose, I highly recommend checking out these books:

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