Interview: Tyler McNabb Presents an Abductive Moral Argument

In Part 3 of my interview with him, Dr. Tyler McNabb presents an abdutive moral argument. Moral Arguments for God generally take the form:

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
(2) Objective moral values and duties do exist (e.g.: it’s objectively wrong to torture infants for fun).
(3) God exists.

Believe it or not, some atheists actually reject (2). They hold that morality is person or culture relative. It’s not objectively wrong to torture infants for fun. What the Nazi’s did to the Jews at Auschwitz wasn’t objectively wrong. If the moral argument can push an atheist into this kind of moral nihilism, I’d say that’s a significant accomplishment in itself.

Other atheists that have a bit more common sense accept (2), but deny (1). They hold that objective moral values and duties can exist on atheism. Eric Wielenberg is one such atheist. He holds that moral facts are grounded Platonically. That is to say, they exist as abstract objects. No God needed. The theist can respond in one of two ways. One option is to argue that moral facts can’t be grounded Plantonically. That route is going to be a little difficult. The other option is to concede the point that this view is possible, but it does a poor job of explaining all the various aspects of morality as we experience it.

Dr. McNabb essentially defends this second option in part 3 of our interview. He presents an abductive moral argument. Tyler argues that theistically grounded ethics is a better explanation of our moral experience than Platonism. Feel free to watch it below and share your thoughts!

Tyler McNabb is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy (Humanities) at Houston Baptist University. His specialization is in epistemology and philosophy of religion. In combining these two topics, his current focus has been on defending both proper functionalism and the project of Reformed Epistemology. In addition to his research, he also enjoys teaching, reading theology, witnessing, watching The Walking Dead, and eating Mexican food.

Part 1 – – Part 2 – – Part 3



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