Thank you for your reply. You've got a long list of points I'd like to address. But it's already after 2:00 a.m., so for now, I'm just address your first issue on moral truth--and get back to you on the rest.
Scott: "You're making sweeping generalizations (very unscientific). ;-) Are there morals which are subjective? Of course. Are there moral gray areas? Yes. However, there absolutely ARE moral truths! Murdering your neighbor is bad. Stealing from your neighbor is bad. Baring false witness against your neighbor is BAD! There are certain moral truths that can't be argued! There are SOME things that really ARE black and white! There ARE moral truths in which subjectivity has no place."
How exactly are you defining moral truth?
I just told you--and you just quoted it. I don't know how to make it any plainer. There are many moral principles that are subjective and open to interpretation. But there are certain MORAL TRUTHS that are absolute principles of right and wrong that no person in their right mind could disagree with. They are across the board and absolute.
You would admit that morality has no meaning outside of our ability to define it, right? (it is an internal concept.)
Not exlusively. Again, there a certain behaviors which are universally moral and other behaviors which are uinversally immoral.
(Explain to me when it's okay to hack up your neighbor so you can rape his wife and steal his TV? If you can find a way to rationalize any of that, then somebody better keep an eye on you!--right?)
Is Osama bin Laden following a moral fallacy?
Do we REALLY have to think that hard on THIS one? Maybe someone BETTER keep an eye on you. Well, hmmm, let's see... He has perverted the word of beautiful faith only for the benifit of his own power, profit, and meglomania--and MURDERED thousands of defenseless innocent people, not just in the US, but around the world. That's more than a moral fallacy. The man is evil. That is a moral truth.
Is someone who steals bread to feed his family following a moral fallacy?
Okay, THIS might be an actual grey area. But before we study it, there is ONE moral truth at play here and that is: There is nothing righteous about stealing the bread. Stealing is wrong. That being said, we can now debate the severity of the infraction.
It may be that the man lives in a third world country, where there's no jobs and little food. He knows that stealing the bread isn't a good thing, but if he doesn't steal the bread, his three-year-old daughter will starve. Knowingly allowing the child to starve to death would be a far worse sin--because God places a lot more value on his daughter's life than He does on the loaf of bread. So the man has no choice but to chose the lesser of two sins--a sin for which he can be easily forgiven.
However, before the man can chose stealing the bread, he must consider several other factors. Is there any other way he can get the bread without stealing it. 1) He can ask for the bread. Perhaps the owner of the bread will be kind enough to give it to him if he simply asks. 2) If he's still forced to steal the bread, is he taking that bread away from *their* starving child to feed his own? Then the sin becomes much more ominous and harder to defend. Isn't the life of the other child just as precious?
Finally, here's were moral truth comes in. If man is NOT in a third world country, if he's able-bodied and capable of holding a job where there's plenty of jobs to be had, so that he can afford to buy the bread--but he simply won't... Then, there's no excuse. Stealing the bread is wrong. Moral truth.
Is someone who murders a man in self defense following a moral fallacy?
If you are in mortal danger (meaning someone is actively trying to KILL you)... Moral Truth: NO.
By definition, self defense is not murder. (There's no such thing as "murdering" someone in self defense.) Defending one's country as a soldier is not murder. Neither the Bible, nor any other religious text that I am aware, condemns one for self defense. You have right to defend yourself.
Now... If you are able to subdue the attacker to where he is no longer a mortal threat--and you KNOW he's know longer a mortal threat, but you kill him anyway--then it's no longer self defence. Then it becomes murder.
And now in harboring more pleasent thoughts: