Euthyphro Dilemmas

As I explained on page 25 of my Primer in Religion and Morality I think there are multiple dilemmas floating around under the name "Euthyphro Dilemma" (hereafter, ED). ED: The literal, original formulation of the ED is this: "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it loved by the gods?" In that formulation, it's argubaly not really applicable to any contemporary discussions of theistic metaethics.In order to make it applicable, people often revise it. … [Read more...]

Atheist ‘Safe Zones’: A Solution In Search of a Problem

I just became aware of this website: "Secular Safe Zone." Why are secular safe zones needed? "The number of nontheists in America is rising rapidly and there is a growing body of research that is beginning to explore this once-invisible and amorphous group. While tolerance for minority religions is growing around the country, discrimination and harassment of nontheistic Americans continues to be a problem. Everyday American institutions and customs can be exclusionary to nontheists.  Beyond be … [Read more...]

Are Atheism and Moral Realism Logically Incompatible?

I am a regular reader of Victor Reppert's blog, Dangerous Idea. In the combox for one of his recent posts, Steve Hays claimed that atheism and moral realism are logically incompatible. I wrote a lengthy reply to Hays in the combox and have decided to republish it here.Before I republish my comments, I will make one general observation about moral arguments for God's existence.Theists often claim that the so-called 'problem of evil' (read: arguments from evil for atheism) and the o … [Read more...]

LINK: Atheist Driver Spots Jesus Fish Eating Darwin Fish, Repents

LINK … [Read more...]

LINK: A New Problem of Evil: Authority and the Duty of Interference

Abstract: The traditional problem of evil sets theists the task of reconciling two things: God and evil. I argue that theists face the more difficult task of reconciling God and evils that God is specially obligated to prevent. Because of His authority, God's obligation to curtail evil goes far beyond our Samaritan duty to prevent evil when doing so isn't overly hard. Authorities owe their subjects a positive obligation to prevent certain evils; we have a right against our authorities that they … [Read more...]

LINK: The Problem of Animal Pain and Suffering

Abstract: Here I discuss some theistic responses to the problem of animal pain and suffering with special attention to Michael Murray’s presentation in Nature Red in Tooth and Claw. The neo-Cartesian defenses he describes are reviewed, along with the appeal to nomic regularity and Murray’s emphasis on the progression of the universe from chaos to order. It is argued that despite these efforts to prove otherwise the problem of animal suffering remains a serious threat to the belief that an all … [Read more...]

LINK: The Problem of Natural Inequality: A New Problem of Evil

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that there is a kind of evil, namely, the unequal distribution of natural endowments, or natural inequality, which presents theists with a new evidential problem of evil. The problem of natural inequality is a new evidential problem of evil not only because, to the best of my knowledge, it has not yet been discussed in the literature, but also because available theodicies, such the free will defense and the soul-making defense, are not adequate responses in the … [Read more...]

LINK: Environmental Ethics and the Expanding Problem of Evil

Abstract:  The problem of evil is that morally gratuitous suffering and destruction is evidence against a benevolent and potent god. Often cases of this evil are restricted to human suffering, but if the moral universe is expanded in the fashion associated with environmental ethics, the scope of morally significant suffering and destruction grows. Consequently, the wider the scope of the moral universe, the problem of evil becomes harder for theists to solve. LINK (note: paper is behind a p … [Read more...]