The Argument from First-Order Ethical Beliefs for Moral Realism

Definitionsfirst-level moral belief: a belief that something is good or evil or that something is of equal or greater value than something else second-level moral belief: a belief about some or all first-level moral beliefsThe Argument  As far as I can tell, the argument from ordinary language originated with John Post, but has also been defended by Quentin Smith.  The argument begins with the observation that “our first-order ethical beliefs imply that ethical sentences have t … [Read more...]

Semantic vs. Ontological Ethical Naturalism vs. Divine Command Theory

Jonathan Berg, in his essay “How could ethics depend on religion?”, notes there are various versions of the ‘Divine Command Theory’ of ethics.  In its strongest form, the Divine Command Theory (DCT) is a theory about the very meaning of words, what Jonathan Harrison has called a linguistic theory.  After describing various problems with the linguistic version of the DCT, Berg then states that divine command theorists might abandon the linguistic version of the DCT in favor of a more ext … [Read more...]

William Davis’s Argument from Objective, Nonutilitarian Value to Theism

Here is an excerpt from Davis's chapter in Reason for the Hope Within.While many human activities are pursued because of their usefulness (utility), and some are valuable only in the eyes of a few people (nonobjective), there are kinds of human activity which possess objective, nonutilitarian value.  Two obvious examples of this are self-sacrificial love and artistic beauty (which may be useful, but don’t need to be).  If everything (including humanity) is the result of random, i … [Read more...]

Leiter on the Plantinga/Nagel Saga

LINK (HT: ex-apologist) … [Read more...]

Senor on Craig/Moreland vs. Draper on Kalam Cosmological Argument

LINK … [Read more...]

Arguing from Moral Ontology to Theism by Eliminating Nontheistic Alternatives

1. DefintionsMoral ontology is the branch of meta-ethics concerned with the ontology or metaphysics of moral facts and properties.  Within the field of moral ontology, it is a commonplace that the nature of moral facts and properties fall into one of three categories: natural, nonnatural, or supernatural.  Natural facts and properties are those facts and properties studied by the natural and social sciences, including sociology, psychology, and biology.  Supernatural facts and … [Read more...]

J.P. Moreland’s 1993 Moral Argument for Theism

J.P. Moreland argues that traditional theism is the best explanation for the truth of ethical nonnaturalism in the broad sense, a correspondence theory of moral truth, and the falsity of ethical egoism.[1]Definitionsnon-natural property: an attribute that is not a scientific, physical characteristic of physics or chemistry (e.g., being a C fiber, having negative charge, being magnetic).[2]Moreland's Argument FormulatedWe may represent Moreland’s argument with the following s … [Read more...]

A Question about Palestinian Statehood

(This is only indirectly related to metaphysical naturalism and theism, so please forgive me if this seems too off-topic for you.) In light of the recent decision about the UN's decision to recognize Palestine as a Non-Member Observer State and the opposition to that status by the U.S., Israel, and others, I have a simple question.If North Korea gets to be recognized as a full member of the UN, then what objective basis is there for excluding Palestine? Most of the international community … [Read more...]


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