Objections to Objectivism – Part 2: More Popular Objections

In this post I will examine three more populuar arguments against ethical objectivism from Russ Landau's textbook The Fundamentals of Ethics (hereafter: FOE).  I will present Landau's criticisms of these arguments, and I will also present a few of my own criticisms. Objection 4: Moral Objectivity Supports Dogmatism 1. If there are objective moral standards, then this makes dogmatism acceptable. 2. Dogmatism is unacceptable. 3. Therefore, there are no objective moral standards. ( … [Read more...]

Objections to Objectivism – Part 1: Three Popular Objections

I have many textbooks, handbooks, and readers on ethics, so I didn't really need to buy another introduction to ethics this weekend. But I glanced through Russ Landau's textbook The Fundamentals of Ethics (hereafter: FOE) and the third and final section of his book caught my attention: "Part Three: The Status of Morality".  In Part Three, he has a chapter on ethical relativism, a chapter on moral nihilism, and a chapter on objections to ethical objectivism.Objectivism is relevant to p … [Read more...]

Podcast 3: What is Christianity?

I have published my third podcast in the series "Thinking Critically About: Is Christianity True?"http://thinkingcriticallyabout.podbean.com/e/podcast-3-what-is-christianity/ Podcast 3: What is Christianity? March 17, 2017 In this podcast the host examines five key claims about Christianity in order to clarify the meaning of the word "Christianity" in this context.==========================The two previous podcasts in this series are still … [Read more...]

The Christian Worldview – Part 1: Worldviews

1.Christianity is a religion (NOT a relationship with Jesus).The word “Christianity” is defined in dictionaries as being a religion. Sociologists, Philosophers of Religion, and Religious Studies scholars consider Christianity to be a religion. A religion is something that could be true or that could be false, but a relationship cannot be true and cannot be false. All, or virtually all, Christian apologists claim that "Christianity is true."2. Religions have several dim … [Read more...]

Thinking Critically About: “Is Christianity True?” Podcast 1

 This is my first attempt at a podcast.Here is the script of the podcast, in a PowerPoint that has been converted to a PDF: Podcast 1 … [Read more...]

Unapologetic Review – Part 10: Evaluation of Reason #9

REVIEW OF ANALYSIS OF REASON #9In Part 9 of this series, I asserted that  the main argument in  Unapologetic is Reason #9, and I argued that Reason #9 invoved the following assumptions: 5. ANY claim that is based on faith cannot be reasonably defended. 6. Philosophers ought NOT recognize and participate in an alleged sub-discipline of philosophy that uses reason to examine ONLY claims that are based on faith. Premise (5) is a reason in support of premise (6), and premise (6) is a reason in … [Read more...]

A Puzzle About Morality and Rationality

NOTE: This post has been edited since it was originally published in light of a very important observation from commenter Angra Mainyu. His comment revealed that I made an error in my original presentation of the puzzle. If you would like more information about this issue, please see the third footnote at the end of this post.In the comment thread for my post about Derek Parfit, many of us have been talking about whether a person can ever deserve to suffer. In one comment, Keith Parsons made … [Read more...]

Retributivism, Punishment, and Moral Value

In the comments on another post http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2017/01/05/memoriam-derek-parfit-1942-2017/ , the contrast between retributivist and consequentialist models of punishment came up. Here is a thought-experiment I present to my classes on this contrast.Suppose that in lieu of life-imprisonment for major crimes, the technology exists to plug offenders into a Matrix-like situation: they are to be imprisoned for the rest of their lives in a completely virtual reality. … [Read more...]