Quibbling over Semantics While Missing the Point

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a linguistic relativist. I don't think words have objective meanings. I think the meaning of words is relative to time and place. So when I encounter someone who is adamant about defining a word in a different way than I do, I just shrug my shoulders. I'm much more interested in the concepts represented by certain labels than the labels themselves.I recently discovered (or re-discovered) an exchange on this site in which a Christian apologist … [Read more...]

LINK: “Ethics and Evolutionary Theory” by Erik J. Wielenberg

I haven't read this, but I'm posting the link because (1) I respect the author; and (2) I think the topic will of interest to many of our readers.LINK (Note: this article is behind a paywall)Reminder/Disclaimer: Posting links does not necessarily constitute endorsement. … [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...]

Moral Arguments for God and Coining a Name for a Common but Fallacious Objection

In response to Wintery Knight's recent blog post on the plausibility of objective morality on atheism, I posted a comment in the combox on his site. The comment consisted solely of a link to my YouTube video, "Naturalism, Theism, and Moral Ontology: A Reply to William Lane Craig." In response to that link, WK wrote a response, which you can read on his blog. (I cannot figure out how to link to an individual comment on his blog or I would provide a direct link. In any case, I recommend you do … [Read more...]

Naturalism, Theism, and Moral Ontology: A Reply to William Lane Craig

(Reposting since this seems to be so popular. So far as I am aware, neither WLC nor anyone else has responded to this.)Abstract: This paper considers William Lane Craig’s metaethical argument for God’s existence. Roughly, the argument is that the existence of objective moral values provides strong evidence for God’s existence. I consider one by one Craig’s various reasons in support of the argument’s major premise, namely, that objective moral values and the nonexistence of God are at odds wi … [Read more...]

Wes Morriston’s God and the Ontological Foundation of Morality

(Redated post originally published on 7 September 2012)Ouch!LINK … [Read more...]

Biological vs. Philosophical Perspectives on Morality

(Redated post originally published on 18 October 2011)(This is from my archives and is undated; I'm guessing I wrote this about a decade ago. I think it is still relevant, as evidenced by Jerry Coyne's article about explaining morality.)I recently updated one of the official FAQs for the *.atheism newsgroups. (For interested parties, I updated the "Atheist Media FAQ" at http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/media.html.) In private email, I received the following suggestion relative to the … [Read more...]

Darwinian Morality and Rape?

(Redated post last published on 3 November 2011)According to Nancy Pearcey and biologist Jeffrey Schloss (see here), Darwinian evolution implies there is nothing ethically wrong with rape. Why? Pearcey argues that Darwinian evolution and moral realism are logically incompatible: In the words of sociobiology's founder, E.O. Wilson, "the basis of ethics does not lie in God's will"; instead, ethics "is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes" because of its survival value. Those who accept Da … [Read more...]