Does Evolution “Explain” Objective Morality? A Reply to Jerry Coyne

Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne recently wrote about Leah Libresco's conversion from atheism to Catholicism based on a moral argument for God's existence. In his article, Coyne promotes the idea, which he has done many times before, that biological evolution somehow "explains" objective morality. While there is a sense in which Coyne is correct, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the kind of moral argument which Libresco finds persuasive. So while I join Coyne in rejecting Libresco's … [Read more...]

Amoral Atheism Part 2

Physics cannot justify why anything is morally right or wrong. No one says that is a defect of physics because that's not what physics is about.Like physics, atheism is also not about morality. So why should it be a defect of atheism that it cannot justify why anything is morally right or wrong? … [Read more...]

An F-Inductive Moral Argument for Theism

Here is an F-inductive argument for theism based on ontologically objective moral values. Note that this argument assumes that such things exist. If you don't think they exist, then you may want to skip reading this post.As usual, let B be our background information; E be the evidence to be explained (in this case, the existence of ontologically objective moral values); T be theism; and N be naturalism. Here is the explanatory argument.1. E is known to be true, i.e., Pr(E) is close to 1. … [Read more...]

Stan on Materialism and Morality

A reader named Stan recently posted many comments on another page on this blog about materialism and morality. I'm going to copy and paste several of his comments together to provide a convenient summary of his argument. Stan's Definitions Here is a summary of Stan's definitions. Materialism: functional materialism is the set of constraints on science; Philosophical Materialism claims that there is no possible existence which is not physical or derived straight from physical … [Read more...]

Amoral Atheism

Atheism is neither moral nor immoral; rather, it is amoral. By itself, atheism does not make it obligatory, permitted, or forbidden to do anything. It's not an ethical theory. … [Read more...]

Index for Feser-Parsons Exchanges

The purpose of this blog post is simply to provide a convenient index to all of the posts in the planned two series of exchanges between Edward Feser and Keith Parsons. Feser's contributions will be posted on his blog and Parsons' contributions will be posted on The Secular Outpost.This post will be updated with links as as they become available.Exchange #1: Feser's Four Questions for ParsonsFeser's Initial Statement: "Four Questions for Keith Parsons"Parsons' Initial Res … [Read more...]

What’s So Great about What’s So Great about Christianity? – Part 2

As we saw in my last post, Dinesh D'Souza's defense of the "moral laws presume a moral lawgiver" argument fails. In this post I want to comment on what D'Souza has to say about atheist "attempt[s] to meet this challenge" (232).1.Like many partisan diatribes, D'Souza's book says nothing about the strongest arguments and objections against his position. Instead, he gives unsuspecting readers the misleading, false impression that the only way an atheist might explain morality is "as a product … [Read more...]

What’s So Great about What’s So Great about Christianity?

A few years ago, Dinesh D'Souza wrote a book titled, What's So Great about Christianity? His book contains numerous arguments for theism and against atheism. Since I mentioned D'Souza's version of a moral argument for theism in my last post, I want to expand on it here.In chapter twenty, "Natural Law and Divine Law: The Objective Foundations of Morality," D'Souza argues for the following thesis: Morality is both natural and universal. It is discoverable without religion, yet its source is u … [Read more...]