Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 8

I am not impressed by Richard Taylor's appeal to etymology as an argument for the claim that all duties and all obligations are 'owed' to some person or persons (see part 7 for my objections to that line of reasoning).However, to be fair to Craig, Taylor's appeal to etymology is not specifically and explicitly quoted by Craig in his essay 'Why I Believe God Exists' (WIAC, p.62-80). Perhaps Craig is aware of the weakness of Taylor's appeal to etymology, and so he avoids quoting such appeals … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 7

Richard Taylor's book Virtue Ethics: An Introduction (formerly published as Ethics, Faith, and Reason) provides a very readable and interesting defense of the view that the modern conception of morality originates with religion, especially with Christianity.William Craig quotes from Chapter 11 of this book as his primary support for his second objection to AMR. So, in order to evaluate Craig's second objection, we need to evaluate Taylor's argument(s) for the claim that duties are always … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 6

Some internet resources about  William Craig's views on morality and Richard Taylor's views on morality:Is The Basis Of Morality Natural Or Supernatural? A Debate Between Richard Taylor and William Lane Craig Union College, Schenectady, New York October 8, 1993 http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-taylor0.htmlThe Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality By Dr. William Lane … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 5

I am currently considering William Craig's second objection to Atheistic Moral Realism (AMR):Second, the nature of moral duty or obligation seems incompatible with atheistic moral realism. (WIAC, p.76)The following is a third piece of the paragraph where Craig presents this objection:Who or what lays such an obligation on me?  As the ethicist Richard Taylor points out, "A duty is something that is owed. ... But something can be owed only to some person or persons.  There can be no su … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 4

Here, once again, is William Craig's MOVE (Moral Objective Values Exist) Argument:1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. 2. Objective moral values do exist. Therefore: 3. God exists.I am considering one possible objection, namely rejection of, or doubt about, premise (1). Atheists who are inclined towards moral realism or belief in objective moral values will be inclined to challenge premise (1) rather than premise (2).Craig raises three objections to what … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 3

William Craig's MOVE argument is simple:1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.2. Objective moral values do exist.Therefore:3.  God exists.One obvious atheistic objection would be to reject or cast doubt on premise (2).  If one rejects or doubts that objective moral values exist, then this argument will fail to be persuasive.Another possible objection is to reject or cast doubt upon premise (1).  Some atheists accept moral realism, and thus believe t … [Read more...]

Alex Rosenberg’s 2012 Argument for Nihilism

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  In his 2012 book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, Alex Rosenberg defends an argument for nihilism.[1] In this article I want to evaluate his argument. Definitions Before we turn to his argument, we first need to understand how Rosenberg defines his terms. Let us begin with the word “scientism.” In his own words, Rosenberg defines “scientism” as follows. But we’ll call the worldview that all us atheists (and even some agnostics) share “scientism.” This is the conviction that [1] the … [Read more...]

Atheist Ethicist on Evolution and Morality

The Atheist Ethicist has been writing a nice series on morality and evolutionary ethics. Posts (so far) include: “Evolution Accounts for Morality?” “Concerning Evolution and Morality” “Evolution and Two Conceptions of Morality” “Evolution, Morality, and Objective Values” “The ‘Necessity’ of an Evolved Moral Sense” “Evolution, Altruism, and Morality” “Evolved Sentiments and Moral Content” “The Immorality of ‘An Evolutionary Basis for Morality’” “Evolution and ‘D … [Read more...]


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