For years, I've been looking for a taxonomy of theistic meta-ethical theories. Since I have been unable to find one, I've attempted to create one myself. I consider this a work in progress, so if you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know and I will update the post accordingly.Theistic Theories of Deontological Properties (e.g., obligatory, permissible, forbidden)Divine Command Theory (DCT-D): Deontological properties are metaphysically grounded in God's relevant commands. … [Read more...]
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 … [Read more...]
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 … [Read more...]
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 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.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).Moreland's Argument FormulatedWe may represent Moreland’s argument with the following … [Read more...]
Richard Carrier’s Does the Christian Theism Advocated by J. P. Moreland Provide a Better Reason to be Moral than Secular Humanism?
Carrier refutes Moreland's claim that theism offers more and better reasons to live a moral life than atheism or secular humanism.LINK … [Read more...]
In response to my comments on "Atheist Ethicist: Theism, Atheism, and Blame," Keith Parsons rightfully pointed out an error and an inconsistency in my comments where I had denied that theism has metaethical implications. As is often (if not always) the case in philosophy, a lot of this depends on terminology. And although I responded in the combox on that post, I realized that the issue really warrants its own post.Philosophy of Religion TerminologyLet me begin by rehearsing some terminology, … [Read more...]