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...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 2

I am going to engage in a bit of logic chopping now.  But for those who do not have an appreciation for logic chopping, do not despair;  my close examination of the bark on one tree will lead me to make some broader points that have significance for philosophy of religion, ethics, and serious thinking about God.  The broader points might even have some relevance to evaluation of William Craig's argument from the Existence of Objective Moral Values (Let's rearrange those words a bit: "Moral Ob … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 1

In his essay "Why I Believe God Exists", William Craig gives three main reasons for believing in God (Why I am a Christian - hereafter: WIAC - edited by Norman Geisler and Paul Hoffman, Baker Books, 2001, p.62-80):God makes sense of the origin of the universe (the Kalam Cosmological argument, p.62-68) God makes sense of the complex order in the universe (the Fine Tuning argument, p.68-74). God makes sense of objective moral values in the world (his argument from the Existence of … [Read more...]

The Atheist named Richard Swinburne

I was reading the Martyrdom of Polycarp recently, which is “the oldest written account of a Christian martyrdom outside the New Testament.” (The Apostolic Fathers, updated edition, edited and revised by Michael Holmes, p.222; hereafter: TAF). Polycarp was killed between 155 and 160 C.E:The Martyrdom of Polycarp sets out quite clearly both the issue at stake--Lord Christ versus Lord Caesar—and the state’s (as well as the general population’s) view of Christians as disloyal atheists who threate … [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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