Matthew Flannagan on The Arbitrariness Objection to Divine Command Ethics

There is a standard objection to the divine command theory (DCT) that runs as follows:Either God’s commands are arbitrary or they are grounded in reasons. Arbitrary commands cannot ground moral obligations. If God’s commands are grounded in reasons, then it is those reasons, rather than God’s commands, that ground moral obligations. Either way, God’s commands are superfluous; they do not ground moral obligations.I’ll call this the Arbitrariness Argument (AA).  You can find versions … [Read more...]

Atheism, Morality, and Divine Nature Theories vs. Ideal Observer Theories

This another item I found while organizing material on my hard drive. I think I am the author, but I am not certain of that. What is the advantage of divine nature theories over ideal observer theories?  Consider, for example, a divine nature theory of moral value.  On such a view, God’s nature, not God, is the source of moral value.  But what is the distinction between God and His nature?  Presumably, God’s nature is simply the collection of God’s properties or attributes (e.g., the property of … [Read more...]

Hard-Hitting Critique of WLC’s Moral Argument by John Danaher “Necessary Moral Truths and Theistic Metaethics”

To be precise, this paper applies to WLC's moral argument for God's existence as follows.1. WLC argues that God exists because objective moral values and duties exist.2. Critics (theist, agnostic, and atheist) of WLC's moral argument have pointed out that, according to one version of moral realism, moral truths are necessary truths. Necessary truths neither have nor need an explanation. Therefore, God isn't needed to explain necessary moral truths and, hence, isn't needed to explain o … [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...]

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?

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...]

How Not to Refute an Argument from Moral Law for God’s Existence

Jerry Coyne just posted an article titled, "Paul Bloom debunks the 'Moral Law argument for God.'" I found myself getting irritated as I read the article because it's obvious Coyne doesn't know what he is talking about. Before we get to Bloom’s findings, what is the “moral law argument”? It’s simply this: human altruism can’t be explained by any kind of evolution. What I mean is pure altruism, whereby an animal helps another animal not only unrelated to it, but not part of its social group, and h … [Read more...]