Charles Pidgen on the So-Called “Naturalistic Fallacy” in Meta-Ethics

A common objection to reductive moral naturalism (aka 'ethical naturalism')  is the so-called "naturalistic fallacy." This fallacy comes into flavors: logical and semantical.The Logical FormThis version of the naturalistic fallacy is normally referred to as the is-ought fallacy, the fact-value fallacy, or, in honor of its author, Hume’s Law.  The source of this form of the naturalistic fallacy is the following passage by Hume. In every system of morality which I have hitherto met with, I … [Read more...]

Jonathan MS Pearce on Christianity and Inter-Testamental Moral Relativism

Jonathan MS Pearce recently posted a very interesting argument. Pearce starts with the fact that there are important differences between Old Testament ethics and New Testament ethics. If Divine Command Theory were true, however, he argues that this would be an example of "inter-testamental moral relativism."LINK … [Read more...]

An Amazing Coincidence about God’s Commands

Isn't it amazing that God's commands as reported by holy books just happen to reflect the views of the culture in which they were written? It's almost as if the authors of those books took their own opinions about morality and said they were God's opinions. … [Read more...]

A Primer in Religion and Morality

My recent interview for the Atheistically Speaking podcast inspired me to compile this quick primer in religion and morality, in order to help clarify the many different concepts at play when we talk about morality with and without God. I consider this a work-in-progress so any constructive criticism would be appreciated.Update (5 May 2015): I have revised and massively expanded the document. I am treating this as version 1.0 of the document and the previous version as a 'beta release' of th … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Naturalism and Morality

It is supposed, by some, to be difficult for naturalism to account for moral properties (both axiological properties like goodness and badness and deontic properties like rightness and wrongness). William Lane Craig and Paul Copan, have each argued incessantly that naturalism cannot account for moral properties. Craig has offered the following argument:If God does not exist, then objective moral value does not exist. Objective moral value does  exist. God exists.This argument has … [Read more...]

What Explains God’s Moral Grounding Power? Part II

In an earlier article, I wrote about a question for divine command metaethics, a question that I called the Moral Grounding Question.Moral Grounding Question (MGQ): In virtue of what do God’s commands ground moral obligations? (or, in virtue of what does God have MG-power?)In that previous post, I explained the moral grounding question and showed that it is a question that defenders of the Divine Command Theory (DCT) need to answer. I also argued that one possible answer to MGQ, namely t … [Read more...]

Naturalism, Theism, and Moral Ontology: A Reply to William Lane Craig

Abstract: This paper considers William Lane Craig’s metaethical argument for God’s existence. Roughly, the argument is that the existence of objective moral values provides strong evidence for God’s existence. I consider one by one Craig’s various reasons in support of the argument’s major premise, namely, that objective moral values and the nonexistence of God are at odds with each other. I show that Craig’s supporting arguments play fast and loose with the meaning of objectivity, and that they … [Read more...]

G&T Rebuttal, Part 6: Chapter 7

Chapter 7. Mother Theresa vs. Hitler  In this chapter, G&T present a version of the moral argument for God's existence which I call the "Moral Laws Require a Moral Lawgiver Argument," which they formulate as follows. 1. Every law has a law giver. 2. There is a Moral Law.3. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver. Like the earlier arguments, this argument is deductively valid. Like the earlier chapters about this argument, I plan to briefly summarize G&T's defense of … [Read more...]