Christian Philosopher Richard Swinburne on One Type of Moral Argument for God’s Existence

“Now if the basic moral principles are analytic, the existence of what they describe cannot provide an argument for the existence of God.  An argument could only take off from the truth of some or all synthetic moral truths (e.g., from the fact that it is wrong to drop atomb bombs on Japan rather than from the fact that it is wrong to kill people who will not certainly come to life again).  Now the fact that certain moral truths hold can only confirm, add to the probability of, the existence of G … [Read more...]

The Slaughter of the Canaanites – Part 5

have been imagining that Jehovah was at least quasi-just and thus demanded trials for each Canaanite before the Canaanites were condemned to death as punishment for a serious crime or sin.  My argument is that there were many kinds of BIAS on the part of Jehovah and the Israelites which would make such trials unfair and thus the use of the death penalty in those circumstances was clearly unjust.I have just one more category of BIAS to discuss, but it is IMHO a root cause of many of various … [Read more...]

The Slaughter of the Canaanites – Part 4

In Part 3 of this series, I raised twenty objections to a Conservative Christian approach to the Old Testament stories about Jehovah commanding the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites (men, women, and children).  Most of the objections are to the effect that some particular aspect of the slaughter of the Canaanites is evidence that JEHOVAH IS UNJUST.The particular attempt to show that Jehovah and the Israelites were morally justified in this horrifically violent activity is from an a … [Read more...]

The Slaughter of the Canaanites – Part 3

In Part 2 of this series, I began to discuss the Conservative response to the Old Testament stories about Jehovah commanding the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites:The Conservative Christian response: The story of the slaughter of the Canaanites is FACTUAL, but Jehovah was morally justified in commanding the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites (men, women, and children) in Palestine. I also introduced an example of this Conservative approach, namely an article by the Christian apo … [Read more...]

The Slaughter of the Canaanites – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I outlined three main Christian responses to the stories of Jehovah commanding the slaughter of the Canaanites and of the Israelites carrying out this command.  There are significant problems with each of the three Christian responses, but the response with the most obvious and most serious problems is the Conservative one.1. The Conservative Christian response: The story of the slaughter of the Canaanites is FACTUAL, but Jehovah was morally justified in commanding … [Read more...]

God, Last Night’s Republication Debate, and Moral Disagreement

During last night's prime-time Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said this: after the break, we’re going to let the candidates make their closing statements, their final thoughts, and God. Stay tuned for that. After the commercial break, Kelly said:“An interesting closing question from Chase Norton on Facebook, who wants to know this of the candidates: ‘I want to know if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of fir … [Read more...]

Another Christian Apologist Tears Down a Straw Man of Atheist Morality

My friend Wintery Knight (WK) has written another blog post on the topic of morality. Like so many other theists (and a few atheists), he manages to completely botch the topic of atheist morality.Who Speaks for Atheists, Anyway?If you want to determine Christian beliefs about something, you can see what the Bible and various representatives of the (Christian) church hierarchy have to say. So if you're a Christian apologist trying to make sense of atheist morality, it follows that you sh … [Read more...]

What Are Objective Moral Values and Duties, Anyway?

The concept of "objective morality" is notorious for its ambiguity. You might even say that people--or, at least, philosophers--have a moral obligation not to use that expression unless and until they first give a very nuanced definition of what it means! Because the concept is often misunderstood, I'm going to try to offer a "layman's guide to moral objectivity" in this post.Morality and Moral ConceptsLet's start with "morality." The average person who is not a philosopher probably … [Read more...]


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