Really Handy Survey of Metaethics

I have no idea if the site posting this actually has the copyright permissions to do this or not, but there is a site with the entire copy of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's book, Moral Skepticisms, available as a PDF file.For those of you with an interest in learning more about metaethics--such as the distinction between "moral metaphysics" (moral ontology), "moral linguistics" (moral semantics), and so forth, check out pages 5-7 of the PDF file, especially the diagram on page 6. … [Read more...]

Louise Antony on Divine Goodness

I'm reading Debating Christian Theism, based on Keith Parsons's recommendation. I just finished reading the essays by Paul Copan and Louise Antony debating moral arguments for God's existence. Antony's essay ends with a very interesting point. In a way, it’s puzzling why, of all God’s attributes, moral goodness is the one held to be constituted merely by God’s possessing it. God is omniscient, but what’s true is not held to be true in virtue of God’s believing it; God is omnipotent, but somethin … [Read more...]

A Quick and Easy Refutation of Theologically-Grounded Ethics?

According to many skeptics, including many philosophers, the idea that God is the foundation of morality can be refuted according to the Euthyphro dilemma (ED). Socrates, in Plato's Euthyphro dialogue (10a), asked: "Is what is holy holy because the gods approve it, or do they approve it because it is holy?" In modern times this has been rephrased in various ways. Here's one: "Is what is good good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good?"Is this a good objection? It … [Read more...]

Diagram of Options in Moral Success Theory

Success Theory Diagram

This diagram is an excerpt of a much larger and more complete taxonomy of metaethics. The branch shown here is for moral success theory, which may be defined as the combination of the following views:Cognitivism: moral judgments express beliefsSuccess theory: at least some of those beliefs are true   … [Read more...]

Gay men can marry lesbians, say Catholic church

I thought this was satire when I read it, but apparently this is for real. … [Read more...]

An Astonishingly Bad Argument against Gay Marriage

Over at The Christian Post, General Jerry Ralph Curry gives an astonishingly bad argument against gay marriage. Should SCOTUS actually declare homosexuality a civil right, it logically follows that polygamy, pedophilia and bestiality would one day also be declared a civil right by the Court. In spite of society’s thirst for more modernism, inclusiveness and diversity, who would want to live in the midst of such moral depravity? . . . (emphasis mine) Umm, in a word, "No."With all due res … [Read more...]

Kahane on Cosmic Insignificance

This paper is an absolute must-read. Abstract: The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. Many philosophers assume that such worries about our significance reflect a banal metaethical confusion. They dismiss the very idea of cosmic significance. This, I argue, is a mistake. Worries about cosmic insignificance … [Read more...]

Alonzo Fyfe’s Alternative Answer to “Where Do Atheists Get Their Morality?”

Back in 2008 Alonzo Fyfe blogged about the question, "Where do atheists get their morality?" As an alternative to "the standard attempt to defend some moral theory," he proposes the following answer. "A lot of theists want to know where atheists get their morality because theists are bigots looking for an excuse to hate their atheist neighbors, and 'You are morally inferior to us' has long been a favorite dehumanization technique of the hateful bigot. Clearly, atheists do quite well when it … [Read more...]