The Argument from First-Order Ethical Beliefs for Moral Realism

Definitionsfirst-level moral belief: a belief that something is good or evil or that something is of equal or greater value than something else second-level moral belief: a belief about some or all first-level moral beliefsThe Argument  As far as I can tell, the argument from ordinary language originated with John Post, but has also been defended by Quentin Smith.  The argument begins with the observation that “our first-order ethical beliefs imply that ethical sentences have … [Read more...]

Semantic vs. Ontological Ethical Naturalism vs. Divine Command Theory

Jonathan Berg, in his essay “How could ethics depend on religion?”, notes there are various versions of the ‘Divine Command Theory’ of ethics.  In its strongest form, the Divine Command Theory (DCT) is a theory about the very meaning of words, what Jonathan Harrison has called a linguistic theory.  After describing various problems with the linguistic version of the DCT, Berg then states that divine command theorists might abandon the linguistic version of the DCT in favor of a … [Read more...]

Arguing from Moral Ontology to Theism by Eliminating Nontheistic Alternatives

1. DefintionsMoral ontology is the branch of meta-ethics concerned with the ontology or metaphysics of moral facts and properties.  Within the field of moral ontology, it is a commonplace that the nature of moral facts and properties fall into one of three categories: natural, nonnatural, or supernatural.  Natural facts and properties are those facts and properties studied by the natural and social sciences, including sociology, psychology, and biology.  Supernatural facts and … [Read more...]

J.P. Moreland’s 1993 Moral Argument for Theism

J.P. Moreland argues that traditional theism is the best explanation for the truth of ethical nonnaturalism in the broad sense, a correspondence theory of moral truth, and the falsity of ethical egoism.[1]Definitionsnon-natural property: an attribute that is not a scientific, physical characteristic of physics or chemistry (e.g., being a C fiber, having negative charge, being magnetic).[2]Moreland's Argument FormulatedWe may represent Moreland’s argument with the following … [Read more...]

Church of England Rejects Female Bishops

One of the comments at the following link pretty much sums it up: I find it amusing that a woman can be the Queen of England and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, yet a woman cannot be a Bishop in that same church.LINK … [Read more...]

Atheist Ethicist: Morality and Questions Belonging to Science

Over at the Atheist Ethicist, Alonzo Fyfe comments on Baggini, Krauss, and Coyne on science and morality. In this field, among these people, it would seem that somebody would start weeding out the nonsense claims. Yet, I continue to find statements that would embarrass a student in Philosophy 121: Introduction to Ethics. If there is going to be progress made in this field, then those who dedicate themselves to talking about this subject need to make some minimal effort to clear out the junk … [Read more...]

What are the Social, Political, and Moral Implications of Atheism?

This is the subject of debate in the combox at Victor Reppert's blog, Dangerous Idea.LINK … [Read more...]

Richard Carrier’s Does the Christian Theism Advocated by J. P. Moreland Provide a Better Reason to be Moral than Secular Humanism?

Carrier refutes Moreland's claim that theism offers more and better reasons to live a moral life than atheism or secular humanism.LINK … [Read more...]


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