Atheist Ethicist on Evolution and Morality

The Atheist Ethicist has been writing a nice series on morality and evolutionary ethics. Posts (so far) include: “Evolution Accounts for Morality?” “Concerning Evolution and Morality” “Evolution and Two Conceptions of Morality” “Evolution, Morality, and Objective Values” “The ‘Necessity’ of an Evolved Moral Sense” “Evolution, Altruism, and Morality” “Evolved Sentiments and Moral Content” “The Immorality of ‘An Evolutionary Basis for Morality’” “Evolution and ‘D … [Read more...]

The Perfect Goodness of God – Again (Part 2)

In my previous post on this topic, I used conditional derivation to try to prove that one statement entailed another statement, to show that 'There is a person who is omniscient and perfectly free' entails 'There is a person who is perfectly good'.But because I'm a bit unclear on how the logic of conditional statements relates to entailment, I'm not sure that conditional derivation can be used this way.In any case, implication (the logical relationship in a true conditional statement) is … [Read more...]

Thoughts about Plantinga’s Interesting Paper on “Naturalism, Theism, Obligation, and Supervenience”

I’ve been studying Plantinga’s very interesting paper, “Naturalism, Theism, Obligation, and Supervenience.” (See here for Ex-Apologist’s very brief post about it.) Plantinga’s stated goal is to show that metaphysical naturalism cannot accommodate realism about moral obligation by "displaying the failure of the most natural way of arguing" that metaphysical naturalism can accommodate moral realism, viz., supervenience. There are many things about this paper which I find interesting … [Read more...]

Hillarious Summary of the Argument from Shotgun Weddings Against Same-Sex Marriage

Over at Preliator pro Causa, Joe McKen presents a hillarious summary of what has to be one of the absolute worst arguments ever made against same-sex marriage.Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring," opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, "substantial advance planning is required," said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House … [Read more...]

An Argument Against Moral Facts

In a seminar on Metaethics (h/t John Brunero) , I encountered an argument against moral facts that I hadn't heard before. Here is a brief sketch: (1) We're justified in believing in some fact only if it plays a role in the explanation of our observations and other non-moral facts. (2) Moral facts don't play this role. ... (3) We are not justified in believing moral facts. In order to motivate (1), we can appeal to some flavors of naturalism. Many will argue that a completed science will … [Read more...]

Pro-Life Atheists

Hemant Mehta's post about pro-life atheists is a great reminder of the diversity among nontheists. While the stereotype of atheists, at least in the U.S., is that we are all liberal on a variety of issues, that isn't the case. Pro-life atheists are an example. … [Read more...]

Podcast: Objective morality and atheism; the evil god challenge; risks posed by religion

I did a podcast for Malcontent's Gambit here. It's about 45 mins long. Alan and I got into some interesting topics, including: whether atheists can allow for absolute moral values, my evil god challenge, and the potential dangers posed by religion. … [Read more...]

Is religious freedom threatened by gay rights?

Last year I was a participant in a conference on Religious Freedom at Magdalen College Oxford. The conference focused particularly on "the emerging conflict between new equal rights claims on behalf of homosexuals and existing claims of religious freedom." Cases such as the right to wear a cross at work, or to turn homosexual couples away from your B&B; were discussed, or of registrars to refuse to conduct civil partnership ceremonies, were discussed. Many religious people the conference … [Read more...]


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