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...]

What is Faith – Part 6

I have noticed a problem of unclarity in my own thinking and writing about the Thomist view of faith.  Before I go further in discussing Swinburne's characterization of the Thomist view of faith, I want to briefly consider the point of unclarity or ambiguity in my previous discussion of this view of faith. I have been sliding too easily over the distinction between possibility and necessity concerning the role of reasons and arguments in the Thomist view of faith.Aquinas believes that it is … [Read more...]

Spot the Fallacy #2: Fine-Tuning and the Prior Probability of Theism

Note: This post is another post in our series of articles designed to engage non-philosophers. Despite the title, you don't need to literally name a fallacy assuming there is one. What these posts are really designed to do is to get you to describe, in plain English, why the argument (or objection) presented isn't successful.Instructions:1. Read William Lane Craig's Q&A here.2. If you are not a philosopher, explain in the combox why his response doesn't work. … [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...]

What is Faith? – Part 5

We have been examining the Thomist view of faith, as characterized by Richard Swinburne in Faith and Reason (FAR).In order to avoid the implication that one must reason in a circle in order to have 'faith in God', a supporter of the Thomist view of faith can draw a distinction between beliefs about God that are implied by the statement 'God exists' and other beliefs about God that are NOT implied by this claim.  For a Thomist, belief in the existence of God is (or can be) based on reasons or … [Read more...]

On Atheism and Brightness

I'm often told that atheists are really smart when it comes to religion. Then I read their replies to moral arguments for God's existence and cry out, "WTF?"Take this argument: If no G, then no O. But O. Therefore, G.Why the f&*^ would anyone think it's even relevant to bring up X, Y, or Z?!?!?Unlike some religious apologists, I don't believe the explanation is either (1) atheists are willfully repressing the truth of God's existence, or (2) atheists are stupid. Rather, my … [Read more...]

A Catholic Blogger Offers a Very Thoughtful Reply to my Question about Prayer and Government

Dr. Gregory Popcak is a fellow Patheos blogger who blogs at "Faith on the Couch" in the Patheos Catholic Channel. He's written a very thoughtful reply to my previous post, "Question for Theists: Why Is It Important to Begin Governmental Meetings with Prayer?” His reply is titled, "Prayer Works: A Psychological Case for Public Prayer and Graceful Governance." What I like about his reply is that (a) he presents a secular case for prayer; and (b) he actually provides evidence for his p … [Read more...]