More on the Arbitrariness Objection to the Divine Command Theory

I’ve been carrying on a conversation with Matthew Flannagan about the arbitrariness objection to the divine command theory. You can find my first post on the issue here and Matt’s response here. In this post I am going to continue my defense, against Flannagan’s objections, of the arbitrariness argument (AA):Either God’s commands are arbitrary or they are grounded in reasons. Arbitrary commands cannot ground moral obligations.  If God’s commands are grounded in reasons, then it is those … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum: The Poverty of Theistic Cosmology (2004)

This paper sits behind a paywall and I do not have access, so I have not read it and have no opinion on its contents. (Aside: if a copy were to somehow magically arrive in my inbox, I would be very happy.)Here is the (quite lengthy!) abstract: Philosophers have postulated the existence of God to explain (I) why any contingent objects exist at all rather than nothing contingent, and (II) why the fundamental laws of nature and basic facts of the world are exactly what they are. Therefore, we … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum: Why is There a World AT ALL, Rather Than Just Nothing? (2009)

I have not read this paper and so I have no opinion on its contents, but it looks very interesting. Abstract: The titular question here “Why is There A World AT ALL, Rather Than Just Nothing?” is a fusion of two successive queries posed by Leibniz in 1697 and 1714. He did so to lay the groundwork for his explanatory theistic answer. But the present paper offers (i) A very unfavorable verdict from my critical scrutiny of the explanatory demand made by Leibniz, and (ii) My argument for the comple … [Read more...]

Important New (Advanced but) Must-Read Book on Ethics without God by Erik Wielenberg


Oxford University Press has just published the latest book by Erik Wielenberg, entitled Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Wielenberg's work; his previous books include Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and God and the Reach of Reason: C.S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell (Cambridge University Press, 2007).As you would expect … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig’s Silly Response to the Hostility of Life

In his most recent post on the Q&A section of his website, William Lane Craig responds to an objection to his version of the fine-tuning argument. Talking about the fine-tuning argument, Tyson said: Most places in the universe will kill life instantly - instantly! People say, 'Oh, the forces of nature are just right for life.' Excuse me. Just look at the volume of the universe where you can't live. You will die instantly.” In response to Tyson, Craig calls this objection "silly" and c … [Read more...]

Massimo Pigliucci on Metaethics, Part 1

William Lane Craig and Massimo Pigliucci debated the existence of God in 1998. (Click here to read the transcript.) In his opening statement, Craig presented his standard moral argument for God's existence. (1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. (2) Objective values do exist. (3) Therefore, God exists. In his opening statement, Pigliucci denied (2). Finally, the problem of morality, which I'm sure we'll have more to say about--oh yeah, I agree with Dr. Craig when he … [Read more...]

William Provine on Evolutionary Naturalism and Morality

Cornell University biologist William Provine debated UC Berkeley law professor in 1998. (Click here for a link to the transcript.) In his opening statement, Provine made the following provocative assertion. Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead … [Read more...]

Another Failed Defense of “The Inevitable Consequences of an Atheist Worldview”

Steve Hays has commented on my previous post, "Fact Checking the Inevitable Consequences of an Atheist Worldview." That post was a detailed summary and refutation of eight specific claims. Hays does not interact with any of the specific claims. Rather, he makes general points about my post as a whole. Here is Hays: Over at the Secular outpost, Jeff Lowder took issue with what an ostensible atheist said about “The Inevitable Consequences of an Atheist Worldview”. Jeff's attempted rebuttal is mud … [Read more...]