A Very Rough Sketch of an Objection to Quentin Smith’s Argument for Moral Realism

In his book, Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language, Quentin Smith defends an argument for moral realism which he calls the argument from veridical seeming. (1)  Ordinary ethical sentences and commonsense first-level moral beliefs imply moral realism (or “Moral realism tacitly seems to be true in ordinary commonsense moral attitudes”). (2)  There are no empirical or a priori reasons to believe that first-level moral beliefs are all false.(3)  Therefore, it is m … [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...]

Praise from Matthew Wade Ferguson

My co-author Matthew Wade Ferguson just wrote an unexpected, very much appreciated, and very complimentary blog post about my work.LINKHe also had some comments about many Christian apologists, including Norman Geisler, Frank Turek, William Lane Craig, and C.S. Lewis. Check it out!Also, if you're not a regular reader of his blog, you should be. … [Read more...]

Eternal Accountability

Vic Reppert recently posted this on his Dangerous Idea site under the title “Eternal Accountability”:“I don't think atheists appreciate the force of the doctrine of eternal accountability in restraining evil. Unless there is eternal accountability, either of the Hindu karma-birth-rebirth kind, or accountability before a monotheistic God, if we get away with it on earth, we get away with it period.”Response: I don’t think that theists appreciate the lack of force of the doctrine of eternal … [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...]

Geisler & Turek Rebuttal: Chapter 9 (Part 2)


Chapter 9. Do We Have Early Eyewitness Testimony about Jesus? By Matthew Wade Ferguson and Jeffery Jay Lowder(This post continues where part 1 left off.)(ii) New Testament Textual Accuracy: “Textual accuracy” measures the degree to which copies of a document match that of the original document. Although none of the original New Testament documents have survived, Geisler and Turek argue that the textual accuracy of the New Testament documents is superior to that of other ancient docu … [Read more...]

Geisler & Turek Rebuttal: Chapter 9 (Part 1)

Chapter 9. Do We Have Early Eyewitness Testimony about Jesus? By Matthew Wade Ferguson and Jeffery Jay LowderAs we read them, Geisler and Turek seek to accomplish three things: (i) review the extra-Biblical evidence for Jesus; (ii) show the New Testament is textually accurate; and (iii) begin an extended, multi-chapter defense of the New Testament’s historical accuracy.(i) Extra-Biblical Evidence: According to Geisler and Turek, (a) the ratio of ancient sources which record Jesus within … [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...]