Hypocrisy on Moral Arguments, Arguments from Evil, and Logical Inconsistency

Many theists are fond of linking the problem of evil with a moral argument for God's existence. The idea is that by making an argument from evil against God's existence, the atheist has supposedly contradicted herself since the the argument from evil presupposes an objective evil and objective evil, in turn, presupposes God's existence.Since I've refuted that claim before, I want to explore a different aspect of linking these two kinds of arguments, namely, the double standard which … [Read more...]

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...]

Christian Apologists Ignore the Best Objections to the Moral Argument

To be precise, there are many kinds of moral arguments for theism. The question in the title is really talking about what we might call "ontological" or "metaphysical" moral arguments, the kind which claim that we need God in order to have an "ontological foundation" for objective or absolute morality.People who defend a version of this kind of argument include a veritable "Who's Who?" of contemporary Christian apologists: C.S. Lewis (see here and here), Alvin Plantinga (see here and here), W … [Read more...]

Plantinga on the Alleged “Irrationality” of Atheism

 I want to comment on Gary Gutting's recent interview of Alvin Plantinga in the New York Times. Unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are quotations of Plantinga. Still, that’s not nearly sufficient for atheism. In the British newspaper The Independent, the scientist Richard Dawkins was recently asked the following question: “If you died and arrived at the gates of heaven, what would you say to God to justify your lifelong atheism?” His response: “I’d quote Bertrand Russell: ‘Not e … [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...]