Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 11

If I understand William Craig's third objection to AMR, then he is basically offering an inductive  teleological argument for the existence of God (similar to how Richard Swinburne argues for God)  based on the assumption that there are objective moral values plus the claim that humans and the circumstances in which humans find themselves are such as to allow humans to live morally significant lives (we have free will, are able to grasp moral principles, are able to reason from moral … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 10

When I argue against the resurrection of Jesus, I generally take a two-pronged approach. First, I argue that there are various good reasons to doubt the claim that Jesus was alive and walking around on the first Easter Sunday. Second, I make a concession for the sake of argument; I grant the supposition that Jesus was alive and walking around on the first Easter Sunday. Then I point out that this assumption, an assumption that Christian apologists work very hard to try to prove, actually … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 9

I have argued previously that Craig's first two objections to AMR are weak at best. The third objection might not be as weak as the previous two. However, the third objection is the most unclear of the three, so if it turns out to be a strong objection, that will be because we help Craig to clearly formulate his third objection. William Craig’s third objection to AMR is given in a single brief paragraph: Third, it is fantastically improbable that just the sort of creatures would emerge … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 8

I am not impressed by Richard Taylor's appeal to etymology as an argument for the claim that all duties and all obligations are 'owed' to some person or persons (see part 7 for my objections to that line of reasoning). However, to be fair to Craig, Taylor's appeal to etymology is not specifically and explicitly quoted by Craig in his essay 'Why I Believe God Exists' (WIAC, p.62-80). Perhaps Craig is aware of the weakness of Taylor's appeal to etymology, and so he avoids quoting such appeals … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 7

Richard Taylor's book Virtue Ethics: An Introduction (formerly published as Ethics, Faith, and Reason) provides a very readable and interesting defense of the view that the modern conception of morality originates with religion, especially with Christianity. William Craig quotes from Chapter 11 of this book as his primary support for his second objection to AMR. So, in order to evaluate Craig's second objection, we need to evaluate Taylor's argument(s) for the claim that duties are always … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 6

Some internet resources about  William Craig's views on morality and Richard Taylor's views on morality: Is The Basis Of Morality Natural Or Supernatural? A Debate Between Richard Taylor and William Lane Craig Union College, Schenectady, New York October 8, 1993 The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality By Dr. William Lane … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 5

I am currently considering William Craig's second objection to Atheistic Moral Realism (AMR): Second, the nature of moral duty or obligation seems incompatible with atheistic moral realism. (WIAC, p.76) The following is a third piece of the paragraph where Craig presents this objection: Who or what lays such an obligation on me?  As the ethicist Richard Taylor points out, "A duty is something that is owed. ... But something can be owed only to some person or persons.  There can be no … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 4

Here, once again, is William Craig's MOVE (Moral Objective Values Exist) Argument: 1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. 2. Objective moral values do exist. Therefore: 3. God exists. I am considering one possible objection, namely rejection of, or doubt about, premise (1). Atheists who are inclined towards moral realism or belief in objective moral values will be inclined to challenge premise (1) rather than premise (2). Craig raises three objections to what … [Read more...]