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...]

Do the Bee Police Enforce God’s Law? Or Are They Darwinian Nihilists? by Larry Arnhart

I want to a link to another terrific blog post by philosopher Larry Arnhart.One worry--perhaps the worry--about basing morality on the biology of human nature is that it makes morality species-specific. Darwin himself voiced this concern in The Descent of Man: "In the same manner as various animals have some sense of beauty, though they admire widely different objects, so they might have a sense of right and wrong, though led by it to follow widely different lines of conduct.  If, for inst … [Read more...]

Does Darwinism Make Morality Fictional?

Larry Arnhart always writes terrific blog posts; this one from 2013 is no exception. (If you're a regular reader of the Secular Outpost but not of his blog, then you should start reading his blog.) In this post, he takes issue with (among others) Michael Ruse's claim that evolutionary naturalism undermines the foundations of morality. Aside: isn't it amazing how apologists like William Lane Craig will quote Michael Ruse to make an argument from authority to support the claim that atheism leads t … [Read more...]

Index: Atheist Error Theorists

Many atheists have claimed that atheism entails that moral realism is false; many theistic apologists gleefully quote those atheists. But how do those atheists support their claim? This page provides an index to other Secular Outpost posts which discuss specific atheists' arguments for the claim that atheism somehow supports moral nihilism or error theory.Coyne, Jerry (see here; cf. here, here, here) "John" (see here and here) Mackie, J.L. (see here) Provine, William (see here … [Read more...]

Alex Rosenberg’s 2012 Argument for Nihilism

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  In his 2012 book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, Alex Rosenberg defends an argument for nihilism.[1] In this article I want to evaluate his argument. Definitions Before we turn to his argument, we first need to understand how Rosenberg defines his terms. Let us begin with the word “scientism.” In his own words, Rosenberg defines “scientism” as follows. But we’ll call the worldview that all us atheists (and even some agnostics) share “scientism.” This is the conviction that [1] the … [Read more...]


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