Ethics tagged posts

The Moral Argument for God

In his dialogue with Euthyphro, Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” To put the dilemma in more modern terms: does God command an action because it is good, or is an action good because God commands it? If the former is true, then the good exists independently of God. If the latter is true, then a question arises concerning the arbitrariness of moral obligations...

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Ep. 4 – Morality Without God? with Erik Wielenberg

In episode four, I am joined by moral philosopher Erik Wielenberg as we discuss a popular version of the moral argument for god, as well as the plausibility of a non-theistic objective morality. Dr. Wielenberg is Professor of Philosophy at DePauw University in Indiana, a fellow of the Center for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St. Andrews, and has been published in numerous philosophical journals. He has put out three excellent books, including Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (review), God and the Reach of Reason: C.S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell,...

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The Miracle of Theism

The Miracle of Theism

Is there reason to believe in a god? Philosophers and theologians have debated this question for centuries, offering arguments and counter-arguments taking many different forms. More recently scientists and historians have joined the fray to weigh in on things from their own perspectives. Still, well over two millennia later, and in spite of a bounty of examples of religiously-inspired violence, we find the question persists. According to some, the survival of theism – the belief in god(s) – is nothing short of miraculous; it testifies to the power and value of faith...
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Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe

Often times public tragedies in the United States are followed by warnings against godlessness.1 When people have no promise of divine justice and no faith in a good god, the argument goes, it’s no surprise that lives are lost, since life on a naturalistic worldview is without value. Conservative politicians are not the only ones who have been known to make such claims...

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Morality Without God?

Is it possible to be a moral person and not believe in god? Are there such things as objective moral values if god does not exist? In the eyes of many, such questions may seem rather silly. ‘Of course, you don’t need to believe in god to be good, nor does there need to be a god for some things to be really wrong or really right...

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Why Be a Good Person?

‘If there’s no God and no life beyond the grave, doesn’t that mean that men will be allowed to do whatever they want?’
‘Didn’t you know that already?’ he said and laughed again. ‘An intelligent man can do anything he likes as long as he’s clever enough to get away with it.’1

The above passage from Dostoevsky is often cited by religious apologists with the intent to either denounce atheism as immoral, or to suggest that atheists are incapable of accounting for the moral judgments they hold. James Spiegel, in his book The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief, embodies the opin...

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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong v. William Lane Craig

This debate took place on April 1, 2000 at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Atheist philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, professor at Duke University and author of numerous books on ethics and morality,1 argues in the affirmative on the question, “Does evil and suffering disprove God?” William Lane Craig, a well-known Christian philosopher and apologist who also has a lengthy list of books in his name,2 argues the negative...

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Christianity and Slavery

Today many Christians go above and beyond justifying the value of their faith by also attempting to re-write history in order to implicate Christianity as the source of all Western achievements of the last 200-300 years. One of these gross lies is the idea that the abolishment of slavery was due to a proper teaching of the scriptures, a view taught by Dinesh D’Souza in his article How Christians Ended Slavery.1 In the article, D’Souza implies that the rise of Christianity in the Middle Ages ended slavery, by attempting to whitewash serfdom as a great improvement...

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