Be sure to check out Goodness Over God, the counter-apologetics podcast hosted by myself and philosopher Michael Long!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Anderson and the Epistemic Status of Theism

Philosopher and Calvinist apologist James Anderson, in Paradox In Christian Theology, devotes a chapter spanning 62 pages to outlining the epistemic status of Christian theism. I would like to highlight two observations regarding this chapter which I think are important for best understanding his position: First, he does not present an argument for the existence of God, nor does he attempt to lay out any good reasons for taking a theist position; and second, he neither attempts to show that Christian theism is warranted, but only defends the more modest assertion that it is warranted if it is true. Given these observations, we are obliged to conclude that Anderson's purpose in this chapter is not to secure a convincing case for the existence of God, nor for the truth of Christianity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Simplified Account of Moral Objectivism

In religious discussions, among other situations, we often raise the issue of whether or not moral values are objectively determined. By "objective" moral values, we typically refer to moral values which are not determined by human opinion or disposition. For instance, CSUSB philosopher Tony Roy characterizes objective moral values as those which are not "dependent on the attitudes of a person, group of persons, tradition, practice, or the like directed at" accepting that value.[1] Apologist-philosopher William Lane Craig considers an objective moral value to be one discovered "independently of whether anybody believes it to be so."[2] In this way, moral objectivism springs from the sense of morality laying in large part beyond our creative power, either as individuals or even as a society. Indeed, I take the view that circumstances far beyond our control determine the most fundamental moral values, and that no mere human opinion or social trend can change the morality or immorality of a given behavior. I thereby propose a trim but rigorous account of moral objectivism designed to capture the spirit of the typical view of objective moral values, and which might serve as a reference for future discussions.