bookmark_borderHard-Hitting Critique of WLC’s Moral Argument by John Danaher “Necessary Moral Truths and Theistic Metaethics”

To be precise, this paper applies to WLC’s moral argument for God’s existence as follows.
1. WLC argues that God exists because objective moral values and duties exist.
2. Critics (theist, agnostic, and atheist) of WLC’s moral argument have pointed out that, according to one version of moral realism, moral truths are necessary truths. Necessary truths neither have nor need an explanation. Therefore, God isn’t needed to explain necessary moral truths and, hence, isn’t needed to explain objective moral values and duties.
3. WLC (and Mark Murphy) object to point 2 by providing counterexamples to show that necessary truths, including necessary moral truths, can have an explanation.
4. John Danaher defends point 2 against the counterexamples in point 3.
Here is the abstract:

Theistic metaethics usually places one key restriction on the explanation of moral facts, namely: every moral fact must ultimately be explained by some fact about God. The problem is that the widely-held belief that some moral truths are necessary truths undermines this claim. If a moral truth is necessary, then it seems like it neither needs, nor has an explanation. Or so the objection typically goes. Recently, two proponents of theistic metaethics — William Lane Craig and Mark Murphy — have argued that this objection is flawed. They claim that even if a truth is necessary, it does not follow that it neither needs nor has an explanation. In this article, I challenge Craig and Murphy’s reasoning on three main grounds. First, I argue that the counterexamples they use to undermine the necessary truth objection to theistic metaethics are flawed. While they may provide some support for the notion that necessary truths can be explained, they do not provide support for the notion that necessary moral truths can be explained. Second, I argue that the principles of explanation that Murphy and Craig use to support theistic metaethics are either question-begging (in the case of Murphy) or improperly motivated (in the case of Craig). And third, I provide a general defence of the claim that necessary moral truths neither need nor have an explanation.


bookmark_borderThe Philosophical Disquisitions Journal Club

One of my favorite blogs, Philosophical Disquisitions, just announced the Philosophical Disquisitions Journal Club.

Essentially, it will work like any normal academic journal club wherein academic papers are read and critically analysed and discussed by a group of interested people. So every month a paper will be nominated (by me or someone else), those who are interested can read the paper, and then join in a discussion about it here on the blog. You can even join in if you haven’t read the paper. Maybe the discussion will encourage you to do so later.

And the first paper they plan to study looks mighty interesting.

“The paper argues that evils perpetrated in the name of God (‘religious evils’) generate a special version of the problem of evil…that cannot be solved by any of the current defences and theodicies.”

If interested, check out this link for details.