Thinking Matters Talk: Does Morality Need God? Part Three:
MandM
by Matt
2y ago
This year the New Zealand apologetics organization Thinking Matters ran a “Confident Christianity Conference” in Auckland. I was asked to speak at this conference on the topic. Does Morality Need God? Below is a slightly streamlined version of the talk I gave. This brings me to my second contention: If God exists, a divine command theory would provide a coherent account of our fundamental assumptions about moral requirements. I outlined four assumptions about the kind of requirements morality imposes upon us. These were Inescapability: moral requirements apply to us irrespective of whe ..read more
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Thinking Matters Talk: Does Morality Need God? Part Two:
MandM
by Matt
2y ago
This year the New Zealand apologetics organization Thinking Matters, ran a “Confident Christianity Conference” in Auckland. I was asked to speak at this conference on the topic. Does Morality Need God? Below is a slightly streamlined version of the talk I gave. I outlined four assumptions about the kind of requirements morality imposes upon us. These were Inescapability: moral requirements apply to us irrespective of whether following them contributes to any ends or aims we currently desire. Impartiality: moral requirements are justified from an impartial perspective. Authority: agents ..read more
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Thinking Matters Talk: Does Morality Need God? Part One
MandM
by Matt
2y ago
This year the New Zealand apologetics organization Thinking Matters, ran a “Confident Christianity Conference” in Auckland. I was asked to speak at this conference on the topic. Does Morality Need God? Below is a slightly streamlined version of the talk I gave. “If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.” These words from Ivan Karamazov in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers of Karamazov express a widely held intuition that moral requirements depend upon God’s existence. Most contemporary ethicists today would dismiss this intuition. In this talk, I will argue their dismissal is premature. I ..read more
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Abortion: the Other side of the Argument
MandM
by Matt
2y ago
Several years ago, I gave a talk on the morality of abortion at New Hope Community Church in East Auckland. This talk was based on my Ph.D. research at Otago University. Apparently, in the wake of recent supreme court decisions in America, some interest has been expressed in this talk. So, I attach it here ..read more
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Evil, limited, and Indifferent deities: The Horrendous Deeds Objection Redivivus?
MandM
by Matt
2y ago
Last week, I was scheduled to present the above paper at the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society at Fort Worth, Texas. Unfortunately, Auckland’s lockdown prevented this, and the paper had to be cancelled due to the logistics involved. I did, however, pre-record the talk, so it is available below: Abstract: A common objection to divine command meta-ethics (‘DCM’) is the horrendous deeds objection. Critics object that if DCM is true, anything at all could be right, no matter how abhorrent or horrendous. Defenders of DCM have responded by contending that God is essentially g ..read more
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Published: “The Psychopath Objection to Divine Command Theory: Another Reply to Erik Wielenberg”
MandM
by Matt
3y ago
My paper, “The Psychopath Objection to Divine Command Theory: Another Reply to Erik Wielenberg” has now been published by The European Journal for Philosophy of Religion here.  The abstract is as follows: Recently, Erik Wielenberg has developed a novel objection to divine command metaethics (DCM). The objection is that DCM “has the implausible implication that psychopaths have no moral obligations and hence their evil acts, no matter how evil, are morally permissible”. This article criticizes Wielenberg’s argument. Section 1 expounds Wielenberg’s new “psychopath argument” in the con ..read more
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Matt Speaks at Orewa Community Church.
MandM
by Matt
3y ago
I was scheduled to speak on the topic “The Holy Spirit teaches” at Orewa Community Church on Sunday September the 26th. Because the government ordered New Zealand into lockdown six weeks ago, and has maintained Auckland in lockdown since, I had to do the message in an ad hoc manner by video. The message is available below, the quality is not as good as I would have liked. But I think it is good enough for general consumption.   ..read more
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Can a Divine Command Theory Vindicate the Objectivity of Morality: Huemer on Observer Independence, part two
MandM
by Matt
3y ago
In my last post, I discussed Michael Huemer’s argument that a divine command theory cannot vindicate the objectivity of moral requirements. As I interpret him, the  argument is: [1] Our commitment to morality presupposes that moral requirements are objective. [2] Moral requirements are objective just in case there obtain facts about what is right and wrong that do not constitutionally depend upon the attitude of observers towards the objects of evaluation. [3] If divine command metaethics is true, facts about right and wrong constitutively depend upon the attitudes of an observer towards ..read more
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Can a Divine Command Theory Ground the Objectivity of Morality? Michael Huemer on Observer Independence: Part One
MandM
by Matt
3y ago
In a previous post  I criticized David Brink’s argument that a divine command theory cannot vindicate the objectivity of morality. Brink argued: [1] Our commitment to morality presupposes that moral requirements are objective [2] Moral requirements are objective just in case facts about what is right or wrong obtain independently of the moral beliefs or attitudes of appraisers. [3] If divine command metaethics is true, facts about right and wrong depend on the attitude of an appraiser. In response, I noted two possible interpretations of appraiser independence: (a) a weaker sense, where ..read more
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Can a Divine command theory account for the objectivity of moral requirements? Elizabeth Tropman, Russ Shafer-Landau, and “Stance Independence”.
MandM
by Matt
3y ago
In my last post, I criticised David Brink’s argument that a divine command theory cannot vindicate the objectivity of morality. A different version of the objection comes from Elizabeth Tropman. Tropman begins by giving several reasons for thinking that moral realism is an attractive moral theory. She then argues that a divine command theory fails to vindicate this realist kind of objectivity.  [I]t is not even clear that divine command theory is compatible with a realist view of ethics after all. Divine command theory was supposed to secure the objectivity of moral demands by making mor ..read more
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