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Two New Papers from Wes Morriston

(i) "God and the ontological foundation of morality", Religious Studies, doi:10.1017/S0034412510000740, Published online by Cambridge University Press 15 February 2011. (In Cambridge Online Journals)

(ii) "Beginningless Past, Endless Future, and the Actual Infinite", Faith and Philosophy, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Oct. 2010), pp. 439-450.


Morriston argues against Craig's view that a moral basis cannot exist without a "god" to exemplify it. Morriston challenges the two suppositions behind this.

I have yet to read a moral philosopher who questions this worldview by turning the model upside down and asking whether evil can exist without a perfect Devil to exemplify it. What would it mean if humans had no basis for performing evil acts without a perfect standard of Evil to match it against?
exapologist said…
Hi Rosemary,

One traditional view of evil among theists is that it's not a positive, existing thing; rather, evil is a lack or a privation, in which case the existence of evil wouldn't require the existence an ultimate standard of evil. Whether that's a satisfying answer is another matter....
mpg said…
Hi Ex

I've heard the evil as privation argument before and I just don't buy it either. But I'm also suspicious as to whether or not positing evil as a 'lack' gets theism off the hook. I mean an evil action is very much a thing, and an evil action is contingent. Are we to say that the evil act is somehow stops at the door of a contingent entity ie humans? I find that difficult to accept. Though, of course, I could be wrong.
Bogdan said…
Close to the ending of Morriston's paper Beginningless past, endless future and the actual infinite, he writes:
"I suppose Craig might add some clause to his definition of an <> to avoid this implication—requiring, perhaps, that the members of the collection be concrete rather than abstract"

IMO, even if Craig does this one can still envision a scenario in which God punishes an angel for disobedience by telling him to move a bolder from point A to point B and backwards infinitely many times.

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