Skip to main content

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.

Comments

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Notes on Mackie's "Evil and Omnipotence"

0. Introduction
0.1 Mackie argues that the problem of evil proves that either no god exists, or at least that the god of Orthodox Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, does not exist. His argument is roughly the same version of the problem of evil that we’ve been considering.
0.2 Mackie thinks that one can avoid the conclusion that God does not exist only if one admits that either God is not omnipotent (i.e., not all-powerful), or that God is not perfectly good. 0.3 However, he thinks that hardly anyone will be willing to take this route. For doing so leaves one with a conception of a god that isn’t worthy of worship, and therefore not religiously significant.
0.4 After his brief discussion of his version of the problem of evil, he considers most of the main responses to the problem of evil, and concludes that none of them work.

1. First Response and Mackie's Reply
1.1 Response: Good can’t exist without evil; evil is a necessary counterpart to good.
1.2 Mackie’s reply:
1.2.1 this see…

Notes on Swinburne, "On Why God Allows Evil"

Notes on Swinburne’s “Why God Allows Evil”

1. The kinds of goods a theistic god would provide: deeper goods than just “thrills of pleasure and times of contentment” (p. 90). For example:
1.1 Significant freedom and responsibility
1.1.1 for ourselves
1.1.2 for others
1.1.3 for the world in which they live
1.2 Valuable lives
1.2.1 being of significant use to ourselves
1.2.2 being of significant use to each other

2. Kinds of evil
2.1 Moral evil: all the evil caused or permitted by human beings, whether intentionally or through negligence (e.g., murder, theft, etc.)
2.2 Natural evil: all the rest: evil not caused or permitted by human beings (e.g., suffering caused by hurricanes, forest fires, diseases, animal suffering, etc.)

3. The gist of Swinburne’s answer to the problem of evil: God cannot – logically cannot -- give us the goods of significant freedom, responsibility and usefulness without thereby allowing for the possibility of lots of moral and natural evil. This is why he has al…