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Response to Chapter 15 of Russ Shafer-Landau’s book Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? “Does Ethical Objectivity Require God?” Part VI
By David Baggett  Shafer-Landau (SL) argues that the best reason for thinking that moral laws require an author is that all laws require an author, though he doesn’t think this is a very good reason. For he thinks that laws come in various shapes and sizes, and that it’s plausible to think of some of them as lacking an author, human or divine. The laws of ph...

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Mailbag: Doubts about the Privation Theory of Evil
Berat Writes: Hello, Is there a post on the “ontological foundation of evil”? It seems to me that theistic metaethical theories have a strange implication like this: If God exists, he is the substantial ontological foundation of goodness. However, evil can’t have a substantial ethical foundation like goodness since God doesn’t have ...

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Response to Chapter 15 of Russ Shafer-Landau’s book Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? “Does Ethical Objectivity Require God?” Part IV
  By David Baggett Shafer-Landau (SL) is subjecting to scrutiny an argument that goes like this: ethics is objective only if God exists; God does not exist; so ethics isn’t objective. He has admitted that theists will reject the first premise, but he argues that atheists should reject the second premise. I agree that atheists should reject the second p...

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Great Truths, Great Division
Editors’ Note: One necessary condition for doing moral apologetics as Christians is having a clear understanding of the requirements of Christian morality. We are thankful for Dr. Thomas’ piece clarifying for Christians the importance of the objectivity and authority of the biblical teaching on sexual ethics. The recognition of these features of ...

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Good God Panel Discussion with Baggett, Walls, Copan, and Craig (Part III)
Part I Part II At the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Baggett and Dr. Walls were invited to participate in a panel discussion of their book Good God with Paul Copan and William Lane Craig offering some critique and feedback on their work. Baggett and Walls provide a concise summary of the book, which is a cumulative and ab...

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Response to Chapter 15 of Russ Shafer-Landau’s book Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? “Does Ethical Objectivity Require God?” Part III
By David Baggett  As we continue to examine Shafer-Landau’s (SL) case that ethical objectivity doesn’t require God, we turn directly to what he has to say about why most people—mistakenly, on his view—find compelling the notion that ethics is objective only if God exists. Personally, as I’ve said, I would prefer to argue less ambitiously that God provides th...

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Good God Panel Discussion with Baggett, Walls, Copan, and Craig (Part II)
Part I Part III At the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Baggett and Dr. Walls were invited to participate in a panel discussion of their book Good God with Paul Copan and William Lane Craig offering some critique and feedback on their work. Baggett and Walls provide a concise summary of the book, which is a cumulative and a...

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All Hallows Eve
  By Tom Thomas What if on ‘All Hallows Eve’ you were revisited by spirits of the ghoulish dead?  Or in the witching hour of midnight, the murderous Jezebel entered your house? Or the fierce barbarian Genghis Khan, communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Jack the Ripper, or hockey-masked Jason – even one of your difficult, dead relatives – paid you a vi...

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Good God Panel Discussion with Baggett, Walls, Copan, and Craig (Part I)
Part II At the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Baggett and Dr. Walls were invited to participate in a panel discussion of their book Good God with Paul Copan and William Lane Craig offering some critique and feedback on their work. Baggett and Walls provide a concise summary of the book, which is a cumulative and abductive mo...

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Response to Chapter 15 of Russ Shafer-Landau’s book Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? “Does Ethical Objectivity Require God?” Part II
By David Baggett Shafer-Landau (subsequently SL) starts this chapter by saying that most people “think that if moral rules are objective, then they must have been authored by God.” He notes that this includes theists, many of whom believe in God precisely because they believe in ethical objectivity, and see no way of defending that idea without God. It also...

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Summary of Chapter 7, God and Cosmos: “Moral Transformation”
 Summary by Frederick Choo In this chapter, Baggett and Walls discuss the performative aspect of morality, what John Hare calls the moral gap. They argue that theism possesses the necessary resources for moral transformation. Secular theories however do not have such resources and either reduce the moral demand, artificially exaggerate human capacities, or s...

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Response to Chapter 15 of Russ Shafer-Landau’s book Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? “Does Ethical Objectivity Require God?” Part I
By David Baggett  Russ Shafer-Landau is a leading metaethicist today, and the book in which this particular chapter is included is a popular treatment of the question of moral objectivity. In dealing with this book, I don’t pretend I have addressed everything he’s written (in his other work) on this specific question of God and ethics, and I also readily con...

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Quote of the Month

“Plato was so much more than the author of a philosophical theory; he was one of the world’s supreme dramatists, with the great dramatist’s insight into a vast range of human character and experience, an insight only possible to a nature itself quickly and richly responsive to a world of suggestion which narrower natures of the specialist type miss. If I am found in the sequel appealing to the testimony of ‘moralists,’ I trust it will be understood that by moralists I do not mean primarily men who have devoted themselves to the elaboration of ethical systems, the Aristotles, or even the Kants, but men who have lived richly and deeply and thought as well as lived, the Platos, Augustines, Dostoevskys, and their fellows.”

A. E. Taylor