David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Samantha Vice & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Moral Life. Palgrave Macmillan 201--227 (2008)
In this chapter, I critically explore John Cottingham's most powerful argument for the thesis that the existence of God is necessary for meaning in life. This is the argument that life would be meaningless without an invariant morality, which could come only from God. After demonstrating that Cottingham's God-based ethic can avoid not only many traditional Euthyphro meta-ethical concerns, but also objections at the normative level, I consider whether it can entail the unique respect in which morality is normative, and, upon considering various ways to develop the view, I conclude that it can. However, I then raise another objection that I maintain cannot be replied to satisfactorily. The objection is that, if we had conclusive evidence for a God-based meta-ethic, then our evidence for the existence of God and of wrongness would be comparable, but they are not, either for Cottingham or for readers more generally. That is, I argue that it is incoherent to claim to know that wrongness is a function of God, given that one knows that wrongness exists, but does not know that God does. I also present an alternative, naturalist meta-ethic that avoids this incoherence, fits better with our extant metaphysical knowledge, and grounds an invariant moral system.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
T. J. Mawson (2013). Recent Work on the Meaning of Life and Philosophy of Religion. Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1138-1146.
Similar books and articles
Thaddeus Metz (2007). God's Purpose as Irrelevant to Life's Meaning: Reply to Affolter. Religious Studies 43 (4):457-464.
Thaddeus Metz (2000). Could God's Purpose Be the Source of Life's Meaning? Religious Studies 36 (3):293-313.
Thaddeus Metz (2005). Critical Notice:Baier and Cottingham on the Meaning of Life. Disputatio 1 (19):215-228.
Katherin Rogers (2005). God and Moral Realism. International Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):103-118.
Charles Billingsley (2009). God Laughs: And Other Surprising Things You Never Knew About Him. Regal Books.
Elmer L. Towns (2009). God Laughs: And Other Surprising Things You Never Knew About Him. Regal Books.
Thomas W. Smythe & Michael Rectenwald (2011). Craig on God and Morality. International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):331 - 338.
Howard J. Curzer (2007). Abraham, the Faithless Moral Superhero. Philosophy and Literature 31 (2):344-361.
Jacek Wojtysiak (2010). Morality, God, and Possible Worlds: A Paper Inspired By Richard Swinburne's 'God and Morality'. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):199 - 208.
Thaddeus Metz (2003). The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning. Ratio 16 (2):161–177.
Paul Copan (2004). Morality and Meaning Without God, Another Failed Attempt: A Review Essay on 'Atheism, Morality, and Meaning'. Philosophia Christi 6 (2):295 - 304.
Added to index2011-02-01
Total downloads68 ( #50,302 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #111,958 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?