•  12
    Reply to Craig, Murphy, McNabb, and Johnson
    Philosophia Christi 20 (2): 365-375. 2018.
    In Robust Ethics, I defend a nontheistic version of moral realism according to which moral properties are sui generis, not reducible to other kinds of properties and objective morality requires no foundation external to itself. I seek to provide a plausible account of the metaphysics and epistemology of the robust brand of moral realism I favor that draws on both analytic philosophy and contemporary empirical moral psychology. In this paper, I respond to some objections to my view advanced by Wi…Read more
  •  18
    Debunking Arguments in Ethics, written by Hanno Sauer
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (2): 178-183. 2020.
  •  91
    Divine Command Theory and Psychopathy
    Religious Studies. forthcoming.
    I advance a novel challenge for Divine Command Theory based on the existence of psychopaths. The challenge, in a nutshell, is that Divine Command Theory has the implausible implication that psychopaths have no moral obligations and hence their evil acts, no matter how evil, are morally permissible. After explaining this argument, I respond to three objections to it and then critically examine the prospect that Divine Command Theorists might bite the bullet and accept that psychopaths can do no w…Read more
  •  8
    Metz’s Case Against Supernaturalism
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (2): 27--34. 2016.
  •  1
    Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 59 (3): 179-182. 2005.
  •  14
    The Nature of Moral Virtue
    Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 2000.
    The dissertation is centered around the Moral Virtuosity Project . The central task of the dissertation is to examine what other philosophers have had to say on this topic and ultimately to successfully complete this project. ;Chapter One is concerned exclusively with Aristotle's attempt to complete the Moral Virtuosity Project. I defend the view that Aristotle holds that each moral virtue is a disposition toward proper practical reasoning, action, and emotion within a certain sphere. I critical…Read more
  •  39
    Euthyphro and Moral Realism: A Reply to Harrison
    Sophia 55 (3): 437-449. 2016.
    Gerald Harrison identifies two Euthyphro-related concerns for divine command theories and makes the case that to the extent that these concerns make trouble for divine command theories they also make trouble for non-naturalistic moral realism and naturalistic moral realism. He also offers responses to the two concerns on behalf of divine command theorists. I show here that the parity thesis does not hold for the most commonly discussed version of divine command theory. I further argue that his r…Read more
  •  228
    An Inconsistency in Craig’s Defence of the Moral Argument
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4): 49--58. 2012.
    I argue that William Craig’s defence of the moral argument is internally inconsistent. In the course of defending the moral argument, Craig criticizes non-theistic moral realism on the grounds that it posits the existence of certain logically necessary connections but fails to provide an adequate account of why such connections hold. Another component of Craig’s defence of the moral argument is an endorsement of a particular version of the divine command theory. Craig’s version of DCT posits cer…Read more
  •  112
    Saving Character
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4): 461-491. 2006.
    In his recent book Lack of Character, John Doris argues that people typically lack character (understood in a particular way). Such a claim, if correct, would have devastating implications for moral philosophy and for various human moral projects (e.g. character development). I seek to defend character against Doris's challenging attack. To accomplish this, I draw on Socrates, Aristotle, and Kant to identify some of the central components of virtuous character. Next, I examine in detail some of …Read more
  •  35
    Ordering thoughts
    The Philosophers' Magazine 45 (45): 106-107. 2009.
  •  77
    The parent–child analogy and the limits of skeptical theism
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (3): 301-314. 2015.
    I draw on the literature on skeptical theism to develop an argument against Christian theism based on the widespread existence of suffering that appears to its sufferer to be gratuitous and is combined with the sense that God has abandoned one or never existed in the first place. While the core idea of the argument is hardly novel, key elements of the argument are importantly different from other influential arguments against Christian theism. After explaining that argument, I make the case that…Read more
  • Introduction
    In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion, Palgrave-macmillan. 2009.
  •  6827
    In Defense of Non-Natural, Non-Theistic Moral Realism
    Faith and Philosophy 26 (1): 23-41. 2009.
    Many believe that objective morality requires a theistic foundation. I maintain that there are sui generis objective ethical facts that do not reduce to natural or supernatural facts. On my view, objective morality does not require an external foundation of any kind. After explaining my view, I defend it against a variety of objections posed by William Wainwright, William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland.
  •  40
    Fiona Ellis, God, Value, and Nature: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014, 220 pp., $99
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1): 131-135. 2015.
    In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle claims that just about everyone agrees that the highest good is eudaimonia while disagreeing with one another about what eudaimonia is. A similar situation exists among many contemporary philosophers: they agree that naturalism is true while disagreeing with one another about what naturalism is. By their lights, the claim that a given entity exists is worth taking seriously only if the entity in question is compatible with naturalism ; otherwise, the entity i…Read more
  •  124
    A morally unsurpassable God must create the best
    Religious Studies 40 (1): 43-62. 2004.
    I present a novel argument for the position that a morally unsurpassable God must create the best world that He has the power to create. I show that grace-based considerations of the sort proposed by Robert Adams neither refute my argument nor establish that a morally unsurpassable God need not create the best. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of my argument for the ‘no-best-world’ response to the problem of evil. (Published Online February 17 2004).
  •  48
    Sceptical theism and divine lies: ERIK J. WIELENBERG
    Religious Studies 46 (4): 509-523. 2010.
    In this paper I develop a novel challenge for sceptical theists. I present a line of reasoning that appeals to sceptical theism to support scepticism about divine assertions. I claim that this reasoning is at least as plausible as one popular sceptical theistic strategy for responding to evidential arguments from evil. Thus, I seek to impale sceptical theists on the horns of a dilemma: concede that either sceptical theism implies scepticism about divine assertions, or the sceptical theistic stra…Read more
  •  7
    Ordering thoughts (review)
    The Philosophers' Magazine 45 106-107. 2009.
  •  158
    Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe
    Cambridge University Press. 2005.
    Suppose there is no God. This might imply that human life is meaningless, that there are no moral obligations and hence people can do whatever they want, and that the notions of virtue and vice and good and evil have no place. Erik J. Wielenberg believes this view to be mistaken and in this book he explains why. He argues that even if God does not exist, human life can have meaning, we do have moral obligations, and virtue is possible. Naturally, the author sees virtue in a Godless universe as d…Read more
  •  2
    New Waves in Philosophy of Religion (edited book)
    Palgrave-Macmillan. 2008.
    List of Contributors vi Introduction vii 1 A New Definition of ”Omnipotence’ in Terms of Sets 1 Daniel J. Hill 2 Can God Choose a World at Random? 22 Klaas J. Kraay 3 Why is There Anything at All? 36 T. J. Mawson 4 Programs, Bugs, DNA and a Design Argument 55 Alexander R. Pruss 5 The ”Why Design?’ Question 68 Neil A. Manson 6 Divine Command Theory and the Semantics of Quantified Modal Logic 91 David Efird 7 Divine Desire Theory and Obligation 105 Christian B. Miller 8 The Puzzle of Prayers of Th…Read more
  •  77
    Plantingian theism and the free-will defence
    Religious Studies 52 (4): 451-460. 2016.
    I advance a challenge to the coherence of Alvin Plantinga’s brand of theism that focuses on Plantinga’s celebrated free-will defence. This challenge draws on (but goes beyond) some ideas advanced by Wes Morriston. The central claim of my challenge is that Plantinga’s free-will defence, together with certain claims that are plausible and/or to which Plantinga is committed, both requires and rules out the claim that it is possible that God is capable of engaging in moral goodness. I then critica…Read more
  •  61
    Many are culled but few are chosen
    Religious Studies 36 (1): 81-93. 2000.
    In his recent book "Divine Providence: The Molinist Account," Thomas Flint suggests that necessarily, a world is culled iff it is chosen. I argue that there is good reason to think that this thesis is false. I further argue that the thesis is inconsistent with certain other claims that many theists will want to endorse and hence that many theists will want to reject Flint's claim. I next consider Flint's reasons for endorsing the thesis and argue that his reasons are not good ones. I then examin…Read more