Weakness (The Word of God Encyclopedia Book 8)

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Contents

  1. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Incarnation
  2. The Mayan Pantheon: The Many Gods of the Maya
  3. Academic Tools

Fraud and forgery are described in detail; in particular coin counterfeiting by mixing copper with silver, or even admixture with iron. Tests had been developed for counterfeit coins and proved very popular with the victims, mostly ordinary people. He deals with the liquid metal mercury, also found in silver mines.

He records that it is toxic, and amalgamates with gold, so is used for refining and extracting that metal. He says mercury is used for gilding copper, while antimony is found in silver mines and is used as an eyebrow cosmetic. The main ore of mercury is cinnabar , long used as a pigment by painters. He says that the colour is similar to scolecium , probably the kermes insect. Copper and bronze are, says Pliny, most famous for their use in statues including colossi, gigantic statues as tall as towers, the most famous being the Colossus of Rhodes. He personally saw the massive statue of Nero in Rome, which was removed after the emperor's death.

The face of the statue was modified shortly after Nero's death during Vespasian's reign, to make it a statue of Sol. Hadrian moved it, with the help of the architect Decrianus and 24 elephants, to a position next to the Flavian Amphitheatre now called the Colosseum. Pliny gives a special place to iron, distinguishing the hardness of steel from what is now called wrought iron , a softer grade.

He is scathing about the use of iron in warfare. The topic concentrates on the most valuable gemstones, and he criticises the obsession with luxury products such as engraved gems and hardstone carvings. He provides a thorough discussion of the properties of fluorspar , noting that it is carved into vases and other decorative objects. Pliny moves into crystallography and mineralogy , describing the octahedral shape of the diamond and recording that diamond dust is used by gem engravers to cut and polish other gems, owing to its great hardness.

He relates the story of a woman who owned a ladle made of the mineral, paying the sum of , sesterces for the item. Nero deliberately broke two crystal cups when he realised that he was about to be deposed, so denying their use to anyone else. Pliny returns to the problem of fraud and the detection of false gems using several tests, including the scratch test, where counterfeit gems can be marked by a steel file, and genuine ones not.

Perhaps it refers to glass imitations of jewellery gemstones. He refers to using one hard mineral to scratch another, presaging the Mohs hardness scale. Diamond sits at the top of the series because, Pliny says, it will scratch all other minerals. Pliny's chapters on Roman and Greek art are especially valuable because his work is virtually the only classical source of information on the subject. The anecdotic element has been ascribed to Duris XXXIV ; the notices of the successive developments of art and the list of workers in bronze and painters to Xenocrates; and a large amount of miscellaneous information to Antigonus.

Greek epigrams contribute their share in Pliny's descriptions of pictures and statues. Pliny's knowledge of the Greek authorities was probably mainly due to Varro, whom he often quotes e. For a number of items relating to works of art near the coast of Asia Minor and in the adjacent islands, Pliny was indebted to the general, statesman, orator and historian Gaius Licinius Mucianus , who died before Pliny mentions the works of art collected by Vespasian in the Temple of Peace and in his other galleries XXXIV , but much of his information about the position of such works in Rome is from books, not personal observation.

The main merit of his account of ancient art, the only classical work of its kind, is that it is a compilation ultimately founded on the lost textbooks of Xenocrates and on the biographies of Duris and Antigonus. The statue is attributed by Pliny to three sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander , Athenodoros possibly son of Agesander and Polydorus. In the temple near the Flaminian Circus , Pliny admires the Ares and the Aphrodite of Scopas , "which would suffice to give renown to any other spot". He adds:. At Rome indeed the works of art are legion; besides, one effaces another from the memory and, however beautiful they may be, we are distracted by the overpowering claims of duty and business; for to admire art we need leisure and profound stillness XXXVI Pliny provides lucid descriptions of Roman mining.

He describes gold mining in detail, [66] with large-scale use of water to scour alluvial gold deposits. In another part of his work, Pliny describes the use of undermining [h] to gain access to the veins. Copper mining is mentioned, using a variety of ores including copper pyrites and marcasite , some of the mining being underground, some on the surface.

The anonymous fourth-century compilation Medicina Plinii contains more than 1, pharmacological recipes, the vast majority of them from the Historia naturalis ; perhaps because Pliny's name was attached to it, it enjoyed huge popularity in the Middle Ages. Isidore of Seville 's Etymologiae The Etymologies , c.

For example. Sir Thomas Browne expressed scepticism about Pliny's dependability in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica : [79]. Now what is very strange, there is scarce a popular error passant in our days, which is not either directly expressed, or diductively contained in this Work; which being in the hands of most men, hath proved a powerful occasion of their propagation. Wherein notwithstanding the credulity of the Reader is more condemnable then the curiosity of the Author: for commonly he nameth the Authors from whom he received those accounts, and writes but as he reads, as in his Preface to Vespasian he acknowledgeth.

Laehn to represent the collective opinion of Pliny's critics, [80] wrote of Pliny that "He was not an original, creative thinker, nor a pioneer of research to be compared either with Aristotle and Theophrastus or with any of the great moderns. He was, rather, the compiler of a secondary sourcebook. Further, Calvino compares Pliny to Immanuel Kant , in that God is prevented by logic from conflicting with reason, even though in Calvino's view Pliny makes a pantheistic identification of God as being immanent in nature. As for destiny, Calvino writes:. The art historian Jacob Isager writes in the introduction to his analysis of Pliny's chapters on art in the Natural History that his intention is:.

More specifically, Isager writes that "the guiding principle in Pliny's treatment of Greek and Roman art is the function of art in society", [64] while Pliny "uses his art history to express opinions about the ideology of the state". Natural history was an ancient form of scientific knowledge, most closely associated with the writings of the Roman encyclopedist Pliny the Elder His loquacious and witty Historia naturalis offered an expansive definition of this subject. Findlen contrasts Pliny's approach with that of his intellectual predecessors Aristotle and Theophrastus, who sought general causes of natural phenomena, while Pliny was more interested in cataloguing natural wonders, and his contemporary Dioscorides explored nature for its uses in Roman medicine in his great work De Materia Medica.

Work by those with scientific as well as philological expertise has resulted in improvements both to Pliny's text and to his reputation as a scientist. The essential coherence of his enterprise has also been rediscovered, and his ambitious portrayal, in all its manifestations, of 'nature, that is, life'.. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Naturalis Historia Naturalis Historia , edition, title page. Further information: Roman agriculture and List of Roman watermills. Further information: Roman sculpture and Ancient Greek sculpture.

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Incarnation

Further information: Roman mining and Roman aqueduct. It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down in the set, and so on to the base of the hill. Many later authors have copied Gerard in this error. Dedication to Titus: C.

An Illustrated History of the Herbals. Columbia University Press. Zur Griechischen Kunstgeschichte. Book 3, Letter V. To Baebius Macer. Natural History. The Archaeological Journal. Plinius Secundus". University of Chicago. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Jesus of Nazareth.

For other uses, see Jesus disambiguation. For other uses, see Christ disambiguation. For other uses, see Jesus of Nazareth disambiguation. Central figure of Christianity. Judea , Roman Empire [5]. Jerusalem , Judea , Roman Empire. Mary Joseph [d]. Jesus in Christianity. Jesus in Islam. Jesus in history. Perspectives on Jesus. Jesus in culture. Life in art Depiction Jesuism. Early life. In rest of the NT. Road to Damascus John's vision.

Main article: Life of Jesus in the New Testament. Main articles: Genealogy of Jesus and Nativity of Jesus. Main article: Christ Child. Main articles: Baptism of Jesus and Temptation of Christ. Main article: Ministry of Jesus. Main articles: Confession of Peter and Transfiguration of Jesus.

Main article: Last Supper.

The Mayan Pantheon: The Many Gods of the Maya

Main articles: Crucifixion of Jesus and Burial of Jesus. See also: Sayings of Jesus on the cross and Crucifixion eclipse. See also: Overview of resurrection appearances in the Gospels and Paul table. Main article: Early Christianity. See also: Biblical criticism. Main article: Sources for the historicity of Jesus. See also: Josephus on Jesus and Tacitus on Christ. A edition of the works of Josephus, a 1st-century Roman-Jewish historian who referred to Jesus []. Main article: Chronology of Jesus.

See also: Anno Domini. Main article: Historicity of Jesus. See also: Brothers of Jesus. Main article: Historical Jesus. Further information: Language of Jesus and Race and appearance of Jesus. Main article: Christ myth theory. Main article: Religious perspectives on Jesus. Main articles: Jesus in Christianity , Christ title , and Christology. Main article: Judaism's view of Jesus. See also: Jesus in the Talmud. Main article: Jesus in Islam. See also: Criticism of Jesus. Main article: Depiction of Jesus. Main article: Relics associated with Jesus. Watts state that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.

Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd say that non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus is now "firmly established". Muslims believe that she conceived her son miraculously by the command of God. Joseph was from these perspectives the acting adoptive father. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church's imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all.

I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more". Price does not believe that Jesus existed, but agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars. Dunn calls the theories of Jesus' non-existence "a thoroughly dead thesis". Van Voorst states that biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted. These units were later moved and arranged by authors and editors.

Some material has been revised and some created by early Christians. His followers came to believe he was the promised Messiah and later split away from Judaism to found Christianity. Acts , but for the most part he displays little interest in the details of Jesus' earthly life and ministry. The fact that Jesus existed, that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate for whatever reason and that he had a band of followers who continued to support his cause, seems to be part of the bedrock of historical tradition.

If nothing else, the non-Christian evidence can provide us with certainty on that score. Meier states that Jesus' birth year is c. Or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity. Age of Reason, , pp. Christology was a major focus of these debates, and was addressed at every one of the first seven ecumenical councils. Some early beliefs viewed Jesus as ontologically subordinate to the Father Subordinationism , and others considered him an aspect of the Father rather than a separate person Sabellianism , both were condemned as heresies by the Catholic Church.

Footnote on Contr. Not least, the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain deeply puzzling". A Marginal Jew: The roots of the problem and the person. Yale University Press. Handbook of Biblical Chronology, rev. Hendrickson Publishers. The birth of the Messiah: a commentary on the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke. Tyndale Bulletin. Philadelphia: First Fortress. Jesus Now and Then. Eerdmans Publishing. In Beilby, James K. The Historical Jesus: Five Views. Sacrifice and Redemption. Cambridge University Press. Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels.

Ehrman, MDiv, PhD. Historical Jesus. The Oral Gospel Tradition. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

The Book of Job

The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford University Press. The Bible and the Future. Wipf and Stock Publishers. Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved November 3, British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved April 20, Archived from the original on May 1, Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. Christians, Muslims, and Jesus. Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 10, In Herbermann, Charles ed. Catholic Encyclopedia.

New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved March 31, Did Jesus Exist? Retrieved August 4, Westminster John Knox Press. Topical Josephus. Theology of the New Testament. Baylor University Press. Society of Biblical Lit. Conflict: Christianity's Love Vs. Islam's Submission. The Encyclopedia of Christianity. The Book of the Acts. Introducing the New Testament. Baker Academic. Exploring the Origins of the Bible.

The Historical Jesus of the Gospels. The Five Gospels. Oxford: Oxford University Press. What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. London: Routledge. What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. Vines, M. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Stanton July 8, Jesus and Gospel. Rogerson; Judith M. Lieu March 16, The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies.

Can We Trust the Gospels? New Testament Theology. Graham A Guide to the Gospels. Kregel Publications. Oxford English Dictionary 3rd ed. September Subscription or UK public library membership required. The Gospel of John. Liturgical Press. A Theology of the New Testament. InterVarsity Press. The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. OUP Oxford. Jesus and the Gospels. Clark International.

A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature. Who's Who in the New Testament. The Gospel of Matthew. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.


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Random House. Clarendon Press. In Bockmuehl, Markus N. Cambridge companion to Jesus. Eerdmans commentary on the Bible. Jesus of history, Christ of faith. Saint Mary's Press. The Content and the Setting of the Gospel Tradition. Life of Christ. The Sermon on the mount: a theological investigation. In Jackson, Samuel M. November 23, The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels. In Durken, Daniel ed. The emergence of Christian theology. The missions of Jesus and the disciples according to the Fourth Gospel. Dwight The parables of Jesus: lessons in life from the Master Teacher.

Keith The Sermons of Jesus the Messiah. WindRiver Publishing. The Parables of Jesus. Daniels and Smith Publishers. The parables of our Lord? William Macintosh Publishers. Interpreting the Parables. Retrieved June 3, The Miracles Of Jesus. The words and works of Jesus Christ. All the Miracles of the Bible. The Christology of Mark's Gospel. Fortress Press. Who do you say that I am? Essays on Christology. One teacher: Jesus' teaching role in Matthew's gospel. Walter de Gruyter.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

All the Apostles of the Bible. The Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts. Peter: apostle for the whole church. The Gospel according to Matthew, Volume 1. Charles Scribner Co. The Gospel according to John. Ramsey John Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Baker Books. Luke's presentation of Jesus: a christology. Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico. The Names of Jesus. Twenty-Third Publications. Kregel Academic. Matthew New Cambridge Bible Commentary. The Passion of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. The Acts of the Apostles. Thus the term seems to have passed from an original local and chiefly political sense, in which it was used as early as BC, to a technical and religious meaning in the Judaism of the New Testament epoch.

Early Christianity and Greek Paideia. Harvard University Press. Retrieved February 26, The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church 3rd rev. Ehrman The New Testament contains twenty-seven books, written in Greek, by fifteen or sixteen different authors, who were addressing other Christian individuals or communities between the years 50 and C. As we will see, it is difficult to know whether any of these books was written by Jesus' own disciples.

William B. Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship. In Davies, W. The Cambridge history of Judaism. Volume 2: The Hellenistic Age 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2. Cambridge Companion to Jesus. Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war.

Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies. What are they saying about the historical Jesus? Paulist Press. Jesus and archaeology. The Nativity: History and Legend. Random House Digital. The Historical Jesus in Context. Princeton University Press. Herodias: at home in that fox's den.

Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. Michael Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite. Mary in the New Testament. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. In Dunn, James D. The Historical Jesus in Recent Research. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. The Bart Ehrman Blog. The Cambridge History of Christianity. Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus. Teaching Christianity: a world religions approach.

Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament. Myers, ed. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. It is generally agreed that Aramaic was the common language of Israel in the first century AD. Jesus and his disciples spoke the Galilean dialect, which was distinguished from that of Jerusalem Matt.

Celebrating sacraments. St Mary's Press. Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus. Brettler eds. The Jewish Annotated New Testament. Currents in Biblical Research. Journal for the Study of Judaism. Archived from the original PDF on March 25, In Burkett, Delbert ed. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus. The likeness of the king: a prehistory of portraiture in late medieval France. University of Chicago Press. The forging of races: race and scripture in the Protestant Atlantic world. New York Times.

Harper Collins, , p. Stephen The historical Christ and the Jesus of faith. Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant: a doctrinal comparison. Christian News. Basic Christian doctrine. Retrieved June 26, The Christology of the New Testament. The Christology of Anselm of Canterbury. Ashgate Publishing. Systematic Theology. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 24, They are important because of their prominence in popular apologetic arguments for religious belief.

Evidence for this can be found in the amazing popularity of C. Many ordinary people regard religion as in some way providing a basis or foundation for morality. After some general comments about theistic arguments and a brief history of moral arguments, this essay will discuss several different forms of the moral argument.

A major distinction is that between moral arguments that are theoretical in nature and practical or pragmatic arguments. The former are best thought of as arguments that begin with alleged moral facts and argue that God is necessary to explain those facts, or at least that God provides a better explanation of them than secular accounts can offer. The latter typically begin with claims about some good or end that morality requires and argue that this end is not attainable unless God exists.


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Whether this distinction is hard and fast will be one of the questions to be discussed, as some argue that practical arguments by themselves cannot be the basis of rational belief. To meet such concerns practical arguments may have to include a theoretical dimension as well. Such a standard of achievement would clearly be setting the bar for success very high, and proponents of theistic arguments rightly note that philosophical arguments for interesting conclusions in any field outside of formal logic hardly ever reach such a standard.

More reasonable questions to ask about theistic arguments would seem to be the following: Are there valid arguments for the conclusion that God exists that have premises that are known or reasonably believed by some people? Are the premises of such arguments more reasonable than their denials, at least for some reasonable people?

A non-believer might even concede some version of a theistic argument has some evidential force, but claim that the overall balance of evidence does not support belief. A major issue that cannot be settled here concerns the question of where the burden of proof lies with respect to theistic arguments. If such evidence is lacking, the proper stance is atheism rather than agnosticism. A second way to challenge the presumption of atheism is to question an implicit assumption made by those who defend such a presumption, which is that belief in God is epistemologically more risky than unbelief.

The assumption might be defended in the following way: One might think that theists and atheists share a belief in many entities: atoms, middle-sized physical objects, animals, and stars, for example. Someone, however, who believes in leprechauns or sea monsters in addition to these commonly accepted objects thereby incurs a burden of proof. One might think that belief in God is relevantly like belief in a leprechaun or sea monster, and thus that the theist also bears an additional burden of proof.

Without good evidence in favor of belief in God the safe option is to refrain from belief. However, the theist may hold that this account does not accurately represent the situation. In fact, God is not to be understood as an entity in the world at all; any such entity would by definition not be God. The debate is rather a debate about the character of the universe. The theist believes that every object in the natural world exists because God creates and conserves that object; every finite thing has the character of being dependent on God. The debate is not about the existence of one object, but the character of the universe as a whole.

Both parties are making claims about the character of everything in the natural world, and both claims seem risky. This point is especially important in dealing with moral arguments for theism, since one of the questions raised by such arguments is the adequacy of a naturalistic worldview in explaining morality. Evidentialists may properly ask about the evidence for theism, but it also seems proper to ask about the evidence for atheism if the atheist is committed to a rival metaphysic such as naturalism.

Presumably he means that some things that are good are better than other good things; perhaps some noble people are nobler than others who are noble. Obviously, this argument draws deeply on Platonic and Aristotelian assumptions that are no longer widely held by philosophers. For the argument to be plausible today, such assumptions would have to be defended, or else the argument reformulated in a way that frees it from its original metaphysical home. The latter condition implies that this end must be sought solely by moral action. However, Kant held that a person cannot rationally will such an end without believing that moral actions can successfully achieve such an end, and this requires a belief that the causal structure of nature is conducive to the achievement of this end by moral means.

This is equivalent to belief in God, a moral being who is ultimately responsible for the character of the natural world. Kant-inspired arguments were prominent in the nineteenth century, and continued to be important right up to the middle of the twentieth century. Such arguments can be found, for example, in W. Sorley , Hastings Rashdall , and A. In the nineteenth century John Henry Newman also made good use of a moral argument in his case for belief in God, developing what could be called an argument from conscience.

In recent philosophy there has been a revival of divine command metaethical theories, which has in turn led to new versions of the moral argument found in such thinkers as Robert Adams , John Hare , and C. Stephen Evans Walls This book examines a comprehensive form of moral argument and extensively explores underlying issues. It goes without saying that these renewed arguments have engendered new criticisms as well. As we shall see, there are a variety of features of morality that can be appealed to in the first steps of the arguments, as well as a variety of ways in which God might be thought to provide an explanation of those features in the second steps.

Both types of premises are obviously open to challenge. The second premise can be challenged on the basis of rival explanations of the features of morality, explanations that do not require God. Arguments about the second premise then may require comparison between theistic explanations of morality and these rival views. It is easy to see then that the proponent of a moral argument has a complex task: She must defend the reality and objectivity of the feature of morality appealed to, but also defend the claim that this feature can be best explained by God.

The second part of the task may require not only demonstrating the strengths of a theistic explanation, but pointing out weaknesses in rival secular explanations as well. Both parts of the task are essential, but it is worth noting that the two components cannot be accomplished simultaneously.

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The theist must defend the reality of morality against subjectivist and nihilistic critics. Assuming that this task has been carried out, the theist must then try to show that morality thus understood requires a theistic explanation. It is interesting to observe, however, that with respect to both parts of the task, the theist may enlist non-theists as allies. One easily understandable version of a theistic moral argument relies on an analogy between human laws promulgated by nation-states and moral laws. Sovereign states enact laws that make certain acts forbidden or required.

I am also forbidden, because of the laws that hold in the United States, to discriminate in hiring on the basis of age or race. Many people believe that there are moral laws that bind individuals in the same way that political laws do. I am obligated by a moral principle not to lie to others, and I am similarly obligated to keep promises that I have made.

Both legal and moral laws may be understood as holding prima facie, so that in some situations a person must violate one law in order to obey a more important one. We know how human laws come into existence. They are enacted by legislatures or absolute monarchs in some countries who have the authority to pass such laws. How then should the existence of moral laws be explained? It seems plausible to many to hold that they must be similarly grounded in some appropriate moral authority, and the only plausible candidate to fulfill this role is God.

The fact that one can understand the argument without much in the way of philosophical skill is not necessarily a defect, however. If one supposes that there is a God, and that God wants humans to know him and relate to him, one would expect God to make his reality known to humans in very obvious ways See Evans After all, critics of theistic belief, such as J. How can such an awareness be converted into full-fledged belief in God? One way of doing this would be to help the person gain the skills needed to recognize moral laws as what they are, as divine commands or divine laws.

If moral laws are experienced, then moral experience could be viewed as a kind of religious experience or at least a proto-religious experience. Perhaps someone who has experience of God in this way does not need a moral argument or any kind of argument to have a reasonable belief in God. Even if that is the case, however, a moral argument could still play a valuable role.

Such an argument might be one way of helping an individual understand that moral obligations are in fact divine commands or laws. Even if it were true that some ordinary people might know that God exists without argument, an argument could be helpful in defending the claim that this is the case. A person might conceivably need an argument for the second level claim that the person knows God without argument. In any case a divine command metaethical theory provides the material for such an argument. There are of course many types of obligations: legal obligations, financial obligations, obligations of etiquette, and obligations that hold in virtue of belonging to some club or association, to name just a few.

Clearly these obligations are distinct from moral obligations, since in some cases moral obligations can conflict with these other kinds. What is distinctive about obligations in general? They are not reducible simply to normative claims about what a person has a good reason to do. Mill , — argued that we can explain normative principles without making any reference to God. However, even if Mill is correct about normativity in general, it does not follow that his view is correct for obligations, which have a special character.

An obligation has a special kind of force; we should care about complying with it, and violations of obligations appropriately incur blame Adams , If I make a logical mistake, I may feel silly or stupid or embarrassed, but I have no reason to feel guilty, unless the mistake reflects some carelessness on my part that itself constitutes a violation of a moral obligation. All obligations are then constituted by social requirements, according to Adams.

However, not all obligations constituted by social requirements are moral obligations. What social relation could be the basis of moral obligations? Some such demands have no moral force, and some social systems are downright evil. Since a proper relation to God is arguably more important than any other social relation, we can also understand why moral obligations trump other kinds of obligations. That role includes such facts as these: Moral obligations must be motivating and objective.

They also must provide a basis for critical evaluation of other types of obligations, and they must be such that someone who violates a moral obligation is appropriately subject to blame. Adams argues that it is divine commands that best satisfy these desiderata. Obviously, those who do not find a DCT convincing will not think this argument from moral obligation has force. However, Adams anticipates and gives a forceful answer to one common criticism of a DCT. The dilemma for a DCT can be derived from the following question: Assuming that God commands what is right, does he command what is right because it is right?

These objections can be found in the writings of Wes Morriston , Erik Wielenberg , , especially chapter 2 , and Nicholas Wolterstorff , among others. This is essentially the view that moral truths are basic or fundamental in character, not derived from natural facts or any more fundamental metaphysical facts. This view certainly provides a significant alternative to divine command metaethics.

Specifically, philosophers such as J. Responses to the objections of Wielenberg, Morriston, and others have also been given see Evans , Baggett and Walls, , Although it is worth noting that no single metaethical theory seems to enjoy widespread support among philosophers, so a DCT is not alone in being a minority view.

A variety of arguments have been developed that God is necessary to explain human awareness of moral truth or moral knowledge, if one believes that this moral awareness amounts to knowledge. Swinburne does not think that an argument from moral facts as such is powerful. However, the fact that we humans are aware of moral facts is itself surprising and calls for an explanation.

It may be true that creatures who belong to groups that behave altruistically will have some survival advantage over groups that lack such a trait. It is one of several phenomena which seem more probable in a theistic universe than in a godless universe. Street presents the moral realist with a dilemma posed by the question as to how our human evaluative beliefs are related to human evolution.

It is clear, she believes, that evolution has strongly shaped our evaluative attitudes. The question concerns how those attitudes are related to the objective evaluative truths accepted by the realist.


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However, this view, Street claims, is scientifically implausible. Street argues therefore that an evolutionary story about how we came to make the moral judgments we make undermines confidence in the objective truth of those judgments. However, her argument, and similar arguments, have been acknowledged by some moral realists, such as David Enoch and Erik Wielenberg to pose a significant problem for their view.

Wielenberg, to avoid the criticism that in a non-theistic universe it would be extremely lucky if evolution selected for belief in objectively true moral values, proposes that the natural laws that produce this result may be metaphysically necessary, and thus there is no element of luck. However, many philosophers will see this view of natural laws as paying a heavy price to avoid theism. It might appear that Street is arguing straightforwardly that evolutionary theory makes it improbable that humans would have objective moral knowledge.