Who Has the Basis for Morality?

This page now serves as the landing page for this series.

This is going to be a short post.

Our old friend Bob Seidensticker (via philosopher Stephen Maitzen) believes that when it comes to morality atheists have the ground. But is this the case?

I mean, did you really think that I was going to let such a charge go unanswered? If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know better. But this response will not be directed at Bob; rather this will be focused that Maitzen’s arguments, which Bob distills to make his arguments.

Maitzen’s paper is not very long (12-ish pages), so its a rather compact argument that he’s been revising for a number of years, so I will respond to the paper itself, from a decidedly Christian point of view, in effect, creating my own response paper. So, for this post, my abstract:

Who has a basis for morality: the theist or the atheist? Both will line up on their sides and make their arguments. In order for the case to be made that either side actually has grounds, it must be justified from within each that there are sufficient grounds from which to make a moral complaint, because to see one must believe. The question is, who has coherent grounds for believing that there is a problem. Does the atheist have grounds? Or does the theist? Indeed, when one cruises the numerous ethical papers and texts, terms like “common morality” or “ordinary morality” litter the discourse. The matter at issue is not to be seen as one of nuance, or mere perspective, but of considerable foundational importance. In order to lodge a complaint, one is assuming a basis upon which such a complaint is even possible.

Keywords: God, atheism, theism, morality, ethics, obligation, suffering

Posts in the series


The Basis for the Argument

Review and Critique of the Argument

A Reformational Response: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


In the meantime, you can refresh yourself on my position by seeing these posts:

A Brief Treatise on Morality

Objective Morality and Incoherent Appeals to Definition

Morals, Category Errors and Self-Refutation

The Problem of Epistemic Circularity: A Non-Problem?



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