Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Can 'Good' Simply Exist? (Moral Platonism)

This subject was briefly covered in The Moral Argument post, but it might be worth giving it a closer look.

Moral Platonism holds that there is an object that exists that is good. As in, we have things like rocks, trees, mountains, and a good. So not something that is described as a good thing (like a cake is good), but a thing that is good ("look at that good roaming the countryside").

I think for most people, the initial reaction to this concept is that it's nonsense. How could it be that good is a thing? It makes no sense. Dr. William Lane Craig calls it unintelligible.
I'd agree that it seems completely crazy on the face of it, but my obligation to be as unbiased as possible reminds me that plenty of scientific discoveries have seemed to fly in the face of common sense. So even if this idea of a good thing seems to be nonsense, it doesn't mean that it actually is. We actually have to find out if it's nonsense. Is a good thing simply difficult to understand, or is it actually unintelligible like a square circle?

Monday, 1 June 2015

Right And Wrong Means God Exists - The Moral Argument

This here is the Moral Argument for God's Existence:

P1: If objective moral values exist, then God exists.
P2: Objective moral values exist.
C: Therefore God exists.

It's a nice straight forward one. It's easy to see that P1+P2=C if they're both true.
So the question is, are P1 and P2 true?

The short answer is yes. But let's look closer anyway.

How Do Philosophical Arguments Work?

For those who aren't philosophically trained, it might be a bit strange the first time you see a philosophical argument, but once you get the hang of them, they're really good tools. They help communicate ideas clearly in an easy way to grasp and make it simple to find problems (if there are any).

First off, an 'argument' isn't an argument in the same way as a shouting boyfriend and girlfriend disagreeing on who's turn it is to wash the dishes is. A philosophical argument is like a theory which is backed up by reasons to think that the theory is true.

Here's one that's a theist favourite: The Kalam Cosmological Argument, as made famous by William Lane Craig.
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C: The universe has a cause.

The 'P's are called premises. The 'C' is the conclusion.

There are two things to think about when working with one of these arguments.
First we look at whether the argument is sound or valid. This means that we have to figure out if the C is what definitely follows if the Ps are true. It's a bit like maths. Does P1+P2=C in the same way that 2+2=4? That's not algebra, that's just figuring out the logic of the argument.