He felt that if they had both not kept up appearances, but had spoken, as it is called, from the heart--that is to say, had said only just what they were thinking and feeling--they would simply have looked into each other's faces, and Konstantin could only have said, "You're dying, you're dying," and Nikolay could only have answered, "I know I'm dying, but I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid View in context.
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Strictly speaking then P1 is false. Divine command theories per se do not entail that Gods commands constitute moral obligations. Some divine command theories do, and some do not. Of course, the most significant divine command theories defended today involve identity explanations, and so these theories do have the entailment Jason refers to.
For this reasons one might think my qualifications are a tad pedantic. However, the difference between causal and constitutive divine command theories will become important when we examine further premises. Before, examining premise P2 , let me first say something about the Jason makes in P4. Notice that P4 draws an inference from P1 P2 and P3.
I find this claim intuitively plausible, but note carefully the examples Jason uses here. However, in his first premise P1 , Jason uses the word power in a different sense. We saw above that, in the context of divine command theories, constitutive explanations can involve the postulation a non-reductive supervenience relationship between Gods commands and moral requirements. Divine command theorists like Craig, Evans, Adams, Forrest, all contend that the property of being morally required is identical with the property of being commanded by God.
Just as the morning star and evening star are the same thing under different descriptions. The property of being morally required and being commanded by God are the same property under different descriptions. The problem is that while P2 is intuitively plausible if you are referring to causal powers. It is not so obvious when one is talking of something like a moral grounding power. However, it is impossible for any person who is not God to have this kind of power.
This is because the relationship of identity can only hold between a thing and itself. This is an incoherent idea. Let me illustrate this: By waving my hand I can make it the case that Matthew Flannagan Has waved his hand. However, it is not possible for anyone else, even an omnipotent being to do this.
An omnipotent being has the causal power to make me wave my hand. If he becomes incarnate in human form, he could himself wave his hand.
However, he could not make it the case that his standing up is identical with me standing up. That is because his actions are not identical to my actions. Nor is it possible for him a distinct person from me to perform actions which are identical with actions I perform.
The only person who can perform actions numerically identical to my actions is me. Above I noted that the inference he draws in P4 is valid. We have seen that this is not the case. P2 however is defensible only if the word power refers to causal powers. If it is understood more broadly to refer to constitutive explanations of Gods commands P2 is false. The crucial premise P4 then commits the fallacy of equivocation. However, Religious studies have not been treated as a very rigorous subject in the secondary sector, and so far it is mostly Catholic schools which have taken it up as a subject.
It has been a very challenging couple of years as I have been getting my head around how Philosophy and Theology are taught or can be taught, in the secondary sector. Trying to balance my own very high standards for Theological and Philosophical scholarship with the practicalities on the ground in the education sector. The challenges in doing this are unique and require quite a bit of wisdom and creativity to pull off well.
I spent two days in Wellington this week. I was holed up in the Ministry of Education buildings a stone throw away from the beehive and parliament attending the New Zealand Association of Philosophy Teachers. At the NZAPT several other philosophy teachers and I spent several hours dialoguing with policymakers in Wellington about the importance of teaching philosophy in the secondary sector. We had presentations from people in the ministry and even some Members of parliament come and discuss the subject with us.
Whether anything will come of this remains unclear, but with the new Government initiating a review into NCEA and the assessment system being up in the air at the moment it certainly is starting to get on the radar.
Of course, there are still lots of questions; it was unclear from the meeting over precisely what teaching philosophy involved. Is it just a pedagogy involving Socratic questioning and inquiry learning or should the subject be taught more formally, do you introduce it as a kind of foundational sub-discipline for other subjects, i. Philosophy of law for legal studies, classical philosophy in classics. Alternatively, introduce a new subject on the already proliferating curriculum, and some real questions came out of the conference around the teaching of political philosophy and the danger of it becoming activism.
These were all things we discussed and debated amongst ourselves at the conference. Scholarship exams are the highest level of academic assessment in New Zealand secondary schools. The New Zealand Association of Religious Studies Teachers, an association of which I am a member has been pressing for the Ministry of education to consider allowing Religious Studies to be made a Scholarship subject, a move that will require increasing the rigour of teaching and assessment in this subject substantially.
Religious Studies is now on the radar and a serious academic subject available in New Zealand schools, hopefully, Philosophy is not too far around the corner. Jason is a writer for the Secular Outpost and teaches philosophy at Cypress college in California.
Those who follow MandM regularly will know, Jason and I have been engaging in written exchanges on this issue for several years and he has always been a thoughtful and intelligent dialogue partner. It was one of the better dialogues I have had on religion and morality in a long time.
Hopefully, the dialogue generates more light than heat. Coming to Terms with the Justice of God. Yesterday Baker books have notified me that, for the month of September, Amazon , Barnes and Noble , and CBD, are running an ebook promotion on this book.
Please feel, to take advantage of this deal, also please feel free to let anyone you know who may be interested to take advantage of it and to share this information to anyone you know who may be interested. This talk is now available online. This is the third of a series of posts on moral relativism. In the first post, I looked at what the basic issues are.
The second post examines some of the reasons people offer for accepting relativism. This last post looks at some problems with relativism.
Today most ethicists whether Christian or non-Christian reject relativism. Critics of relativism argue it faces several problems, which give us reason to reject it.
I will focus on three. Relativism is incompatible with moral progress or reform. If society at one time supports slavery or racial segregation, and then later disapproves of these things.
Relativists cannot say that society has thrown off an incorrect view and adopted a correct, one.
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