Geoffrey Sayre-Mccord Essays On Moral Realism

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There would be no reason to think the evolutionist is committed to a belief in speeding trains in both worlds. Given two worlds, identical except that one has an objective morality and the other does not, the humans therein would think and act exactly the same ways, Hence the objective foundation for morality is redundant.(4) On the assumption that evolution is true, an objective morality is not necessary to explain why people believe there is an objective morality.

One is aware of the speeding train only because there is such a train. If the evolutionist’s case is well taken, the people in both worlds are going to have identical beliefs-subject to normal laws of causation and so forth. You would believe what you do about right or wrong, irrespective of whether or not a ‘true’ right or wrong existed . (5) But the only reason we could have for believing in an objective morality is that they form part of the explanation for why we have the moral beliefs we do.

As Lillehammer notes, in order to properly understood Ruse’s argument, we need to understand how Ruse defines his terms.

It is odd, then, that Lillehammer doesn’t quote any passages from Ruse’s writings which clarify what Ruse has in mind.

Fortunately for us, however, such passages are not hard to find. Clearly, here, the evolutionist and the Christian part company.

Admittedly, there is no unanimity among Christians as to the true foundations of morality.The only alternative is for ethical statements to be correct objective claims, which entails moral realism.Another way of categorizing meta-ethical theories distinguishes between monistic theories (in which there is one true, or at least one highest, good) and pluralistic theories.While Ruse at least defends (4′), he says nothing about (5′), perhaps because he thinks its truth is obvious. Many philosophers, including Richard Swinburne, have argued that moral truths are For the existence of the phenomena described by analytic truths needs no explanation.It does not need explaining that all bachelors are unmarried, or that if you add two to two you get four.For an example of an intersubjective foundation for moral values, consider Larry Arnhart’s recent defense of an Aristotelian ethical naturalism rooted in the biological nature of human beings.[6] On Arnhart’s theory, some moral values have an ontological foundation in the biological nature of human beings.Moreover, those moral values are epistemologically objective, since they are rooted in universal desires found in all human societies.In this post, I want to assess Ruse’s argument against moral realism and for error theory.In his 1989 book, The position of the modern evolutionist, therefore, is that humans have an awareness of morality – a sense of right and wrong and a feeling of obligation to be thus governed because such an awareness is of biological worth.Moreover, all murders would have this property even if no one contemplated the moral status of murder and even if everyone thought that murder did not have such a property.Moral values are just in case some moral claims are such that they would be believed by (all?


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