Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Underwriting Morality and the Existence of God

First Congregational Church, Detroit
I just kindled Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality, by philosophers David Baggett and Jerry Walls (Oxford). I think the moral argument for God's existence is making a comeback, and this book is an example.

Baggett and Walls write: "A picture of reality in which all life is no more than a product of blind naturalistic forces and fortuitous collocations of molecules is fundamentally less adequate to underwrite morality than a personal universe created and sustained by a perfectly loving God. Traditionally conceived moral obligations, while residing comfortably in a theistic universe, are incongruous in a purely naturalistic world."

Atheist J.L. Mackie agreed. For him, "without God it's unlikely that morality, given its odd features, is true." Mackie wrote: "Moral properties constitute so odd a cluster of properties and relations that they are most unlikely to have arisen in the course of events without an all-powerful god to create them."

I'm in the first chapter. This promises to be a good, in-depth read of the issues involved in the metaphysical foundation needed to underwrite morality.