God and Morality: Four Views  -     By: R. Keith Loftin
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God and Morality: Four Views

IVP Academic / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Why do we need morality? Is Ethics dependent on belief in God? Are there binding moral norms, and if so, where do they come from? Is there more than one way for Christians to understand the nature of morality? Is there any agreement between Christians and atheists or agnostics on this heated issue?

In God and Morality: Four Views, first-rate philosophers take on a hotly contested topic. Here we listen in on a discussion between four distinguished contributors that puts on display the current divide between naturalism and theism. Christian philosophers Keith Yandell and Mark Linville, and two self-identified atheists/agnostics, Evan Fales and Michael Ruse, clearly and honestly present their differing views which include:
  • Naturalist Moral Realism
  • Naturalist Moral Non-Realism
  • Moral Essentialism
  • Moral Particularism
According to Fales, "there are no gods", yet moral norms are not simply a matter of personal preference. Instead, morality is objectively and ontologically determined by the facts of human nature. Ruse, drawing on David Hume and Neo-Darwinian approach, rejects the notion that morality has no ontological foundation, but it is in humanity's best interest to act if such a foundation exists. Yandell defends teh claim that moral norms are necessarily independent of any mind and are determined by abstract objects, or propositions, that define what is good regardless of whether God exists or not. Finally, Linville argues that moral norms are ontologically grounded in the being of God, such that the divine nature is the standard for rightness and goodness.

The four views schema of the book clarifies the disagreements while also demonstrating areas of some overlap among these thinkers. Of particular value for use as a textbook, these four essays and the responses to them from each essayist will foster critical thinking and contribute to the development of a well-informed position on this very important issue.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830839844
ISBN-13: 9780830839841
Series: Spectrum Multiview Book

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Publisher's Description

Is morality dependent upon belief in God? Is there more than one way for Christians to understand the nature of morality? Is there any agreement between Christians and atheists or agnostics on this heated issue? In God and Morality: Four Views four distinguished voices in moral philosophy ariticulate and defend their place in the current debate between naturalism and theism. Christian philosophers Keith Yandell and Mark Linville and two self-identified atheist/agnostics, Evan Fales and Michael Ruse, clearly and honestly represent their differing views on the nature of morality. Important differences as well as areas of overlap emerge as each contributor states their case, receives criticism from the others and responds. Of particular value for use as an academic text, these four essays and responses, covering the naturalist moral non-realist, naturalist moral realist, moral essentialist and moral particularist views, will foster critical thinking and contribute to the development of a well-informed position on this very important issue.

Author Bio

R. Keith Loftin (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is assistant professor of humanities at The College at Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the editor of (IVP, 2012).

Editorial Reviews

"This is an intellectually stimulating book and a good overview of natural and supernatural theories of morality. . . . If one is desirous to become better acquainted with contemporary views, Christian or not, this is a good start."

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    GOD AND MORALITY: FOUR VIEWS
    October 25, 2016
    CJ
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the only debate book out there that I know of which digs into the philosophical and theological basis

    for having any morality in the universe at all. Two of the authors are Atheist, and the other two authors

    are Theists. One of the Atheists believes that human nature itself is the reason for morality while the other

    Atheist denies that same reason and states that all moral values in the long run are only arbitrary.

    One of the Theists believes that even if God did not exist, the universe and human nature would dictate

    morality to the human race since morals are independent of God but are still absolute. The other Theist

    believes that morality is derived directly from the existence and nature of God.

    This book is a very tough read. The reader will have to dig down with the authors to understand their own

    reasons on why there is not or there definitely is a binding morality in the universe.

    The authors assume that the readers of this book have had some formal philosophical education.

    For those who had such training, this book is an important read because from it we learn how educated people

    come to disbelieve or believe that there is absolute moral binding truth on the human race.

    Definitely not an easy book, but for those who can read it, a necessary book.
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