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From Morality to MetaphysicsThe Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments$
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Angus Ritchie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.001.0001

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From Goodness to God

From Goodness to God

Closing the Explanatory Gap

(p.161) 7 From Goodness to God
From Morality to Metaphysics

Angus Ritchie

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops a positive argument for theism, claiming it is capable (in a way secular accounts are not) of bridging the explanatory gap described in Chapter 2. It begins by defending agent explanation as the a form of teleological explanation. Having argued that theism would be able to explain the reliability of human moral cognition, the chapter goes on to objections to such an explanation by Hugh Rice (who argues against a personal deity, but in favour of teleology) and Stephen Law (who argues an evil God would explain phenomena as well as a benevolent deity, and offers this as a reductio ad absurdum of theism). The chapter defends a personal conception of God, outlines how this might plausibly relate to objective goodness, and argues that Law's ‘evil God hypothesis’ offers a less adequate explanation of human moral cognition.

Keywords:   theism, teleological explanation, agency, rice, axiarchism, law, atheism

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