2020 Winner: Goodness without God is Good Enough

Project Information
Goodness without God is Good Enough
Philosophy independent studies
Ethics is a sub-discipline of academic philosophy; ethics inquires into questions  such as the nature of right and wrong (if there really is such a thing) and how to act  properly in ethical situations (e.g. is abortion right or wrong?). The area of ethics that  inquires into the nature of right and wrong is referred to as ​normative ethics ​ .  Normative ethics inquires into the basis of our ethical judgements. Is there such a thing  as right and wrong regardless of what anyone thinks, or are ethical judgments a matter of opinion? 
Within the area of normative ethics, some philosophers have tried to account for  the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of some kind of deity. For example,  divine command theory ​ states that an action’s rightness or wrongness depends on  god’s commands. Divine command theorists also tend to argue that if god did not  exist, then there could be no objective moral values. This claim has concerned  naturalistic philosophers who would like to believe that morality exists whether or not  god does.
In this research project, I will attempt to make progress in answering the  question of whether or not objective moral values and duties can exist without god. In  order to accomplish this, we will be reading theistic philosopher William Lane Craig’s  divine command theory against Phillip Kitcher’s “pragmatic naturalism.” My role in this research was to read and synthesize various sources together into a publishable  piece of academic research, with the guidance of Professor Kubala. 
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  • Landon Austin Mitchell (Porter)