Sunday, January 20, 2008

Craig vs. Kai Nielsen on Moral Values

This is a debate between Bill Craig and Kai Nielsen on morality and objective moral values.

1 comment:

Steve Lovell said...

This is an interesting debate, but it could have been much more interesting still. The disputants mostly talk past one another.

I think Craig could have pressed rather harder than he did to reveal Nielsen's lack of a metaphysic and the "coherentist theory of truth" inherent in his views. They were going in this direction when they touched on the "order of being" and "the order of knowing" but Nielsen was never forced to show his cards.

However, Craig also gives the impression of thinking that if a theory entails that we cannot, by rational discourse, show all amoralists the error of their ways, then that theory must be wrong. Apart from Kantian-esque Rationalists I can't think of any moral realists who would accept this. Rather, we simply need our moral theories to entail that these people are getting things wrong morally and cognitively; we don't need our theory to entail that all other theories and practices are self-contradictory rather than just mislead. On that side of things, Nielsen had the more sensible position.