Many people believe that morality “requires” God. Without God, nothing would really matter. One philosopher who many refer to as supporting this claim is Immanuel Kant. In particular, his work The Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Practical Reason, and Opus Postumum. However, Kant’s argument is greatly misunderstood and it has a lot of “if-and-or-buts” involved. Kant does not believe that we ultimately have to believe in God. “Thou shalt believe in God” would certainly be out of the question. Instead, we merely have some reason to have faith in God (or whatever else could do the job). Why? Because God can make sure we can achieve our moral goals. (more…)
January 28, 2010
January 22, 2010
January 21, 2010
January 15, 2010
“The meaning of life” actually refers to various intrinsic values—various values that “really matter.” To live a meaningful life is to attain and promote intrinsic goods. I have argued that at least one intrinsic value exists, but I believe that there are more. Let’s consider what philosophers believe to have intrinsic value:
- Good will
- Human existence
January 14, 2010
I have suggested that several things seem to “really matter.” If something “really matters,” such as happiness, then we can live a meaningful life when we promote it (such as make people happy). If something “really matters” then it has “intrinsic value.” I have argued that there is at least one meaning of life (one thing that has intrinsic value)—Pain. However, pain is “bad.” If pain is the only thing that matters, then nothing could make life worth living. I don’t want to suggest that pain is the only thing with intrinsic vale, but we need to know how to find out what has intrinsic value. I have discussed one way to provide evidence that something has intrinsic value—our moral experiences.
We can provide evidence that X has intrinsic value based on the following evidence:
- We experience X as good (or bad).
- We know X is good (or bad) for everyone.
- X’s intrinsic value explains our moral experiences.
- Our experience of X’s value can’t be fully accounted for as a “final end,” usefulness, and/or a pre-existing desire.
I will attempt to explain each of these elements of evidence: (more…)