Raymond Bradley and Matthew Flannagan will debate the topic “Is God the Source of Morality? Is it rational to ground right and wrong in commands issued by God?”
Bradley is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy with areas of specialty in Philosophical Logic, Metaphysics, Logical Atomism; he has previously debated William Lane Craig, Edward Blaiklock and many other Christian scholars and describes himself as an older generation “new atheist”.
Matthew FlannaganFlannagan is an Auckland based Philosopher and Theologian with areas of specialty in Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and Theology; he has previously debated Bill Cooke, Zoe During and, of course, writes for this blog.
Matt posted both opening speeches on the MandM blog.
I’m going to indict God on four categories of charges. Each category has scores, if not hundreds or thousands of instances. If God is guilty of even one of these instances, that alone would be grounds for his conviction. Drawing upon evidence provided by God himself in his so-called Holy Scriptures, I hold that he’s guilty of them all.
- Crimes against Humanity
- War Crimes
- Licensing Moral Mayhem and Murder
- Crimes of Torture
Matt went second and responded to this argument.
Matt defends a divine command theory of morality and he has 3 responses to Ray:
- The theist can deny that the Biblical record of what God did is infallible
- God’s moral duties are for humans, they are not necessarily binding on God
- Ray misinterprets the meaning and applicability of the Bible stories he cites
I recommend reading the two opening speeches now so you’re ready for when the full video comes out. Brian Auten of Apologetics 315 tells me that he has asked for the video and it should be posted soon. I will link to the video when it comes out.
Flannagan is awesome and you need to start to get familiar with him even though he is in New Zealand. He’s basically the William Lane Craig of New Zealand, and probably that whole area of the world. I don’t know any Australian scholars who are as capable as Matt. I must mention though that I do disagree with him on annihilationism, the view he articulates in this debate.
And here is a blog post on Ray Bradley written by another New Zealander, theistic philosopher Glenn Peoples. Glenn’s post is short and to the point – he excerpts the main argument from a post by Bradley against the moral argument and shows why it has no force.
And you can read more about William Lane Craig’s debate with Ray Bradley on Hell, too.