The blog of Dr Glenn Andrew Peoples on Theology, Philosophy, and Social Issues

Apologetics 3:15 Interviews Glenn Peoples


Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Brain Auten of Apologetics 315. The main theme of the discussion was the relationship between God (or a lack thereof) and ethics.

Check it out over at Apologetics 315.

Today’s interview is with Dr. Glenn Peoples. Glenn is a New Zealand based Christian philosopher, podcaster, and blogger. He runs the Beretta blog and hosts the Say Hello to My Little Friend podcast. In this interview, Glenn explores moral terminology, objective morality, the difference between ontology and epistemology, the moral argument, the Craig/Harris debate, advice for apologists, and more.


Does John 1:3 rule out uncreated abstract objects?


The look


  1. Eric

    Hi Glenn

    Great interview! I especially liked your advice to apologists at the end of the discussion.

  2. You handle broad questions in a short format quite well. I assume that’s from practice or at least thinking ahead? It’s so easy to get into the little details of philosophy that I really should try to have more ready answers for broad questions too.

    I’m seconding Eric’s comment on the advice at the end, though I would apply it to my fellow skeptics of religion and put it as, ‘slow down.’ For one thing, in order to advance a secular moral theory there doesn’t have to _be_ a conceptual flaw in Divine Command Theory, let alone a demonstrable flaw. It could very well be the case that DCT is coherent on its own terms, but false.

  3. Garren – I second that. So many times I see sceptics carry on as though it’s not enough for others to simply be mistaken on questions of fact, no they’ve just got to have committed some basic logical howler that everyone with a brain can see. Of course the result of this approach is that one ends up looking very bad in philosophical terms, for a person who identifies philosophical howlers where there are none simply shows that they have the level of philosophical acumen that they were trying to pin onto others.

  4. Oh – and thanks! One of the questions I messed up actually – When describing Robert Adams’ take on the social nature of moral obligation.

    It bugged me so much that I then made a podcast episode on it to make atonement,

  5. B

    Hi Glen,

    I recently came across your blog from apologetics 315 and I’ve been dipping my toe into your excellent podcasts since. If you do requests, I wonder could you touch on the philosophical arguments about free will in relation to an omniscient God? I’ve particularly like to hear any of your thoughts on the concept of contra-causal free will and how that impacts orthodox belief in God.

    I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge of this subject –far from it– but I’m interested to hear any rebuttals to arguments from certain atheists that contra-causal free will is a concept that lies in tatters amongst those in the know, i.e. them.

  6. For one thing, in order to advance a secular moral theory there doesn’t have to _be_ a conceptual flaw in Divine Command Theory, let alone a demonstrable flaw. I take the point your trying to make, but I would qualify it when it comes to DCT, as I see it atheists have to come up with a more plausible account of the nature of moral wrongness than a DCT. I think there are two reasons here

    Take the premise:

    1. If God does not exist then moral duties do not exist

    This premise is actually entailed by the divine command theory which identifies moral obligations with divine commands. If moral obligations are identical with divine commands then it’s impossible for moral obligations to exist if God does not.

    If you have two identity claims. One, I1 which affirms wrongness is identical with Gods commands and another, I2 which affirms wrongness is identical with some natural property, or some abstract object. They can’t both be true, and identity claims are necessarily true hence if one of these claims is true the other is impossible. The question then is which of these claims is more plausible. Unless the opponent of the moral argument can show that his account is more plausible than a divine command theory we have more reason to accept I1 than I2, and therefore we have more reason to affirm 1) the first premise than we do any secular alternative to it.

    This is complicated by the fact that one does not have to be a theist to embrace DCT, a DCT can be the basis of an error theory and so strictly speaking a DCT is a secular ethical theory. An analogy, a naturalist might look at how theological language functions, he might decide plausibly, this language purports to pick out a real object “God” and that given the way religious language and practises function, God is presupposed to be a being worthy of worship who created the world and so on. Seeing they do not believe in God they would conclude this practise is an error. The same could happen here, a naturalist might look at how moral language functions, he might decide plausibly, this language purports to pick out a real object “moral obligations” and that given the way moral language and practises function, “moral obligations” are is presupposed to be a demands of a person who is loving and just, impartial, rational omniscient, and that the world is ordered so that happiness is ultimately correlated to obedience of these commands, and so on. Seeing no such being exists morality is erroneous.

  7. Kelley

    Absolutely loved your interview. Went to your blogsite and also subscribed to the podcast. Very informative and entertaining. On episode one I loved the Python inclusion you provided. Look forward to hearing more

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