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Theism & Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Against Moral Realism

Paul Rezkalla


Evolutionary debunking arguments against morality come in a variety of forms that differ both in how they take evolution to be problematic for morality and in their specific target of morality i.e. objectivity, realism, justification for moral beliefs, etc.  For the purpose of this paper, I will first articulate several recent debunking approaches and highlight what they take to be problematic features of evolutionary history for morality. In doing so I will be forced to abstract from some of the specific arguments offered, although I will provide replies to particular aspects of the arguments offered by Michael Ruse, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce. Then, I will show that theists have independent reasons for rejecting certain, core assumptions of these debunking approaches, thus deflating the major thrust of debunking worries for morality. While there may be good responses available to the non-theist realist with respect to several of the worries raised below, this paper will simply show why the theist need not be troubled by contemporary debunking approaches against morality.

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