Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brett Kunkle and Richard Greene Debate:
Can We Be Good Without God?

Can We Be Good Without God? This is a debate between Brett Kunkle (from Stand To Reason) and Dr. Richard Greene, philosophy professor at Weber State University. The debate was held April 5th, 2013, at Weber State University. Loren Pankratz from The Bridge Community moderated the debate. Read Brett Kunkle's post-debate reflections here, along with video. Video also here on Vimeo. Brett Kunkle YouTube channel here.

Full Debate MP3 Audio here (1hr 55min)


Anonymous said...

I do not think Kunkle did well in his rebuttles. He didn't seem to know how to respond to Greene's proposed theories of ontologicaly grounding objective morality. Greenes theories seemed subjective not objective.

Bretts big mistake was agreeing that Objective Goodness could exisit in some possible world without God. Greene needed to explain how this was possible but Brett didn't press him on that. The whole point of the debate is that God serves as a foundation for objective moral values. If objective moral values can exisit without God in some possible world then it may be the case that they do in the actual world. Therefore God is not necessary for objective moral values. But God as a maximaly great being would exisit in all possible worlds.

Too Bad.

janitorialmusings said...


Considering that this was Mr. Kunkle's second debate, I thought he did a good job. His opening speech was excellent. Dr. Greene's opening speech was a wreck and I thought Mr. Kunkle would mop the floor with him... But I agree with you that Mr. Kunkle sort of dropped the ball (in terms of mopping the floor with him) in the rebuttal and Q&A period.

Mr. Kunkle agreed that it's possible objective goodness could exist without God, but not in the relevant sense. Still, this was an area of the debate that needed to be cleaned up by Mr. Kunkle, but which he failed to do. Mr. Kunkle was, I take it, only acknowledging the epistemic possibility of objective morals without God (e.g., he couldn't be epistemically certain). Dr. Greene needed to show that these other theories were possible metaphysical groundings for morality, not just that Mr. Kunkle or the audience couldn't be epistemically certain. Mr. Kunkle was only admitting the former, but I think Dr. Greene capitalized on the ambiguity in favor of the latter.

hendricks87 said...

Brett Kunkle gives some thoughts on the debate here.

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