Metaethics Videos

Introduction to Metaethics

Metaethics is the study of what makes something good or bad. It is not the study of what is good or bad, but why there are such things as moral good and moral bad. What is morality? Where did it come from? There are many theories of what morality is; some think morality is subjective and depends on individual people, cultures, and circumstances. Others believe that morality is objective, that it is independent of human beings. Most theists think that morality comes from God, but many atheists claim that God is not necessary for morality. Non-naturalists, for example, believe that morality can exist objectively without God. Thinkers throughout Western history have defended many positions, both subjective and objective as well as theistic and atheist ones. Listen in as Adam gives an overview of the different metaethical theories.

Why God’s Triune Nature Is the Foundation of Morality

In this interview by Crash Course Apologetics, Adam defends his model of morality which holds that God’s existence as a Trinity, His triune nature, is the foundation of all morality. Specifically, the loving relationships between the members of the Trinity are the basis for all moral values and duties for human beings since humans are called to imitate that love and reflect it to others. As Jesus explained in Matthew 22:37-40, love of God and love of neighbor are the foundations of all morality, and this love flows from the loving relationships within the Trinity, which is why Adam proposes that God’s triune nature is a superior explanation for the existence of morality than atheistic models.

Critiquing Erik Wielenberg’s Metaethical Model

Atheist Erik Wielenberg has proposed a theory of morality (also known as a “metaethical model”) which claims that objective moral values and obligations can exist without God. In this interview with Crash Course Apologetics, Adam critiques Wielenberg’s theory of morality by explaining how Wielenberg’s model is susceptible to what is called the “Lucky Coincidence Objection,” the idea that, without God, it is just a lucky coincidence that humans are able to know what is objectively morally right. (This interview is based on a paper Adam published in Philosophia Christi, which you can find here.)

God and Morality Debate: Craig vs. Wielenberg

In 2018, William Lane Craig and Erik J. Wielenberg participated in a debate moderated by Adam Lloyd Johnson at North Carolina State University, addressing the question: “God and Morality: What is the Best Account of Objective Moral Values and Duties?” Craig argued that theism provides a sound foundation for objective morality whereas atheism does not. Wielenberg countered that morality can be objective even if there is no God. The transcript of this debate was subsequently made into a book called A Debate on God and Morality which was edited by Adam Lloyd Johnson. The book provides crucial resources for better understanding moral realism and its dependence on, or independence from, theistic foundations.

Objective Morality and the Moral Argument

In this interview with Ratio Christi’s Truth Matters, Adam discusses the objectivity of morality and the moral argument for God. He gives an overview of Robert M. Adams’ metaethical model which posits that God is the best explanation for morality. What are some common objections to this model? Could evolution have produced morality? What is natural law and how does it relate to objective morality? Does morality come from God’s commands? Did morality change from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why do some of God’s commandments in the Old Testament seem so odd? Watch the interview to discover the answers to these questions and more.