Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 93, 2019

Michael Rauschenbach
Pages 177-188

Theistic Moral Realism, Evolutionary Debunking Arguments, and a Catholic Philosophy of Nature

Evolutionary debunking arguments, whether defended by Street (2006), Joyce (2006), or others against moral realism, or by Plantinga (1993, 2011) and others against atheism, seek to determine the implications of the still-dominant worldview of naturalism. Examining these arguments is thus a critical component of any defense of a theistic philosophy of nature. Recently, several authors have explored the connection between evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism (hence: EDAs) and Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalistic atheism (hence: EAAN). Typically, responses in this vein have been critical of EDAs, arguing that they are in some way self-undermining. Different critics have argued that, in the course of defending the EAAN, the theist loses her best response to the probabilistic argument from evil for atheism. Here, I provide the first systematic comparison of all three arguments—EDAs, the EAAN, and the problem of evil—and suggest that the first charge succeeds while the second fails.