About Richard Playford

Richard has a BA (hons) from the University of Exeter in philosophy with ancient history and is current studying for an MA at the University of Birmingham in philosophy. He is particularly interested in the philosophical aspects of Christian apologetics.

Moral Ontology And Metaethics

450px-Ash_Tree_-_geograph_org_uk_-_590710The argument from morality is an argument for the existence of God which explores the metaethical basis of moral rules, in particular their ontological basis. In order to better understand the argument and whether or not it is successful it is important that theists and atheists have a clear concept of what metaethics is and the different positions that philosophers have held. In this article I will attempt to explain what sorts of questions moral ontology tries to answer and how this fits in with other branches of ethics. I will then briefly list a few of the answers that people have tried to give, although I will not evaluate them in detail but will instead include some links so that those who are interested in exploring them further can do so. As such, this article will not be arguing for any particular position and instead is simply trying to increase awareness of the different positions that philosophers have held. [Read more…]

Atheism and the burden of proof

A rock wall is made from a firm foundation

A rock wall is made from a firm foundation

When someone makes a claim about the world, if they want to convince others, they are required to provide justification for that claim. This is not a contentious or strange idea, but what does this mean for atheism? Is atheism a belief and does it require justification? In this article I will show that atheism is a belief about the world and that it does require a justification in the same way that theism does.      [Read more…]

The Euthyphro Dilemma

The Euthyphro Dilemma is designed to explore the relationship between God and morality. The dilemma is found in Plato’s Euthyphro dialogue. It consists of an exchange between Socrates and a young man called Euthyphro, from whom the dilemma gets its name. When applied to an Abrahamic conception of God it asks “Is something good because God commands it? Or does God command something because it is good?”  I will explore the different positions that one can take on this question and will attempt to explore a few of their strengths and weaknesses.

[Read more…]

Religion As A Crutch

A criticism that is sometimes levelled against religious faith is that it is ‘a crutch’ for those who want comfort and who are unable to deal with death and other hardships in life. It argues that belief in God is simply a coping mechanism and that if people were able to deal with life without God they would not believe in him. This criticism and others like it are particularly ineffective because they make a very basic logical fallacy. I will explore this criticism and will show that it should not be used in an intellectual discussion about the existence of God.   [Read more…]

The Problem of Evil

The problem of evil is for many people a significant intellectual and emotional obstacle to faith. The logical problem of evil attempts to show that the existence of evil in the world is incompatible with the existence of God. It then concludes God does not exist. This is one way of formulating it.

The Problem of Evil:

Premise 1: People suffer.

Premise 2: Suffering is evil.

Premise 3: An all good, all powerful and all knowing God would not allow evil.

Premise 4: Therefore, God cannot exist.

Conclusion: There is no God.

I will challenge three of the four premises of the problem of evil and will show it cannot be used to conclude God does not exist.   [Read more…]