A debate between Peter Singer (atheist / Princeton philosopher) and John Hare (theist / Yale philosopher) on the foundation of morality


The essence of human existence is their allegiance and duty to God. That is why the existence of god is what determines the objectivity of the moral values, and duties. Only the thought of god’s existence is what dictates what moral accountability is. However, without the God, then there would no one to impose the moral duty on man. The theist believe that without god, morality is just another human convention. While thus is true from the theists point of views, it is clear that the atheists have a different opinion about the concept of morality as they believe that morality is just a subjective perspective and thus is not binding. Peter Singer argues that the presence or absence of god does not determine how we humans behave. Even in the presence of god, human being would still behave the way they behave. Therefore the existence of god does not change anything in human behaviors.

According to Senge, God’s existence on earth determines the goodness and badness of people. For example, the rules of good or evils are defined based on the attributes of god, if god did not exists, then there would not be a moral ground for believing in God. For example, if god existed then there would be objective moral values. This means that that it would be easy to categorically say that something is good or evil without having to associate it with another thing. To argue about the independence existence of right or wrong means that there is a supernatural being. For example, right or wrong would not be subjective it is today. Everyone would say something is right or wrong and the agreement would be unanimous. However, because the non existence of god, man is not objective on the good and the evil things. What one consider as good, may seem bad to another person

From the theistic perspective, good, and bad are rooted on god and the words of god. Every believer believes that they are objective and not subjective because they have a reference point. God’s word is yes and amen. John Hare states that God is holy and has a good nature these two features are the absolute standards. Anything contrary to these absolute standards is evil. According to Plato, good is only derived from god’s moral nature. God is the author of moral values. Therefore, he is loving, generous as well as mind and faithful such that anything opposite of these is evil or bad

Additionally, good and bad from god’s perspective are based on the divine commanding which are the moral duties. For example, we are obliged to love our neighbor because this was the divine command from god. Anything to the contrary is evil or bad. The Christina traditions believe that we need to love our neighbor with all our strength, soul and heart, and also love our neighbors as well love ourselves. Based on these great commandments, we can easily affirm the objectives of love. Love is not subjective but objective therefore, we love, there should not be double standards.

In conclusion

Moral values, good or bad are pretty subjective terms. However, the theist’s argument of right and or wrong seems stronger than the ethers arguments. There should be a standard by which god or bad are measured. If there is no standard, then the term good and bad are amorphous terminologies that can be subjective. Because there is no one to impose the moral duties on man. Finally, the moral lives of men have an overriding significance as we have moral duty to god

Here’s the instructions for the last quiz for our class. You need to watch the following video:


It is a debate between Peter Singer (atheist / Princeton philosopher) and John Hare (theist / Yale philosopher) on the foundation of morality. You do not need to watch the whole video. You just need to watch the part where Singer presents his argument and the part where Hare presents his argument. You need to summarize the argument of each speaker and present analyses and evaluations of each argument in the end


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