Sam Harris Can’t Explain Crucial Facts

October 14, 2010

Atheist Sam Harris has published a book (informative interview here) arguing that several aspects of morality are nicely in place quite independent of the need for a God to ground or account for them.

Because of my current commitments, I have not nor will I have time to read Harris' book. However, it may be useful to folks to know that in chapter six of my recent book, The Recalcitrant Imago Dei (SCM Press, 2009), I list nine features of morality that I argue are best explained if they are grounded in the biblical God. As I say in the book, a recalcitrant fact is one that is obstinately unco-operative in light of attempts to handle it by some theory. A theory may explain some facts quite nicely. But a recalcitrant fact doggedly resists explanation by a theory. No matter what a theory’s advocate does, the recalcitrant fact just sits there and is not easily incorporated into the theory. In this case, the recalcitrant fact provides falsifying evidence for the theory (4).

My book, and specifically that chapter 6, may serve as a useful comparison and alternative to those who read Harris.

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About J.P. Moreland

J.P. Moreland is the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Biola University.


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One Response to 'Sam Harris Can’t Explain Crucial Facts'

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