The Joseph Butler Society - Events


joseph butler profile image

Trinity Term 2021 - hosted by the Joseph Butler Society


Owing God Worship
Prof Mark C. Murphy (Georgetown University)
Abstract: Do we by nature owe God worship? While it is true by nature that we have reasons to worship God, that we have decisive reasons to worship God, and even that worshipping God is obligatory, it is false that by nature we owe God worship. This does not threaten the intelligibility of theistic belief or practice. For our not owing God worship by nature would not imply that there is any sort of deficiency in God, but only that there does not exist by nature the very specific sort of relationship between God and creatures that makes for owing. Our not by nature owing God worship is, further, compatible with our actually owing God worship. And it is an attractive view of the relationship between God and humans that our owing God worship is a matter of a special contingent relationship between us and God rather than something that holds by nature.
Tuesday Week 6 - 1st June
​Register at Eventbrite here
Meaning, Desire and God
Prof Fiona Ellis (University of Roehampton)
Abstract: I offer an approach to the problem of life's meaning which poses a radical challenge to some of the familiar terms of this debate. First, I defend an expansive form of naturalism which involves a rejection of the common assumption that naturalism and theism are logically incompatible and offers a framework from which to rethink some of the central concepts operative in discussions of life's meaning. Second, I defend a 'desire solution' to the problem of life's meaning. My initial inspiration is Richard Taylor's version of such a position as articulated in his book Good and Evil. I argue that this solution is best articulated from within an expansive naturalist framework, raise some doubts about Taylor's metaphysics, and make a connection with the Nietzschean problem of nihilism.

Tuesday Week 8 - 15th June
Register at Eventbrite here