Bill Moyer’s interview with Robert Wright, which aired last Friday, is now available on transcript here. My favorite part was when Moyer’s challenged his Platonism:
ROBERT WRIGHT: No. And I think, you know, in a way we shouldn’t. I mean I think if there is you know, something out there called moral truth. And we should continue to try to relate to it in a way that brings us closer to it. And it–
BILL MOYERS: I don’t understand what you mean. Out there?
ROBERT WRIGHT: Well. Well–
BILL MOYERS: What did–
ROBERT WRIGHT: Did I say that?
BILL MOYERS: Yeah, you’ve said it several times. I mean–
ROBERT WRIGHT: I should be careful.
BILL MOYERS: –if you don’t–
ROBERT WRIGHT: Because I don’t– what do I mean. I don’t–I mean what. Transcendent is a very tricky word…. I don’t know exactly what I mean by transcendent. I may mean beyond our comprehension. I may mean you know, I may mean prior to the creation of the universe or something. I don’t know.
Tricky indeed! It’s easy for theists to be metaphysical realists with respect to moral truth because they can say that truth derives from God. (The “good” is that which pleases God and the “bad” is that which displeases Him.) But if you begin with the premise that God is an illusion, as Wright did early in the show, then it’s difficult to say that moral truth is transcendent while in the next breath suggesting that it it beyond our comprehension.