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Philosophy Speaker to Discuss God and Moral Values

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 7:01 pm / March 11, 2015

The Boise State Philosophy Club and the Secular Student Alliance present Garret Merriam at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, in the Multipurpose Classroom Building, Room 108. Merriam will speak on “If There is a God, Anything is Permissible.”

Merriam is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Indiana. Merriam joined USI’s College of Liberal Arts in 2008. He holds Portrait of Garret Merriama bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and English from the University of California at Davis, and a master of arts degree and a Ph.D. from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Merriam began teaching as an adjunct instructor of philosophy at Houston Community College and Lone Star College (formerly Kingwood College). As a doctoral student at Rice University, he moved on to teach courses in such diverse topics as philosophy of religion, moral and legal issues, ethics, and problems of philosophy. At USI, he received 2012-13 Outstanding Teaching by New Faculty Award.

Merriam will be taking the famous line from Dostoevsky, “If there is no God, then anything is permissible,” and turning it on its head. He will be arguing that “if God and all his trappings, as traditionally conceived of by mainstream Christianity, are real, then our traditional moral values are in deep trouble. In short, if we accept that God is real, then we have to abandon our basic moral ideas. Anything would be permissible.”

For more information, contact the Department of Philosophy at (208) 426-3304, or email