Morality tagged posts

Why atheism?

Why Atheism?

The Big Questions, as their name implies, are questions about who we are, about the universe we live in, about our place in the universe, and more along these lines. Theistic religions, especially those that proselytize, have constructed cases for their beliefs that tend to pay a great deal of attention to these Big Questions. Sometimes widespread and culturally dominant religions even succeed in defining the terms of the questions, so as to give themselves greater assurance of their influence on the lives of their adherents and the societies in which they thrive. So far, we have considered w...

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morality

The Moral Argument for God

In his dialogue with Euthyphro, Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” To put the dilemma in more modern terms: does God command an action because it is good, or is an action good because God commands it? If the former is true, then the good exists independently of God. If the latter is true, then a question arises concerning the arbitrariness of moral obligations...

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Spirituality for the Skeptic

What does it mean to be a spiritual person? According to some, spirituality is about identifying with certain otherworldly beliefs. Others consider it to indicate faith in a deity or in supernatural beings. Recently, in Waking Up, Sam Harris has suggested that religious traditions have too often imposed their restrictive ideas onto spirituality. A spiritual person is not necessarily a religious person, and may only be spiritual in the sense of having a particular disposition towards life, the world, and the universe.

Robert Solomon, who was Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Phil...

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Ep. 6 – What is Naturalism? with John Shook

What is naturalism? For episode six, I take up this broad topic in conversation with John Shook, a research associate in philosophy and instructor in science education for the University at Buffalo. Dr. Shook holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the University at Buffalo, served as professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University from 2000-2006, has worked for several secular and humanist organizations – including the Center for Inquiry and the American Humanist Association – and he is the author and editor of numerous books, including The God Debates and The Future of Naturalism.

Armchair Ath...

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Ep. 4 – Morality Without God? with Erik Wielenberg

In episode four, I am joined by moral philosopher Erik Wielenberg as we discuss a popular version of the moral argument for god, as well as the plausibility of a non-theistic objective morality. Dr. Wielenberg is Professor of Philosophy at DePauw University in Indiana, a fellow of the Center for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St. Andrews, and has been published in numerous philosophical journals. He has put out three excellent books, including Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (review), God and the Reach of Reason: C.S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell,...

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Armchair Atheism, Ep. 1

Ep. 1 – What is Atheism? with Dan Barker

This inaugural episode briefly covers the intent of the show, a little info on its creator/producer, and features a nearly hour-long conversation with Dan Barker on the question, ‘what is atheism?’ Mr. Barker is a former preacher turned atheist activist who currently serves as co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to upholding the separation of church and state and to educating the public on subjects related to unbelief. He has authored several books including Losing Faith in Faith, Godless, and The Good Atheist, and also runs his own weekly...

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God? A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist

The question of god’s existence has long been a subject of debate among philosophers, not to mention laypersons. It’s one thing to believe that a higher intelligent mind is behind the origin of the universe, and it’s quite another to offer arguments in defense or refutation of that belief. Yet more problematic is how we define such a being, what attributes and characteristics we ascribe to it, and to what degree any arguments for god actually resemble the god most people seem to believe in. These issues and more are taken up in the 2003 book, God? A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist.

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The Miracle of Theism

The Miracle of Theism

Is there reason to believe in a god? Philosophers and theologians have debated this question for centuries, offering arguments and counter-arguments taking many different forms. More recently scientists and historians have joined the fray to weigh in on things from their own perspectives. Still, well over two millennia later, and in spite of a bounty of examples of religiously-inspired violence, we find the question persists. According to some, the survival of theism – the belief in god(s) – is nothing short of miraculous; it testifies to the power and value of faith...
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Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe

Often times public tragedies in the United States are followed by warnings against godlessness.1 When people have no promise of divine justice and no faith in a good god, the argument goes, it’s no surprise that lives are lost, since life on a naturalistic worldview is without value. Conservative politicians are not the only ones who have been known to make such claims...

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Morality Without God?

Is it possible to be a moral person and not believe in god? Are there such things as objective moral values if god does not exist? In the eyes of many, such questions may seem rather silly. ‘Of course, you don’t need to believe in god to be good, nor does there need to be a god for some things to be really wrong or really right...

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