“Skepticism about Morality and Religion” (a lecture by Shafer-Landau)

Russ Shafer-Landau is a leading moral philosopher. Below is his case on how there can be objective morality without belief in God.

Shafer-Landua is a moral realist–he thinks that morality is real, true, binding, and he is not a moral naturalist but a moral non-naturalist. Though I am a moral naturalist, I have learned an immense amount from reading Shafer-Landau. If you want to read an introduction to moral philosophy and the contemporary debates in the field, Shafer-Landau has written a pair of books I would recommend checking out. If you want an anthology of contemporary moral philosophy with a wide array of rigorous, important essays orienting to most of the major debates, all with lucid and illuminating introductions to each major topic, Shafer-Landau coedited Blackwell’s Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology. Last but not least, if you would like something at an intermediary level of difficulty that makes a thorough and vigorous case for non-naturalistic moral realism while easily explaining and critically analyzing a number of other positions, check out Shafer-Landau’s superb Moral Realism: A Defence.



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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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