Video: Relating Morality To Nietzsche and Psychology

John Shook of Humanist Matters and Christopher Maute of Meeting of the Minds did a combined show last night interviewing Sarah Morehead (who is awesome) from the Recovery From Religion Foundation (which is also awesome) for about 50 minutes.

Then they started interviewing me at 55 minutes. In the beginning of my portion, my audio sounds like I’m recording in a bathroom but at 59:06 it kicks in and sounds fine, so long as you have the volume high. I would also say the most novel section for those already generally familiar with my paradigms is the last 26 minutes. But the section on Nietzsche and whether he is a nihilist also covers things I don’t often talk about directly. Under the video I have broken down the contents for skimmers. In the comments place your own time stamps with recommendations to other viewers.

At the 55 minute mark, we recap my deconversion narrative a bit and discuss whether it was a choice to deconvert.

At the 1 hour 6 minute mark, I talk about how I developed my views on the foundations of ethics, including discussion of functions in nature and my ideas about what I dub call “empowerment ethics”.

At the 1 hour 13 minute mark, we talk about Nietzsche, nihilism, and morality. This hits on “death of God” and values revaluation stuff. In this portion we also talk about whether atheists have any “shadows of God”, myths we rely on that play a role like God, and we talk about how atheists vacillate inconsistently between extremes of scientism and existentialism.

At the 1 hours 29 minutes mark, for the las 26 minutes we dig in and deal with challenges from psychology to the idea that we can have rational ethics. I got very passionate about arguing that we can do more than just emote and rationalize in ethics. I got to articulate verbally a lot of points I want to write more about and have touched on in several posts, most notably one of my favorites, How Ethics is More Like Physics Than Faith.

I highly recommend watching the ending 26 minute portion in particular if you are at all interested in my responses to moral skepticism and understanding how I deal with emotions and moral psychology as a moral philosopher.

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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