“Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe” by Erik J. Wielenberg

This is the tile of a new book published by Cambridge University Press:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0521607841/InternetInfidels/

Here is the book description:

Suppose there is no God. This might imply that human life is meaningless, that there are no moral obligations and hence people cando whatever they want, and that the notions of virtue and vice and good and evil have no place. Erik J. Wielenberg believes this view to be mistaken and in this book he explains why. He argues that even if God does not exist, human life can have meaning, we do have moral obligations, and virtue is possible. Naturally, the author sees virtue in a Godless universe as different from virtue in a Christian universe, and he develops naturalistic accounts of humility, charity, and hope. The moral landscape in a Godless universe is different from the moral landscape in a Christian universe, but it does indeed exist. Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe is a tour of some of the central landmarks of this under-explored territory.

I’m extremely impressed with the book. The book is primarily a detailed and devastating response to William Lane Craig, but also includes discussions of other prominent theists who have written about the relationship between religion and morality, including Robert Adams, George Mavrodes, Ed Wierenga, Mark Murphy, Baruch Brody, John Hare, C.S. Lewis, and Gordon Graham. A major plus of this book, IMO, is that it is very easy to read, unlike many of the books in the genre.

About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06577820350092932534 Richard Wein

    “Suppose there is no God. This might imply that human life is meaningless, that there are no moral obligations and hence people cando whatever they want, and that the notions of virtue and vice and good and evil have no place.”

    I find it interesting that discussions of a non-theistic basis for morality often start by implying that the existence of God would supply a basis for morality. But it would not. Even if we accept–for the sake of argument–that God exists and that we know the moral code he has laid down, we have no basis for accepting that moral code as our own unless we have some prior sense of morality that leads us to do so. We are then still left with the question of where that prior moral sense comes from.

    The theist is on firmer logical ground if he argues that a sense of morality is miraculously instilled in each individual by God. But then that moral sense has no rational basis for us and therefore no logical advantage over the alternative that our moral sense is innate and the result of biological evolution. And the latter alternative has the advantage of being explicable without recourse to miracles.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10093392559373479425 sidema

    im an athiest because i dont want to have moral obligations. If i am an athiest with moral obligations I am basically religious to an untangible god, one i know nothing about but feel inclined to obey, which i suppose would be my “conscience”, but there is no reason for an athiest to have any such obligaton because my own interests are the most important thing, not the well being of everyone else. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10093392559373479425 sidema

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