“An Amoral Manifesto”

The philosopher Joel Marks has an interesting article, “An Amoral Manifesto,” in the latest Philosophy Now.

He argues for a kind of amoralism (which seems correct to me). He also affirms the theistic argument that without a God, there cannot be the kind of (hard) morality as we usually understand it. That also seems to me to be correct. Hence, since there is, in all likelihood, no God, there is also no morality.

All of this I can mostly agree with. The interesting part is that he’s recently been deconverted from a belief in morality, and compares it with being deconverted from God-belief. I’ll be curious to see how Marks develops this further.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    TE said: Hence, since there is, in all likelihood, no God, there is also no morality.

    I fail to see the link between the two. Morality is a human cultural invention which theistic societies prop up with their various God beliefs. Non-theistic morality is simply a variation on a theme – just without the supernatural props.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10778996187937943820 Taner Edis

    Cyberkitten: "Morality is a human cultural invention. . ."

    Yes (along with a host of other causes of "moral" behavior and perception). Amoralists in Marks's technical sense (not the popular sense) would join you in denying that morality is something "out there" to be discovered rather than invented.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12427474698912082351 Durotrigan

    Hello. Just discovered your blog. Admittedly, the following is somewhat off-topic but will be of interest to your readers. Christine Tasin, the organiser of a series of anti-Islamisation demonstrations across France last Saturday, has received a Facebook fatwa. It calls for for her to be subject to the Islamic punishment for blasphemy i.e. beheading. Her 'crime': demanding that France stays true to its secular values. Within 24 hours of the fatwa being issued she had received two death threats. The police are taking things seriously, but Tasin remains unfazed. See here for further information: http://durotrigan.blogspot.com/2010/09/christine-tasin-receives-facebook-fatwa.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10817974804323066290 shreddakj

    Morality is definitely a cultural invention, but what I would be interested to find out, is how much of it is genetic and how much is learned. Since there are some people who do not have the mental capacity to empathise with others, does that mean that the rest of us have a predisposition towards empathy and altruism?

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