Biological vs. Philosophical Perspectives on Morality

(Redated post originally published on 18 October 2011)(This is from my archives and is undated; I'm guessing I wrote this about a decade ago. I think it is still relevant, as evidenced by Jerry Coyne's article about explaining morality.)I recently updated one of the official FAQs for the *.atheism newsgroups. (For interested parties, I updated the "Atheist Media FAQ" at http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/media.html.) In private email, I received the following suggestion relative to the … [Read more...]

Jerry Coyne on Goodness without God

(Originally published on 17 October 2011)Jerry Coyne recently wrote an op-ed in USA Today entitled, "As Atheists Know, You Can Be Good Without God." Christian philosopher Matt Flanagan wrote an excellent critique, not of Coyne's claim that nonbelievers can be good without God (which Flanagan grants), but of pretty much everything else Coyne wrote related to metaethics. I wanted to highlight a couple of areas where I especially agree with Flanagan, since Flanagan points out some errors that a … [Read more...]

Darwinian Morality and Rape?

(Redated post last published on 3 November 2011)According to Nancy Pearcey and biologist Jeffrey Schloss (see here), Darwinian evolution implies there is nothing ethically wrong with rape. Why? Pearcey argues that Darwinian evolution and moral realism are logically incompatible: In the words of sociobiology's founder, E.O. Wilson, "the basis of ethics does not lie in God's will"; instead, ethics "is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes" because of its survival value. Those who accept Da … [Read more...]

Bibliography on Arguments for Atheism

(redated post originally published on 7 November 2011)The purpose of this bibliography is to provide a comprehensive listing of academic resurces which contain presentations, formulations, or defenses of various arguments for atheism. The bibliography currently omits any references to resources which criticize those arguments; I hope to fix that in the future as time allows.As always, I don't claim this bibliography is perfectly accurate or complete; if spot any errors or omissions, … [Read more...]

Atheism and the difference between consistency and entailment

(redated post originally published here on 20 November 2011)At Jeff Lowder's suggestion, I'm re-posting this 2008 post from my own blog here.  Although the referenced blog, The Country Shrink, no longer exists, I have replaced the links to refer to copies of the posts at the Internet Archive.---A Christian rural psychologist has posted on his blog about "some psychological aspects of atheism," where he claims that: [Atheists] tend to not be able to understand that their position … [Read more...]

Open Combox for Debating Objective Morality

Feel free to debate in the combox as your heart desires. I have just one suggestion: make sure you clearly define your terms. Notoriously polysemous words to define include"objective" "morality" "values" "obligations" "atheism" "naturalism"  … [Read more...]

Is There a Problem of Evil for Atheism?

In response to various arguments from evil for atheism, some theists attempt to turn the tables on atheists and argue that evil is at least as much of a problem for atheism as it is for theism. I've argued repeatedly that this response completely misses the point that the problem of evil can be understood as a reductio against theism (see, for example, here). And what has the response of those theists been? Silence. Or, at the very least, if they have responded, I'm unaware of it. (Please feel … [Read more...]

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

(redating post originally published on 18 March 2006)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 … [Read more...]