I have been commissioned a chapter on morality for Loftus’ new book “Christianity Is Not Great”

I have been commissioned a chapter on morality for Loftus’ new book “Christianity Is Not Great” October 20, 2013

I am exceptionally grateful that John Loftus thought of me when shortlisting potential contributors to his latest anthology Christianity Is Not Great. Not only that, but my chapter on atheological morality, which I wrote a few months ago for him, was one of the chapters used in the proposal to Prometheus Books. And they have just accepted the project! Fantastic! Here is what John has just announced:

Another Anthology of Mine Will Be Published, “Christianity is Not Great”

Yep, and I’m as excited as can be. Prometheus Books has just accepted another book proposal of mine on the harms of Christian faith, titled after Christopher Hitchens’s NY Times bestselling book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.It’s slated for a Winter 2014 or Spring 2015 publication date. Here are the table of contents and a list of authors:

Introduction: An Overview of the Harms of Christian Faith.

Part One: Why Faith is Harmful:

1) The Folly of Faith, by Victor J. Stenger.

2) Faith: From Moral Virtue to Unreliable Reasoning Process, by Peter Boghossian.

Part Two: Political/Institutional Harms:

3) The Crusades and the Inquisition, by Jack David Eller.

4) The Witch Hunts, by John W. Loftus.

5) Colonization and the Wholesale Destruction of Indigenous People Groups, by Jack David Eller.

6) Christianity and the Rise of American Democracy, by Richard Carrier.

7) The Ugly Truth: Christianity and Slavery, by John W. Loftus

Part Three: Scientific Harms:

8) The Dark Ages, by Richard Carrier.

9) The Gender Binary & LGBTI People: Religious Myth and Medical Malpractice, by Veronica Dranz.

10) Christianity Can Be Hazardous to Your Health, by Harriet Hall.

11) The Christian Abuses of the Sanctity of Life, by Ronald A. Lindsay.

12) Christianity and the Environment, by William Patterson.

Part Four: Social and Moral Harms:

13) The Cultural Wars, by Ed Brayton.

14) The Harm of Christianity to Women, by Annie Laurie Gaylor.

15) Women of Color Beyond Faith, by Sikivu Hutchinson.

16) The Psychological Harms of Christianity, by Valerie Tarico and Marlene Winell.

17) Secular Sexuality: A Direct Challenge to Christianity, by Darrel W. Ray.

18) Abusive Pastors and Churches, by Nathan Phelps.

19) Christianity’s Lack of Concern for Animals, by John W. Loftus.

Part Five: Who’s to Judge and Correct Harms?

20) “Tu Quoque, Atheism?” – Our Right to Judge, by Jonathan Pearce.

21) Only Humans Can Solve Human Challenges, by James A. Lindsay.

22) Living Without God, by Russell Blackford.

More details will follow in the months to come. This will be a superior book without peer since it has superior contributors writing substantive chapters on many of the most important issues.


What was particularly nice was the first comment on John’s post:

Uhm, the first thing that came to mind was that this is going to create an intellectual mind orgasm!!! I can’t wait! John, love you for this one! Second, I’m really excited by the variety of authors on this one! I’m excited to see you included Boghossian, Pearce, and Blackford. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but Blackford is a philosopher who spends a great deal of time in ethics (I can’t double check the papers I have read, and whether he is the Blackford I read in my grad course on ethics). If I’m right then I’m deeply, deeply thrilled you included him! Anyway…great lineup! You don’t know how excited I am for this!!!

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  • Jonathan, you do great work and the book is better for you being in it. So I too am grateful. Here we go. Where we stop nobody knows. But I see no signs of stopping now. ;-)

  • lunaticus

    I just found your work, Jonathan, and I can say I’m really looking forward to your chapter, as well. (The growth of atheist thought and writing on the internet is a double-edged sword – there’s so much good stuff out there that it’s becoming difficult to find the best stuff!) Yours is an important topic, as in my experience a lot of very well-meaning and rational theists use it as a conversation-stopper when pressed on some of the other issues raised in this book. It’ll be nice to see what you have to say on it.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words! Stick around and join in the ensuing conversations!.

      I think you are right. Many well-meaning and intelligent theists, and all debaters and theistic philosophers, use the moral argument and throw our claims back in our faces in an attempt to divert from answering claims against their track record and worldview.

      What they do, however, is:

      1) assume some kind of Platonism
      2) ill-define or do not define or establish ‘objective’
      3) confuse objective morality with morality with ultimate consequences.

      In other words, the reward of heaven or pain of hell is the thing which defines their morality, and because we don;t have that kind of binding consequence, we do not have a robust morality.

      That said, morality is notoriously tough to pin down. Which is why all philosophers still argue to toss over it.

      • lunaticus

        The slippery definition of “objective” used when it comes to the morality question always gets my goat. That, and how the common religious intuitive feeling that morality is objective in “that” sense is spun as sufficient grounds for making arguments towards the existence of god based on it. There’s a failure to understand that you can say objective things about people’s subjective experiences, and a frustrating (and dare I say strategic?) use of that kind of scorched-earth moral presuppositionalism that is too often used to short-circuit any deep searching of religious (and non-religious) morality.

        Morality IS incredibly hard to pin down, and you’d hope more theists would see that as a sign that we’ve been looking at it the wrong way, and join everyone else at the adult’s table and try to make some progress.