Archive for category Atheism

New Atheism and Morality

I had posted earlier about Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s book Morality without God, an atheist attempt to develop an ethical system of morality without any appeal to God or religion.  I have now finished reading and studying the book.  There were several good points made in the book.  Most of the time that I agreed with him he was criticizing something in Christianity that I don’t view as true biblical Christianity (i.e., his attacks upon Roman Catholic dogma).  I also believe that his book is good in the sense that it helps true Christians know that atheists do think about morality. Sinnott-Armstrong presents the best case for atheist ethics that I have seen although, of course, as a Christian I have serious disagreements with him on almost every page of his book.

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The New Atheism and Morality

I have begun to read the popular book Morality Without God by philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong of Dartmouth. It is a full-blown attempt to establish  a view of morality in the world without religion or any appeal to God.  He believes that the religious basis for morality is a failed project and that atheism actually gives a surer foundation for developing a better grounding for ethics.  He separates his view somewhat from other atheists such as Christopher Hitchens at particular points largely because of Hitchens’ tone and stridency (see p. 153-54).  The author also cites the need for courage on the part of religious people to distance themselves from those religionists who are also extremists.  Unfortunately, his examples are (1) President Jimmy Carter who separated from Southern Baptists when the convention started emphasizing basic Bible teaching about male leadership in the home and church, and (2) Oral Roberts University grad Carlton Pearson, who, as pastor of a mega-church, moved to a position of universalism thereby giving up the foolish doctrine of eternal hell (see p. 152-53).  The author does not emphasize the atheistic bigotry of science departments at universities who fire scientifically qualified teachers who give up believing in the unprovable doctrine of evolution.  I hope to make further posts as I do more thinking about this atheistic attempt to construct a moral society.