This is a lot to chew on. I will likely seek the book in the very near future, but for now, this should generate some lively discussion.

http://www.philosophynow.org/issue80/80marks.htm

Tags: Amorality, Atheism, Ethics, Joel Marks, Kant, Meat eating, Vivisection

Views: 9

Replies to This Discussion

Odd that someone rejecting morality should use expressions like "heart strings" while saying that he holds with logical, explainable preferences. One is based on emotion and the other on cognition.

He's right in rejecting sin but not in rejecting morality. Morality is something we arrive at by thinking and debating. It seldom remains an eternal absolute but it can be a useful guideline for social behaviour in our society. No rules, no game.
Interesting... I'll check it out...
He definitely oversimplifies. Pure determinism is as flawed and foolish a theory as "pure" anything. Yes there are underlying factors that play a huge role, possibly the greatest role, in our thinking. Freewill may not be as free as we think but that does not mean it is a complete illusion. If that were the case evolution itself would not really work that well. Humans have proven that we can alter our genetic on purpose just like we can alter the basic traits of other animals, plants, and even our environment as a whole. There is a difference between natural selection and artificial selection. We consciously manipulate artificial selection. There is no practical reason for wanting to breed dogs for physical appearances, so why do it? We want it. Freewill to some extent exists! So does morality.
What a beautiful piece of honest writing! I agree with his argument 100% and look forward to reading his book. I refute any interchangeability of morality and ethics. To me there has never been absolute "right" or "wrong", only what I care for or not. Morality is a code which is obeyed, a common code of ethics is something we achieve as a society, according to a common set of objectives.

The common accusation by theists that atheists have no morals has pushed many atheists into a corner and pressured them to the defensive position "But I have morals too, the same as yours". This is a case of atheists letting theists determine the agenda and the language. I don't believe in a pressure to be "good", that is a religious imperative. As biological entities, we cooperate when it's beneficial to us and compete and/or kill when it's beneficial to us, these should be of equal value. There is no reason that half of what the animal kingdom does is deemed "good", but the other half deemed "wrong".

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