Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A very nifty book

I just finished reading Morality Without God by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong ( Its a very short, simple read, and congenial read. I would certainly recommend it. In this book he tries to refute these 5 statements:

1)That athiests cannot be moral, or that they are inherently immoral
2)Society will sink into chaos if it is secular
3)w/o fear of divine retribution we have no reason to be moral
4)that objective moral laws do not require God's existence
5)w/o religion we can't know what is right or wrong.

Claims 1,2,3,5 are rather juvenile and he has no problem refuting them successfully. However claim 4 is  in a little more contention. Essentially it is the argument from morality for God's existence;
1. If there are objective moral values then God exists (moral values are dependent upon God) 
To refute this he critiques divine-command theory and explains a "harm-based morality." The critiques of divine command theory mostly has to do with the classic Euthyphro dilemma and other difficulties. I did find the Harm-based morality rather attractive, because of its simplicity. It goes as follows:
Action x is wrong because it harms the victim for no adequate reason. 
 To see if this is an adequate take on objective values one would have to explain several things; what are harms, what is in adequate reason, and why should one be moral? 
Harms include: death, pain and disability 
An adequate reason is a reason which prevents further harm.
Why should one be moral? Well this is a self-refuting question if it is asking for a moral reason to be moral. However if we are looking for another reason, what could/would those reasons be? I am not quite sure.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Common Sense Atheism Challenge

For my own intellectual benefit and interest and for and independent study I am undergoing my own form of the Common Sense Atheism Challenge. The challenge involves reading several books of differing perspective, all on the subject of whether God exists or not. Here is  my current book list::
Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
The Christian Delusion by John W. Loftus
Scaling Secular City by J. P. Moreland
Arguing for Atheism by Le Poidevin
The Miracle of Theism by Mackie
The Existence of God by Swinburne
Arguing About Gods by Oppy
Warranted Christain Belief by Plantinga

I will try to write posts on my immediate reflections of each work and their respective arguments, and compare the force of each book against the other position. Currently I am an atheist though I was a former believer, however I will try to be agnostic as possible while reading.

Dr. Mcbrayer of Fort Lewis College also suggested that I read:
The Problem of Evil (van Inwagen)
Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason (Schellenberg)
Knowledge of God (Plantinga and Tooley)
Philosophy of Religion (Rowe)
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (Murray & Rea)
and other suggestions I have had include works by Michael Martin

As you can see I have a rather large reading list, hopefully I will have read the majority of these books by the end of this school year, May 2011.

A Why I made this blog.

I made this blog for two main reasons: first that I may blog my journey through the Common Sense Atheism Challenge, and second that I may elucidate other thoughts of mine on philosophy, music, and other miscellaneous paraphernalia. I will appreciate all comments, within reason of course.