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Despite the pluralism of contemporary American culture, the Judaeo-Christian legacy still has a great deal of influence on the popular imagination. Thus it is not surprising that in this context atheism has a slightly scandalous ring, and unbelief is often associated with lack of morality and a meaningless existence. Distinguished philosopher and committed atheist Michael Martin sets out to refute this notion in this thorough defense of atheism as a both moral and meaningful philosophy of life. Martin shows not only that objective morality and a meaningful life are possible without belief in God but that the predominantly Christian world view of American society is seriously flawed as the basis of morality and meaning.
Divided into four parts, this cogent and tightly argued treatise begins with well-known criticisms of nonreligious ethics and then develops an atheistic meta-ethics. In Part 2, Martin criticizes the Christian foundation of ethics, specifically the Divine Command Theory and the idea of imitating the life of Jesus as the basis of Christian morality. Part 3 demonstrates that life can be meaningful in the absence of religious belief. Part 4 criticizes the theistic point of view in general terms as well as the specific Christian doctrines of the Atonement, Salvation, and the Resurrection.
This highly informed and sophisticated defense of atheism is a stimulating challenge to religious believers and a serious contribution to ethical theory.
|The Nonreligious Foundation of Morality|
|Introduction the Nonreligious Foundation of Morality||p. 21|
|Objections to Morality without Religion||p. 27|
|The Ideal Observer Theory||p. 49|
|Wide Reflective Equilibrium||p. 73|
|The Ideal Observer Theory and Wide Reflective Equilibrium Defended||p. 85|
|The Christian Foundation of Morality|
|Introduction to the Foundations of Christian Ethics||p. 113|
|The Divine Command Theory||p. 121|
|Two Defenses of the Divine Command Theory||p. 141|
|Christian Ethics and the Imitation of Christ||p. 157|
|Christian Theism and Moral Skepticism||p. 173|
|The Meaning of Life Without God|
|Introduction to the Meaning of Life||p. 185|
|Taylor's Analysis of the Meaning of Life||p. 197|
|Objections to Meaning without Religion||p. 213|
|The "Nothing Matters" Argument||p. 227|
|Christianity and the Meaning of Life|
|Introduction to the Religious Meaning of Life||p. 239|
|The Meaning of Life and the Atonement||p. 253|
|The Meaning of Life and Salvation||p. 271|
|The Meaning of Life and the Resurrection||p. 291|
|Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Prometheus Lectures
Number Of Pages: 330
Published: 1st January 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.3 x 13.8 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 1