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Atheism, Morality, And Meaning : Prometheus Lectures - Michael Martin

Atheism, Morality, And Meaning

Prometheus Lectures

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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.

Prefacep. 9
Introductionp. 11
The Nonreligious Foundation of Morality
Introduction the Nonreligious Foundation of Moralityp. 21
Objections to Morality without Religionp. 27
The Ideal Observer Theoryp. 49
Wide Reflective Equilibriump. 73
The Ideal Observer Theory and Wide Reflective Equilibrium Defendedp. 85
The Christian Foundation of Morality
Introduction to the Foundations of Christian Ethicsp. 113
The Divine Command Theoryp. 121
Two Defenses of the Divine Command Theoryp. 141
Christian Ethics and the Imitation of Christp. 157
Christian Theism and Moral Skepticismp. 173
The Meaning of Life Without God
Introduction to the Meaning of Lifep. 185
Taylor's Analysis of the Meaning of Lifep. 197
Objections to Meaning without Religionp. 213
The "Nothing Matters" Argumentp. 227
Christianity and the Meaning of Life
Introduction to the Religious Meaning of Lifep. 239
The Meaning of Life and the Atonementp. 253
The Meaning of Life and Salvationp. 271
The Meaning of Life and the Resurrectionp. 291
Conclusionp. 319
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781573929875
ISBN-10: 1573929875
Series: Prometheus Lectures
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
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