Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 6064 Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1657 Thanked: 1785 times in 1369 posts
Re: Ch. 11: Putting Ethical Beliefs to the Test
I guess I've sputtered a bit with this book. The two authors are competent, there isn't much I disagree with, but it's maybe a bit dull. I also think they never overcome the awkwardness of their hook of the 10 commandments. What they really are saying is not, contrary to the subtitle, that the commandments need to be revised, but that commandments aren't the way to go in the first place. Their "non-commandments" are assumptions about reality, and they're ethical beliefs, too. The precepts don't specifically tell anyone what they should do, as Bayer and Figdor think this will be up to every individual. It's an individualistic, perhaps libertarian-tinged, approach. It reminds me that it's quite specific to their own culture, our own culture, the culture that Jonathan Haidt termed WEIRD (Western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic). To much of the rest of the world, morality has more dimensions than those of avoiding harm and working for justice, the two dimensions that define morality for us. This isn't to point out a weakness in what they've done, but it can be a good thing to note that their list doesn't have universality (as they have not in fact claimed it does). They want to show that atheists are at no disadvantage when it comes to morality, and when it comes to figuring out simpler realities, atheists appear to have superior tools. These tools (rules of evidence) are often also possessed by those with religious worldviews, so there isn't necessarily a meaningful split between people who believe in God and those who don't.
The following user would like to thank DWill for this post: Dexter
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot post attachments in this forum
BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!