150 days; 150 posts
Note: If anybody wants to see a complete list of those 150 posts, it can be found at AlonzoFyfe.com
So, hello readers. How are things?
When I started this blog, I wanted to stop and take a breath every now and then. It is not easy trying to think of something to write about every day.
I wanted to take a day off at my 100th post to reflect on what I had already written. However, that was when the news broke of President Bush’s authorization to the NSA to spy on Americans without a warrant. That moral outrage pushed that anniversary issue away.
“Moral outrage? How can you, an atheist, ever experience moral outrage? Without belief in God, you cannot even know what morality is!”
Honestly, I am so tired of that claim. Beyond a doubt, I have devoted more time to the study of morality than I have to any other activity in my life . . . including sleep. There is really only one reason why a person embraces the “atheists cannot be moral” meme.
People in Group A want to assert that they are morally superior to people in Group B, so that they can subject the people in Group B to all sorts of unfair and unjust treatment without feeling guilty about it. The idea, “We can know and understand morality; you cannot” gives these people just the excuse they need.
And if Group B ever protests their unjust and unfair treatment, Group A simply asserts, “How can you question the morality of our actions? Only we in Group A can understand the requirements of morality. Only we in Group A can determine if you are being treated unjustly. Surprisingly, when we in Group A evaluate our own actions, we find ourselves to be glowing in moral perfection. Therefore, your complaints are false.”
The problems associated with basing morality on religion have been known for 2,500 years, since Socrates first proved morality’s independence of religion to Euthyphro. However, when a person can clutch a straw that allows him to name himself the model of moral perfection and those he harms as deserving, he will hold onto that straw unto death.
From time to time, I have taken a day or two to describe the foundation from which I draw the moral conclusions that I do. Some of these posts include:
• Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005 Moral Progress
• Friday, Sept. 30, 2005 Moral Theory
• Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005 Ethics Without God I
• Friday, Oct. 7, 2005 Ethics Without God II
• Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005 The Meaning of Life
• Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 Why Be Moral?
• Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005 Morality from Religious Texts
• Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005 The Meaning of Ought
• Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 Reasons and Action
• Sunday, Jan. 8, 2006 Morality as Evolved Sentiments.
• Monday, Jan. 9, 2006 Morality as a Matter of Opinion
• Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006 On Moral Character
• Friday, Jan. 20, 2006 Morality and Reasons for Action
• Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006 Morality and Free Will\
• Monday, Jan. 30, 2006 Dale Reich's Caricature of Atheists
If one wants longer and more technical descriptions of what I put in these posts, they can find it at my web site, under the articles:
And, finally, the book-length manuscript I have on my web site:
So, with this post, the next time somebody shows up to say, “How can you, an atheist, have any opinion at all on the difference between moral right and wrong,” I now have one location I can point them to.
At least . . . so far.
Have a good evening. I’ll be back tomorrow, to start another 150 days of posts.