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April 07, 2009

From Whence Morality?

From days of old, mankind has wrestled with the question of ethics. In ancient Israel, after 50 years of Babylonian captivity had all but erased God’s providence and law from memory, the Jewish community wondered aloud, “How now shall we live?”

The very question presupposes a standard and a purpose. Even the early Greeks, influenced by Plato and Aristotle, believed in a purpose-driven ethic—a universal ideal of “goodness” that could be known and to which all men should strive.

...A while back, I discussed this very issue with a fellow named Bob in an online exchange. Bob is a rising star in the Brights’ movement—a network of free thinkers who embrace a worldview “free of supernatural and mystical elements.” Notable luminaries in the movement include the likes of Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett.

Our dialog began after Bob read an article I wrote expressing cynicism about the moral “wholesomeness”—a term the Brights fondly use to describe their worldview—of philosophical naturalism. Continue reading here.

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Jason Taylor

"conducive to moral or general well-being; salutary; beneficial: wholesome recreation; wholesome environment.
2. conducive to bodily health; healthful; salubrious: wholesome food; wholesome air; wholesome exercise.
3. suggestive of physical or moral health, esp. in appearance.
4. healthy or sound."

Doesn't moral wholesomeness just mean moral morality? Which means he is claiming that Naturalism is more moral then rival systems. Making claims like that is intrinsic to having a belief and taking offense is essentially taking offense that others belief differently. But couldn't he just say he believed Naturalism to be more moral?

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