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Getting Along Without God - The Stone Philosophy Links - NYTimes


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Does our morality need a divine underpinning? Troy Jollimore doesn’t think so, and in an essay at the new British magazine Aeon, he cites Socrates’ arguments in the “Euthyphro” to assert that the need for a God-based morality is not just unnecessary, but incoherent. So why do so many remain unconvinced? Jollimore largely blames modern attempts to formulate an “ethics beyond religion,” and the Kantian and utilitarian projects particularly, for not offering a robust enough account of the moral life. Jollimore thinks the more up-to-date “particularism” of Iris Murdoch and John McDowell does a better job of integrating “theory and experience.” Their thought in turn, Jollimore thinks, owes much to the unfashionable Aristotelian notion of “practical wisdom,” and an ethical system based not on “rules,” but on character, judgement, and the virtues. “Moral particularism,” then, is a “secular ethics” that is based more in practice than in theory; it’s also one that Jollimore concedes “shares some important common ground with religious tradition.”

The main challenge is that there are lots of different definitions of what is moral and what is ethical.

It's very hard to know what to do in some cases. Once you start making rules you're back in the world of religion and philosophy. 

I speak, Organically, not acadmically. But I believe you can a have "secular" approach to the teachings of Religion, per se without all the Jesus is our savior.  I don't disbelieve the teachings of the Bible.  I understand the need for society's looking up to something greater than them.  Now it's hollywood.. I think the reasons you espouse ...is simply of NOESIS...a Virtue that needs not know God, per se, but does understand what is right, just...vs wrong and evil...

There really is only ONE KNOWING..and I say to all those that have to have it explained..could not understand it if it was made perfectly clear...we see this today..."What, you don't know right from wrong?" from the theory of duh....But...yes...who is going to be that ONE who is also, coincidental in power to implement.....as the world turns....I'm dizzy

You lost me on your second comment, Tony.  I, too, think there can be non-religious study of religion.  I see a lot of college classes built around that idea.  I wonder if humanity is only at the end of the beginning of the shift from a heavy religious influence to a heavy scientific influence for the whole world.  I imagine Jollimore will have an easier time with the argument in another 200-300 years.  

There is but One right answer...moral relavancy is chuck and jive...for those not accepting orthodoxy....this Scientific thing dominating you are correct, where it goes...actually I see God (who what that is?) and science being in harmony...those who argue one way or the other seek power in being "the one."  "if it isn't my idea, its not a good one...Salute..

Over my Xmas trip, I had a long conversation with nice "Bible Church" pastor and his wife, and I stumped them both with this supposition:

In John 14:6, Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." It's the among closest things He is (supposed) to have ever said to justify his own divinity. Suppose an Atheist takes the Jeffersonian view of Jesus as the ultimate philosopher, the penultimate of Mankind, rather than an emanation of God.  And further suppose that such an atheist endeavored to live his life as Jesus taught full of the spirit He embodied, just as a baptized believer would.  Is or is not that person a Christian?

They kept being hung up on the idea that you had to believe in God _before_ believing in Christ, whereas Jesus made it VERY clear, imo, that faith in him as a teacher specifically denied ANY predicates, including the Theistic question..... Which directly contradicts, imo, Christ's own words.... My interpretation being that "coming to the father" can and should come later.... 

That being a Christian is ENTIRELY compatible with being Atheist.

Whoa. Jason, you just blew my mind.

It's just a developer's logic ;-) ..... Interface God(Christ) != Interface Christ();  

Interface Christ (WWJD)?  (I'm not a developer.)

Geege, you crack me up.

Essentially, an atheist could believe in Jesus-as-philosopher without believing in his divinity.

Those two things -- philosophy and divinity -- are loosely coupled.

I know. One step further:  Jesus is a metaphor, for the self-defined divinity (virtue) Tony alludes to below, which one achieves by dying to the primal (evil) self.  It's a battle; no wonder we needed a crucifixion.

Jason, I have used the same logic before too!  It got me kicked out of sunday school one weekend years ago.  Hooray for decent behavior!

When you think deep, philosophy, divinity...indeed...it defaults back to this simple notion that you either have a + or a -.  Humanity, rising about the primal self and evolved into an intuit of good or bad....yes...Virtue vs Evil...yes...here comes the go around...."if it isn't my "philosophy, religion" it isn't a good one...how could it be, I am Me, and I am right?  Humanity indeed.

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