Landon's Reviews > Morality Without God?

Morality Without God? by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
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Jan 30, 10

Read from January 28 to 30, 2010

This is a good, short book arguing that God and religion are not necessary for morality. Sinnott-Armstrong spends a chapter each arguing (1) that atheists are not inherently any worse than theists, (2) that a society of non-believers will not devolve into corruption and immorality (here he analyzes various studies which show correlations between atheism/theism and immoral behaviors), (3) a secular morality can be based on the harm principle, (4) traditional Divine Command Theory is problematic as a standard for objective morality, (5) the secular theory of morality gives people at least as good a reason to be moral as the religious morality, and (6) the secular theory of morality makes moral knowledge more accessible than Divine Command Theory. In addition to that, he has an introduction and conclusion. The book is good as an introduction to the issue, but lacks a careful analysis in some places. The main weakness, I think, is the author's treatment of Biblical texts. Although he offers a plausible face-value reading, the over-emphasis on this in some of the chapters leaves him vulnerable to more sophisticated Christian apologists coming along and bashing his ignorance of "proper interpretation of the texts." In any case, a good book by a good philosopher.
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