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Can You Have Ethics Without God?

Relativism is rampant in western culture. About two-thirds of people in the USA believe that there are no absolutes. About half of “born again” believers agree and only one-tenth of those under 20 years old believe in absolutes. This lecture makes the case against relativism, drawing on some of the leaders of the opposition; Sartre, Wittgenstein, Russell, Derrida, and Rorty, who do a great service by showing us the logical conclusion of their views. There is also a critique of the attempt to create an ethic without God by Kant, John Rawls, and others.

Study Questions

  1. What is the difference between a sinner and a hypocrite?
  2. Who is the greatest critic of hypocrisy (religious or otherwise) of all time?
  3. What are the consequences of denying fixed points for meaning, dignity, and morality?
  4. What do leading atheists say about the consequences of their views for meaning or morality?
  5.  Do atheists have a basis for affirming human dignity? How can we assert the worth of humans?
  6. Why will the “cultural move” never work?
  7. Why do the options come down to SEZ ME, SEZ US, or SEZ God?

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