Can there be such things as good and evil in an atheistic universe? Believers typically deny that there can be such things, because they believe that if there are any facts about what is good and evil, these facts must be transcendental in nature, and transcendental facts are at best ill at ease in a materialistic world.
it is completely unclear whether moral facts must be transcendental in nature. Most major theories of ethics that have been developed (for instance, Aristotelianism, Kantianism, utilitarianism, contractarianism, and ideal observer theory) posit that there are moral facts, but that they are not transcendental in nature. I will not comment further on these theories, since they are beyond my ability to evaluate properly.
However, it is incumbent upon believers to refute all of these theories if they wish to show that even materialism, much less atheism, is inconsistent with the existence of moral facts. Second, it is uncertain whether there are such things as moral facts at all. I, for one, see no reason to believe there are such things. Nor do I think they are an especially useful fiction; the vast majority of people would, I think, behave exactly the same as they do now even if they believed there were no such things as moral facts--they would continue to be guided, as they are now, by their deepest cares and concerns. Let us, however, put these two points aside. Let us join the believer in assuming that there are indeed moral facts, and that these moral facts are, furthermore, transcendental in nature, and see whether it follows from these assumptions that atheism is inconsistent with morality.
-to explain how we know about such things, do we not need to invoke a god who tells us what they are?
-how does adding a god to the picture explain such a mysterious connection any more than positing that such connections are part of the natural order of things? Theism once again multiplies mysteries rather than solving them.
Very good thread. I 'll only two things, which I believe encompass by beliefs of the subject.
In the first question, I say no. Anything that hurts another being is immoral. I agree with Kant on this one.
In the second question, I have to say this. Without religion or god, good people do good things and bad people do bad things. It takes religion though, to make good people make bad things. Someone said that but I am not sure who he is/was.
-why should any particular person consider being an atheist?
-could it be possible for anyone to not believe?
-Why should we consider atheism?
-it isnít very easy to answer...but Why Be An Atheist?
-why are people theists?
-The term agnosticism is used primarily for a single issue: do any gods exist or not? Those who disclaim knowledge of gods or even that such knowledge is possible are labeled agnostics.
what is the definition of agnosticism? Some imagine that agnosticism represents an alternative to atheism, but those people have typically bought into the mistaken notion of the single, narrow definition of atheism. Strictly speaking, agnosticism is about knowledge, and knowledge is a related but separate issue from belief, the domain of theism and atheism...
Many people who adopt the label of agnostic assume that, in doing so, they also exclude themselves from the category of theist. There exists a common perception that agnosticism is more 'reasonable' than theism because it eschews theism's dogmatism.
-Is that accurate or are such agnostics missing something important?