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Atheism, Morality, and Meaning

Michael Martin (Prometheus: Oct, 2002), 330 pages.

Despite the pluralism of contemporary American culture, the Judaeo-Christian legacy still has a great deal of influence on the popular imagination. Thus it is not surprising that in this context atheism has a slightly scandalous ring, and unbelief is often associated with the lack of morality and a meaningless existence. Distinguished philosopher and committed atheist Michael Martin sets out to refute such notions in this thorough defense of atheism as both a moral and a meaningful philosophy of life. Martin shows not only that objective morality and a purposeful life are possible without belief in God but also that the predominantly Christian worldview of American society is seriously flawed as the basis of morality and meaning. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents 

    • Preface 9
    • Introduction 11
  • Pt. 1 The Nonreligious Foundation of Morality
    • Ch. 1 Introduction the Nonreligious Foundation of Morality 21
    • Ch. 2 Objections to Morality without Religion 27
    • Ch. 3 The Ideal Observer Theory 49
    • Ch. 4 Wide Reflective Equilibrium 73
    • Ch. 5 The Ideal Observer Theory and Wide Reflective Equilibrium Defended 85
  • Pt. 2 The Christian Foundation of Morality
    • Ch. 6 Introduction to the Foundations of Christian Ethics 113
    • Ch. 7 The Divine Command Theory 121
    • Ch. 8 Two Defenses of the Divine Command Theory 141
    • Ch. 9 Christian Ethics and the Imitation of Christ 157
    • Ch. 10 Christian Theism and Moral Skepticism 173
  • Pt. 3 The Meaning of Life Without God
    • Ch. 11 Introduction to the Meaning of Life 185
    • Ch. 12 Taylor’s Analysis of the Meaning of Life 197
    • Ch. 13 Objections to Meaning without Religion 213
    • Ch. 14 The "Nothing Matters" Argument 227
  • Pt. 4 Christianity and the Meaning of Life
    • Ch. 15 Introduction to the Religious Meaning of Life 239
    • Ch. 16 The Meaning of Life and the Atonement 253
    • Ch. 17 The Meaning of Life and Salvation 271
    • Ch. 18 The Meaning of Life and the Resurrection 291
    • Conclusion 319
    • Index 323