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Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe

Erik J. Wielenberg (Cambridge University Press: February 2005), 202 pages.

Suppose there is no God. This supposition implies that human life is meaningless, that there are no moral obligations and hence people can do whatever they want, and that the notions of virtue and vice, right and wrong, and good and evil have no place in the universe. Erik J. Wielenberg believes this view to be utterly erroneous and, in this thought-provoking book, he explains the reasons why. He argues that, even if God does not exist, human life can still have meaning, humans do have moral obligations, and human virtue is still possible. Wielenberg offers readers a cogent explanation of the ethical implications of naturalism — a view that denies the existence of the supernatural in human life. In his view virtue exists in a godless universe but it is significantly different from virtue in a Christian universe, and he develops naturalistic accounts of humility, charity, and hope. The overarching theme of Virtue and Value in a Godless Universe is what ethics might look like without God. Erik Wielenberg takes readers on an extraordinary tour of some of the central landmarks of this under-explored territory. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • 1    God and the meaning of life    14
    • 2    God and morality    38
    • 3    The divine guarantee of perfect justice    68
    • 4    Ethical character in a godless universe    98
    • 5    Creeds to live by    143