Ethics minus religion = thin gruel?

Didn't see this until now -- "Room for Debate" at the New York Times, with Rhys Southan weighing in interestingly (as usual).

Elsewhere in vegan-world, Gary Francione has an interesting, long essay about moral realism and "new atheism".  It bothers him, as it does me, that new atheists often accept the following equation:  ETHICS minus RELIGION = THIN GRUEL.  In academic ethics, that equation is usually rejected. Generally, new atheists think giving up God makes a much bigger difference to everything than it really does.  A prime example of the "huge difference" view (perhaps we should talk about "huge difference atheism" rather than "new atheism") is Alex Rosenberg's book The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions, which I'm reviewing in an upcoming issue of Free Inquiry. This is HD Atheism cubed.  My 2,000 word review, reduced to one word, would be "no".  More on that when the review comes out.


Aeolus said...

Yes, lots of interesting stuff in the Francione essay.

I'm looking forward to your review of the Rosenberg book. I checked out the Amazon link and I'm already irritated by the apparent know-it-all simplism.

Faust said...

That does not strike me as the correct framing of New Athiest ethics. I would have phrased it: ETHICS - RELIGION = REAL ETHICS BASED IN REASON.

Could be I'm missing something.

Anonymous said...

The security system refused to accept me as human and killed my original comment and the annoyance at that has exceeded my interest in commenting, so I'll just say that the Francione essay deserves a critical review as much as the people whose views it criticizes.

Jean Kazez said...

Awfully sorry--yeah, it's annoying. What I like about Francione's essay is that he recognizes that without God, practically every option in metaethics is till on the table, including moral realism.