Friday, November 09, 2018

The good life without God, or anything else naturalists reject

I like to say that ethics without God is easy. Ethics without metaphysics is a lot harder. Consider, for example, the idea of a good life that is independent of the pleasure calculus. That seems to me to require something like an Aristotelian metaphysics. Good from whose point of view, we might ask. Is a good life one we like, or is there an objective standard of goodness by which life can be measured? Doesn't that involve either a God, an inherent human teleology, or maybe a Form of the Good which we can know (perhaps by having perceived those Forms in a past life and bringing them back through re-collection?" I have yet to see a good attempt to do ethics without God that doesn't ultimately commit you to something as unacceptable to a modern naturalist as God, and for much the same reasons. Oh, I forgot, yeah, you could bring in a law of karma that governs transmigrations of souls. Try getting that one past Richard Dawkins.

1 comment:

Joe Hinman said...

I would think it would have to be a teleological form of ethics. If deontoloical where do you ground the rules or from what what does one derive a sense of duty obligation?