An Atheist’s View of Morality

Posted: February 7, 2011 by Brett Kunkle in Do the Right Thing, Truth Matters, Weekly Challenge

In last week’s challenge, we offered a video clip of Richard Carrier’s view of moral values.  That short video clip was part of a larger talk.  In fairness to Carrier’s presentation, we offer the remaining video footage here:

  1. rob says:

    i can’t take this guy seriously hes a jesus mythicst thats an extreme view to hold you wonder why people have abanded that view since forever

  2. Ben says:

    It seems some of your audience is more interested in premature value judgments than in having a full conversation about an important topic, but I do appreciate your good will towards fair representation.


  3. I’m finding it very educational myself. Thank you guys for posting it. It’s giving me some stuff to think about.

  4. Damien says:

    I think it’s interesting that he says that morality and virtues are something that are physically manifested in the brain. As I recall, this is the same thing Michael Shermer was trying to claim in his debate with Greg Koukl. Carrier stayed as far away from this claim as he could during this talk, it seems. If you were to open up someone’s head and look inside their brain, you wouldn’t find “morality cells” or “virtue chemicals.” A certain identifiable chemistry might be taking place when various emotions are felt, but that is merely the result of the feeling an person has, or the result of a moral decision one has just made.

    That does nothing to answer the question, “Where does morality come from? or “What does morality consist of?” In fact, it seems to me that it doesn’t sufficiently answer the question from a purely materialistic or naturalistic worldview.

    • Ben says:

      If we opened up a computer would we find jpegs and PDFs? Would we even find 1’s and 0’s? Or would we find a physical arrangement of matter that gets translated into that output at whatever level? Similarly if we opened up the engine of an airplane would we find any flying parts? Or do all those non-flying parts come together in a special arrangement to give the airplane the flight property? There’s no good reason to think that moral behaviors and moral thoughts are not just patterns in the brain.