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Sense and Goodness Without God I: Introduction


Part 1. What This Is-

Page 3:

Our values, our morals, our goals, our identities, who we are, where we are, and above all how we know any of these things, it all comes from our philosophy of life- whether we know it or not. . . Many people call their philosophy a “Religion.” But that does not excuse them their responsibility as philosophers. . . Hardly anyone has spent a single serious moment exploring their philosophy of life. Far fewer have made any significant effort to get it right. Instead, “Religion” has become a factory made commodity, sold off the shelf to the masses.

This is all right! From the very first page Carrier had me nodding in agreement. I’ve had these constant discussions with people who have some embarrassingly ill thought out ideas of the world. Is religion to blame, or is it the symptom?

Part 2. How I Got Here:

I found this part especially appealing. It seems that Carrier has really spent a lot of time on his philosophy, and I laughed a little out loud at some parts. He was challenged to read the Bible (page 17) and says “When I finished the last page, though alone in my room, I declared aloud: “Yep, I’m an atheist.”

Page 11:

. . . the one book everyone said had all the answers was shallow, frequently confused or uninformative, unnecessarily verbose and obscure, and contradicted the society I found myself in. Worse, it read like a preachy fable: no logical arguments, no demonstrations of evidence, just assertions, and vague ones at that. . . how useless.

What a great response to people who seem to hold the Bible as some sort of life guide-book. It’s just not.

Carrier’s reading the Tao te Ching seems fairly intriguing. That book is on my list.

One Comment
  1. As a follow up, I did end up reading the Tao te Ching. . . I can't say I really liked it. Maybe I'm just allergic to poetry, but it was just not that interesting. Why veil wisdom in paradoxes?

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