Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to be good without God

Michael Shermer, as head of one of America’s leading skeptic organizations, and as a powerful activist and essayist in the service of this operational form of reason, is an important figure in American public life.
— Stephen Jay Gould 
Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the The Skeptics Society’s Distinguished Science Lecture Series, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University. 
Dr. Shermer’s books include: The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule (on the evolutionary origins of morality and how to be good without God).

But apparently it's harder to be good without God than he anticipated:


  1. Obvious question for atheists: since there's no reasonable justification for objective morality on the atheism Shermer and Myers stump for, why is Shermer (objectively morally) wrong to do what he does to these atheist women?

  2. "[W]hy is Shermer (objectively morally) wrong to do what he does to these atheist women?" Exactly. "Feelings ... nothing more than feelings." Why would an atheist care one wit how one mass of atoms interacts with another mass of atoms?

  3. Well according to Alex Rosenberg we are nothing but fermions and bosons and the relations among them, and physical objects are not about anything so it seems to me Shermer wasn't doing anything more objectionable than what a rock does when it rolls down a hill. Just more matter doing what it does.

  4. And what proof has Myers offered of his claims against Shermer?

    Zero. Zip. Nada.

    And Myers has now received a demand letter from Shermers's lawyers...Vox Day blogged about it has has the letter up.

    There is definitely going to be litigation this time.

    Myers is a weasel, and Shermer is a jerk.

    I love the smell of atheists bashing each other in the morning!!

  5. Socially, when I moved from theism to atheism, and science as a worldview, I guess, to be honest, I just liked the people in science, and the scientists, and their books, and just the lifestyle, and the way of living. I liked that better than the religious books, the religious people I was hanging out with—just socially. It just felt more comfortable for me. …In reality I think most of us arrive at most of our beliefs for non-rational reasons, and then we justify them with these reasons after the fact.- Michael Shermer

    I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…. Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless. …

    For myself as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was …liberation from … a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom…. There was one admirably simple method in our political and erotic revolt: We could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever. Similar tactics had been adopted during the eighteenth century and for the same reasons. -Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means, 270-273)