Sense And Goodness Without God A Defense of Metaphysical

Sense And Goodness Without God A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism If God does not exist then what does Is there good and evil and should we care How do we know what's true anyway And can we make any sense of this universe or our own lives Sense and Goodness answers all these uestions in lavish detail without complex jargon A complete worldview is presented and defended covering every subject from knowledge to art from metaphysics to morality from theology to politics Topics include free will the nature of the universe the meaning of life and much arguing from scientific evidence that there is only a physical natural world without gods or spirits but that we can still live a life of love meaning and joy This was a great book on Naturalism While there are a number of good books that cover the various subjects and disciplines that are addressed in this one none of them knit everything together like Richard Carrier does There is a lot to get through and you will want to read it than once After each section is a bibliography for further exploring the topic being discussed An excellent book The title misled me a bit I picked the book up thinking it would be of a crack at theistic ideas a smart version of something like The God Delusion but it's than that It's a case for Metaphysical Naturalism which is a convoluted title for something but basically just accepts that the natural world is all there is and it's of an explanation of an alternative worldview than an apologetics work It's a great worldview in a box as Luke Muehlhauser puts it if you're not sure what to believe philosophically any after figuring out that Christianity doesn't match up very well with realitySome of my favorite uotes Philosophy is therefore no idle pastime but a serious business fundamental to our lives It should be our first if not our only religion a religion wherein worship is replaced with curiosity devotion with diligence holiness with sincerity ritual with study and scripture with the whole world and the whole of human learning So the predictions entailed by a proposition that are fulfilled the reasonable it is for us to believe it And vice versa the predictions a claim entails that actually fail to transpire when investigated the less reasonable it is for us to believe it All metaphysical naturalists believe that if anything exists in our universe it is a part of nature and has a natural cause or origin and there is no need of any other explanation Truth most commonly means “correspondence with fact” such that a statement is true if the experiences it predicts will actually be experienced under the implied conditions What is rational is reasonable certainty not absolute certainty Unless we still assert belief on pure faith alone However though belief on faith alone may be comforting it is wholly arbitrary and thus does nothing to ensure that you are correct than anyone else So it cannot properly be described as knowledge but rather as a mere wish a desire that something be true or false or else it is a naive trust in guesswork or hearsay And for us the sages have said it for millennia it really is love that is key—love of learning love of doing love of others love of ideals love of country or cause anything everything is the foundation of meaning If we lacked that we would certainly be miserable and our lives pointless even if we lived forever It is absolutely crucial to have a sound and successful philosophy of life and yet almost no one studies philosophy It is rarely taught in public schools—in fact it is barely even taught in universities unless a student specializes in the field The books available in stores or libraries are often dry and almost as often polluted by unsound thinking or obscured behind high brow jargon and symbols or divorced from any relevance to everyday life Rarely are complete and understandable philosophies of life available by the book clearly written to be studied compared selected Of course so few people even bother to look Religion does not benefit by teaching its pupils to investigate other philosophies nor does religion prosper by giving people the tools to think but only by giving them the tools to believe And that reuires suppressing freethought After all if everyone found and embraced reasons to be good and enjoy life without the religious superstitions claimed to be necessary religion would become obsolete—a fate I imagine that believers and their churches cannot emotionally or economically affordMetaphysical Naturalism is the only worldview that is supported by all the evidence of all the sciences the only one consistent with all human experience the established truths of history and reason itself No other worldview including theism generally or Evangelical Christianity in particular is supported by any evidence of any of the sciences I absolutely loved this book I came to it expecting to find an intelligent defense of a moral outlook that didn't depend on a God and found instead a full fledged worldcosmic view that perfectly described my own but so much completely than I have ever managed to communicate If I were to direct someone to a source from which they might gain a good understanding of my own way of thinking other than to my own writings I would send them to this book which covers topics ranging from the meaning of words to the nature of reason to the nature of the universe how it came to be and why the theory of a naturally occurring universe fits the evidence better than that of one created by a God to the uestion of Free will to the nature of the human mind the meaning of life and of course the origins and nature of genuine morality plus other topics you might not expect such as why we find some things beautiful and not others and a commentary on politicsI enjoyed it all immensely Perhaps you will too The author did a very good job of building his case He used logic and reason to demonstratrate that metaphysical naturalism is the only worldview that is supported by the evidence Carrier also made an honest effort to present a Christian refutation to his views; and convincingly debunked dissenting points I didn't necessarily like that he focussed so much time on the writings of JP Moreland but I would have to assume that he did so to give a consistent Christian perspective which was aimed at actively criticising his own work There were certainly positions with which I would not be in full agreement with the author but I got the feeling that we could have a great time discussing our differences over a few beers All in all this book was well worth the considerable time it took me to read it The content in this book will reuire much writing and discussion I was already a metaphysical naturalist upon reading this book and already very familiar with Carrier and his thought The first 80% of the book is wonderfully argued and arranged Ethics are not my focus in philosophy for me it's epistemology aesthetics and politics so his discussions there are a little over my head but I believe I understood them I have some studying to do on the subject but I must admit that what Carrier presents in those chapters is strongly convincing The chapter on aesthetics is mostly well argued and accurate even as he takes shots at Picasso and abstract art that I think are unfounded simply because he doesn't have an appreciation for them Yet he himself describes beauty as relying in part upon many things that make Picasso and others appealing to many people He argues that if intelligent aliens came to visit us he would hope that we would show them DiVinci and not Picasso but this is a false dichotomy I would hope we would show them the best examples of every form so they could see what really makes us not just lovers of classical art tick The chapter on politics falls apart Take the first few weeks of any intro to poly sci class and also imagine this class is taught by a dedicated populist who seems to believe that the truth lies at the midpoint between to opposing parties and you can probably guess at the content of this chapter Carrier divies up points between conservative and liberal his definitions there need refinement like he's splitting up candy between two bratty and whiny children This isn't really helpful For example should we teach creationism half of the time in public school science classes? Certainly Carrier doesn't think so but as a philosopher Carrier is well versed in science and epistemology and so he in that context knows that this kind of moderation is simply not constructive It is usually the case that one side of a conflict is correct often much correct than the other Conservatism like it or not is in every society the name given to the group of people who defend and support the property rights of the upper class all the way to the point of feudalism which was once a liberal cause in relation to the conservatives at that time monarchs So these political terms are relative and it does not help to assign platforms and virtues to relative political stances that change drastically over time The only common denominator between the two is the class struggle Liberals are always for the spreading around of power in society conservative are always for keeping it in the hands of a privileged few There is no other common thread So Carrier misses the mark here and unfortunately for me this made his book 4 stars instead of 5 And that's a shame because I really want to give it 5 What i'm wondering is what on earth does Carrier Populism 101 have to do with Metaphysical Naturalism? Nothing I understand it's a part of a philosophical worldview but we all must choose our specialties and should be humble when we wander away from them see my discussion of ethics above I should also say that Carrier is one of my favorite intellectuals on the internet and I follow him uite regularly But history is really his strong suit and I must say i'm most impressed when he is writing on the subject of ancient history and religion I feel like I should praise this book but i'm sure he'll live without my back patting Excellent discussion of metaphysical naturalism It is unfortunately an overly broad discussion with regards to specific applications I followed all of his logic and arguments until the very end when he gets into his personal political views Somehow there is a disconnect between the evidence he demands of religion and the evidence he demands for government policies He understands the misery brought on by all collective socialistic regimes except the modern liberal ones He also describes all the programs he endorses as being good without offering any evidence to that respect I will however have to read the supporting material he lists at each chapter The first part of the book I would have given 4 stars the last section 1 I'd rather give it 35 starsI skipped a bit and wish I skipped The text reads like a textbookThe best part in the entire book is the forward by the authorThis book attempts to be an all inclusive read on every aspect of living a secular humanistic life giving you the answer to every uestion which may be asked This leads a very long drawn out book His Defense of a Metaphysical Naturalism defends all things defendableHis material is good He also does a great job of very accurately responding to uestions However I think it would best used a reference guide rather than a sit down read cover to cover Sense and Goodness Without God by Richard Carrier Sense and Goodness Without God A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism is a great reference book about the metaphysical naturalist worldview It's a book the answers the big philosophical uestions about our world in a comprehensive and thorough fashion Mr Carrier tackles a very ambitious project; he covers a lot of interesting issues with a luxury of details such as religion knowledge science art politics etcThe book has 444 pages and is composed of eight major chapters I Introduction II How We Know III What There Is IV What There Isn't V Natural Morality VI Natural Beauty VII Natural Politics and VIII Conclusion Positives 1 A well written accessible book for the masses of the most important philosophical uestions of the world Some concepts are still dense but the author does an excellent job of clearly conveying his worldview 2 Very knowledgeable author who explains with a luxury of details his naturalist worldview Each major chapter is broken out into sub chapters At the end of each subchapter there is a bibliography of suggested reading material Excellent 3 Very thorough book Each topic is covered with great care and obviously well thought out 4 The book is reference uality I will use this book for future reference Some very interesting concepts ideas and even methodology are explained in a clear logical manner 5 There is so much knowledge in this book I also enjoy how the author refutes critics of his worldview JP Moreland is referenced uite a bit 6 One of the biggest strengths of this book is the sound logic backed by science 7 Thought provoking I enjoy books that make me think this book is brain candy 8 The concept of abstraction explained in plain English Many concepts as well Thank you 9 The concept or myth that is the soul is one of my favorite topics and Mr Carrier shares much needed insight 10 Coherent thinking throughout 11 Well worth the investment of time needed to read from cover to cover 12 There is a lot to take from this book Many concepts and ideas are much clearer in my mind as a result of this book Mr Carrier's ability to convey cogent thoughts in a precise manner had a lot to do with it 13 Very positive book Negatives 1 An investment of time is reuired to get through this book but ultimately is worth it 2 So much in this book some chapters are tedious and the author belabors some points 3 Ambition perhaps made this book bigger than it should have been 4 With so many diverse topics covered it's expected that some topics will be of much interest than others 5 Some charts or illustrations would have helped explain some concepts As an example a chart of worldviews 6 Perhaps a little humor could have been used to break it up a little bit In summary I compare Sense and Goodness with the building of a solid house At first it takes a while to build up a sound foundation there is a lot of prep work and such but once it is down the walls come up in a hurry That's exactly how this book flows; Richard Carrier spends a lot of time going through the methodology of knowledge and establishes a good foundation of what is to come As a reader I was rewarded with an ambitious book that delivers the goods The philosophy of Secular Humanism is one I endorse and live by and so it is always good to read a book that articulates my way of thinking cogently The book deserves five stars for its depth and consistency Richard Carrier has obviously done a lot of thinking about the Big uestions who are we why are we here what does it mean to love to be a good person to matter And by and large his answers are sound and well thought out especially in the realm of morality and the origin of the universe His views on the scientific method art and politics I either uibbled with or outright disagreed with But he did get me to confess that yes I am an atheist And I care about what it means to be a good person anyway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *