Physician-assisted suicide. Racism. Genetic engineering. Abortion. Poverty. Capital punishment.
Our culture is beset by a host of vexing ethical questions. Are there any foundational moral principles to guide us? If so, where do they come from?
Christians say that we can--and should--be guided by principles derived from a right understanding of God. But skeptics and those with differing religious convictions argue that ethics and morality need not have anything to do with the God of the Old and New Testaments. Are they correct? Can right and wrong exist without God? Can we, in fact, be good or bad without God?
In Paul Chamberlain's intriguing, inventive book, these questions are explored by a cast of five: Ted (a Christian) joins Graham (an atheist), Francine (a moral relativist), William (an evolutionist) and Ian (a secular humanist). Together they have been summoned to the home of a mystery host. And together, to the benefit of their host and the reader, they undertake a fascinating examination of truth, conduct, culture--and a few other things that matter.
Part One: Do Real Right Wrong Exist?
1. What's at Stake? The Meaning of Morality
2. What If Morality Were Subjective? The Consequences of Subjective Morality
3. Subjective Morality Found Wanting: The Case Against Subjective Morality
4. Why Morality Must Be Objective: The Case for an Objective Moral Standard
5. Hey, I Object! Obstacles to Believing in Objective Morality
6. But Don't Different Cultures Have Different Moral Practices? A Major Obstacle to Objective Morality
Part Two: Foundations of Objective Moral Standards
7. Morals Without God: An Atheist Foundation.
8. Can We Be the Basis of Morals? A Humanist Foundation, Part I
9. Can Our Needs Be the Basis of Morals? A Humanist Foundation, Part II.
10. Morals--the Key to Survival: An Evolutionary Foundation
11. Introducing God: A Christian Theist Foundation.
12. Objecting to God: Obstacles to Believing in the God Hypothesis