Morality without God

Charles E. Scott

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Morality without God

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This chapter examines three viable approaches to God, i.e., styles of piety: theism, atheism, and deism. Using Psalm 8 as a base text, Scott sees the infinitude of space and stars as both a sign of the divine presence, but also as a sign of the infinite emptiness that can utterly separate man from Creator. Atheism would seem to be borne of the capacity to ignore the enormity of life itself, and hence to see no special significance in it, but only random chance. However, there is a danger of moral chaos when the emptiness loses all significance. By contrast, for the deist, morality derives from the grandeur of the void, and that void's implication that we need to be our own arbiters of our behavior. Hence, when the emptiness is itself holy, ethics can endure the loss of faith in a theistic God.

Keywords: God; morality; theistic God; emptiness; atheism; theism; deism; faith

Chapter.  4491 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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