The blog of Dr Glenn Andrew Peoples on Theology, Philosophy, and Social Issues

The New Atheism, Science and Morality – University of Auckland


On Monday the 6th of September I spoke at the University of Auckland on The New Atheists, Science and Morality. The talk is like a live presentation version of a podcast on Sam Harris and morality that I did a while back, with some updates and variations.

Jachin over at the Explaining the Bible website took some really good video footage of the talk, so whether you were there or not, you get to watch it in high quality:

The new atheism, science & morality with Glenn Peoples 6 September 2010 from E†B: on Vimeo.


A simple explanation of the moral argument


John Haldane and Glenn Peoples on physicalism


  1. Danny Green

    Hi Glenn,
    how do you respond when someone says that Christian morality is not really that significant. That we don’t need any moral standard other than “The Golden Rule” – treat others as you would like to be treated.

  2. Hi Danny. I guess the issue is not over what our moral claims are. The issue is over what makes them true.

  3. Skeptics trying to nitpick bring up the example of a masochist, who enjoys pain so inflicts it on others.
    Christian morality needn’t be unique in order to be true, indeed if God has written his law on the human heart you’d expect it to be familiar to every person.
    A better question is, what do non-Christians do to resolve the guilt of breaking those moral laws?
    Do they engage in jihad, earning their place in paradise on the bodies of the enemies of Islam?
    Do they pretend that they’re not guilty? Perhaps they spend a lot of time on Christian blogs attacking Christianity and Christians with a variety of incoherant “arguments” in order to justify themselves.
    Who knows.

  4. Deane

    A friend of mine forwarded me that Sam Harris video recently on Facebook. He raved about it. He was quite enthusiastic that it demonstrated how science showed how certain ethical systems, including Christianity, were ridiculous. Sam Harris was the messiah.

    I replied by pointing out that his talk was riddled with illogic, and recommended he instead read a sound account which showed how the naturalistic basis of morality really works. But I don’t know that he did read it. Sam Harris certainly has style, and that goes a long way for most people.

  5. Style he has, and he looks like Ben Stiller. The rest of us don’t stand a chance.

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