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April 11th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Leading atheist publishes secular Bible

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

The question arose early in British academic A.C. Grayling’s career: What if those ancient compilers who’d made Bibles, the collected religious texts that were translated, edited, arranged and published en masse, had focused instead on assembling the non-religious teachings of civilization’s greatest thinkers?

What if the book that billions have turned to for ethical guidance wasn’t tied to commandments from God or any one particular tradition but instead included the writings of Aristotle, the reflections of Confucius, the poetry of Baudelaire? What would that book look like, and what would it mean?

Decades after he started asking such questions, what Grayling calls “a lifetime’s work” has hit bookshelves. “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” subtitled “A Secular Bible” in the United Kingdom, was published this month. Grayling crafted it by using more than a thousand texts representing several hundred authors, collections and traditions.

The Bible would have been “a very different book and may have produced a very different history for mankind,” had it drawn on the work of philosophers and writers as opposed to prophets and apostles, says Grayling, a philosopher and professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, who is an atheist.

“Humanist ethics didn’t claim to be derived from a deity," he says. "(They) tended to start from a sympathetic understanding of human nature and accept that there’s a responsibility that each individual has to work out the values they live by and especially to recognize that the best of our good lives revolve around having good relationships with people.” 

Humanists rely on human reason as an alternative to religion or belief in God in attempting to find meaning and purpose in life.

Determined to make his material accessible, Grayling arranged his nearly 600-page "Good Book" much like the Bible, with double columns, chapters (the first is even called Genesis) and short verses. And much like the best-selling King James Bible, which is celebrating its 400th year, his book is written in a type of English that transcends time.

Like the Bible, "The Good Book," opens with a garden scene. But instead of Adam and Eve, Grayling's Genesis invokes Isaac Newton, the British scientist who pioneered the study of gravity.

"It was from the fall of fruit from such a tree that new inspiration came for inquiry into the nature of things," reads a verse from "The Good Book's" first chapter.

"When Newton sat in his garden, and saw what no one had seen before: that an apple draws the earth to itself, and the earth the apple," the verse continues, "Through a mutual force of nature that holds all things, from the planets to the stars, in unifying embrace."

The book's final chapter features a secular humanist version of the Ten Commandments: "Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."

Grayling, reached Friday at a New York hotel just as he began his U.S. book tour, has been dubbed by some a “velvet atheist” or an “acceptable face of atheism,” he says, in contrast to more stridently anti-religious writers like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, both of whom he counts as friends.

In other contexts, Grayling - who will soon take over as president of the British Humanist Association - admits he’s written critically about religion. But not in "The Good Book."

“It’s not part of a quarrel,” he says of his latest work. “It’s a modest offering… another contribution to the conversation that mankind must have with itself,” and one he says he wrote for everyone, Bible lovers included.

Given where society is today, inviting that conversation is all the more important, he says.

More than 16% of Americans say they are unaffiliated religiously, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Even so, Grayling says the hunger for a spiritual connection continues. That yearning, he argues , can be satisfied for many by taking a walk in the country, curling up with a beautiful book of poetry or even in falling in love.

“In all different ways, we can celebrate the good in the world,” he says.

While many intellectual traditions – religious and otherwise – teach that there’s “one right way to live,” Grayling says he hopes “The Good Book” will encourage people to “go beyond your teachers, your text” to understand that “we have to respect and relate to one another.”

Early sales indicate that people are open to what this new "Bible" teaches. On Monday, Grayling’s book was number 41 on Amazon’s UK bestseller list and number 1 in the philosophy and spirituality categories.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Bible • Books • Culture & Science • Ethics

soundoff (3,021 Responses)
  1. Malaka

    JESUS IS COMING... LOOK BUSY.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  2. SayWhaaa!!

    Why can't atheiests get original, The humanist Bible, come on. Name it "Atheisto" or something lol. Can't wait for the Atheist church to come up.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  3. cmnsense

    @George

    LOL, you call atheists close-minded?

    All religious nuts accept some worthless, mindless and baseless dogma as a way of life and you call us close-minded? Those of us who are looking for a rational explanation? Those who are advancing science, technology, medicine in spite of the 1000s of years of resistance from people like you?

    Go take a pill, you are delusional

    April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  4. YouAreSoDumb

    Humanism = Philosophical and Ethical System
    Atheism = Only lack of belief in a god.

    People need to learn the difference. Many atheists just practice their own brand of religion. Yes "non-religion" is also a religion. These are the people that insult believers. That insist they are right AND operate on faith.

    Most humanists tend to be agnostic. A true scientist and humanist would NEVER declare that all religions are false because quite simply, there is no evidence to support any declaration concerning the existence or non-existence of a god.

    In fact, there are secular AND religious humanists.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Evy

      Thank you for another classic example of tying "religion" with "god". I almost feel like too many human beings lack the intelligence to see past these "religious shackles". All religion does is serve as a passport to destruction! Case in point...the middle east! Probably one of the BEST examples of the horros of religion and how backwards and evil it is for ALL humanity!

      April 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Native American

    Atheism really isn't about the existence of God; it is merely skepticism of what other people SAY about God. The problem with religion is that everybody pretends it is about God... but the truth is, it is really about people - either those who are trying to control others, or those who are trying to avoid the responsibility of independent thought. But whether or not God exists has nothing to do with any of these things.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • cmnsense

      Probably the best post on the whole religion debate

      April 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  6. Jeffery

    What is with the dichotomy. There is no need for atheist to speak badly of christians. Nor is there any reason for christians to speak badly of atheist. At any point in life humans can switch sides. Christians do however recongine the value of a Christian life, the hope and joy it brings. They try to share this with non-christians. Atheist however, just woundnt have any better to offer a Christian. You have been given two options to choose. Dont hate anyone for choosing, just hope they carefully counted the cost of the choice.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  7. חֲנוֹךְ

    People who soap box their non-religion are as nauseating as those that wear it on their sleeve.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  8. Luke

    lolreligion

    April 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • steelerguin

      yeah, lol atheism too.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Luke

      As a physicist and mathematician:
      Atheism;
      >no presumptions
      Theism;
      >presume there is an almighty being
      >presume all sorts of attributes like benevolence
      >presume no evidence is needed

      Not that I expect you to understand Occam's Razor, or logic or anything.

      lolreligion

      April 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    The original Bible is just fine as long as you treat it for what it is.
    A great science fiction read, based on near total mythological and medieval bull-sh-it
    (and used as generational/population mind control and brainwashing of the masses.)

    April 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Evy

      I could almost kiss you for that comment! And to think that i've had discussions with "religious" folks who are well in their 40's and 50's who say they believe the bible 100%...LOL LOL LOL..i mean..you might as well join the ranks of the tooth fairy, easter bunny, santa claus, the big bad wolf...etc, etc.!!!!

      April 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Malaka

    Whether people know it or not, we are ALL agnostics. We simply cannot know whether a 'superior being' (god) ever existed, or exists now. This is the realist look. It is more honest and humbling to admit that this is the case, than to live your life being sure that there was or is a 'god'. Atheism and/or a firm belief in 'god' are both 2 EXTREMES, NOT BASED IN REALITY!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Evy

      Well put! People definitely want to cling to either side! AS for me, i don't have a believe against god nor do i have a believe in atheism, i just don't agree with the religious veil that people want to use!

      April 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      I used to think that Atheism was the (certain) belief that there is no God. But to me that made no sense. How would there be any difference in the faith that believers have in a god versus the faith of an Athiest? Then I heard someone explain Atheism as: "Atheists choose not to believe in a god." That made a hell of a lot more sense to me. The difference between Atheist and Agnostic would be that Agnostics leave themselves open to the possibility of believing a god, whereas Athiests have chosen not to believe in a god which makes a lot more sense to me than having certainty that any god does not exist.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Sgt_Jake

    @Rich – the Bonobo is a great ape, not a monkey.
    @Albiem, as sy2502 said, we don't. But we like to read and we like to think about what's true and right. We read the Bible too... we just don't think a God that makes adultery a sin, and then commits adultery by sleeping with Joseph's wife is playing with a full deck... or at least setting a very good example.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  12. Mike in SC

    JPopNC, Athiesm isn't about faith. It's about logic. For me, it comes from acceptance of fact that the universal questions all faiths attempt to answer are unanswerable by humans. Religions are revealed as mythologies being equal in their ability to be true and equal in their ability to be untrue. Given the potentially limitless permutations mythologies can take, the chance of any one mythology actually being correct begins to approximate zero. Whereas the chance any one mythology may be wrong approximates 100%.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Lefty

      Well put.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Evy

      Very well put...religion can be likened to greek mythology! It's all too impossible to be true.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • M22

      mike: "Athiesm isn't about faith. It's about logic. ... Given the potentially limitless permutations mythologies can take, the chance of any one mythology actually being correct begins to approximate zero. Whereas the chance any one mythology may be wrong approximates 100%."

      Evidently, then, logic isn't your forte.

      When it comes to the "religious" argument the argument isn't about "religion" as "religion" but religion insofar as it concerns only the existence of a god.

      In that respect, all religions have the same fundamental belief.

      Much less, you can't disprove the existence of a god by appealing to the seeming falsity of past faiths. If you do so, you're not meeting the merits of the argument, you're trying to fallaciously disprove something through a tenuous, but nefarious, association with something else.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Bromide

    People, People, People! The answers to all your questions and more await you in: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Read it. It's all in there.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • P1969

      Yes, because Richard is all knowing. Idiot!

      April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Free Thinker Seeking Reason

      Honestly, Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion should be required reading for all high school students. Science, evolution, logic, philosophy, origins of religious literature, this book covers it all. We could collectively save the sanity of future generations in terms of unnecessary wasted time and fear on literal belief of supernatural nonsense, while massively building up the critical thinking skills needed for America to survive and lead in a global economy.

      Instead of shelving row after row after row of bibles in your local bookstore, they should be giving out this book for free at the front door to every customer. The collective IQ of the United States would probably rise by at least 50% over the next decade if people actually were to read it and understand it. It is the most insightful, liberating book I have ever read, and I cannot possibly recommend it highly enough to everyone interested in improving both their own lives and the intellectual health of society in general.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Free Thinker Seeking Reason

      @ P1969
      Richard Dawkins does not claim to be all knowing. You may be interested in learning that Dawkins leaves open the possibility that there may be a "god" and that we can never know for sure. Logically, science cannot disprove the existence of a supernatural being, although the probability of such is essentially negligible. So, agnostic in theory, but atheist in practice makes the most sense.

      Dawkins is the most inspirational speaker I've ever listened to on this subject, but there are many other excellent ones, too.

      Pick up the book sometime and give it a try. It's proven to be a real eye opener for many.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  14. framous

    Religion and atheism have one very important thing in common: both believe that they are correct in their thinking about God or No God. As an agnostic, I accept that both could be right or wrong. I do believe however, that no human who is now living has any idea of what does or does not happen to us after we die. With Quantum Physics, potential is unlimited, the improbable is probable, the impossible possible, the unlikely likely. If it gives people of faith comfort in God or No God, so be it, it is what it is. I prefer being in the wait and see mode, afterall, the Bible says that in the end we will be all knowing...so what's the rush? It's coming soon enough for each and every one of us.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      I'm glad to see someone else looks at theism/atheism in the same way that I do. I have always said that as an atheist, I have something fundamental in common with believers: I've examined all the evidence, read the books, and came to a conclusion that I can't prove. As a post-modernist, I don't believe we can ever definitively prove or disprove anything, but we can come up with an answer or hypothesis that best fits the phenomenon observed. I'm not about to fall into the po-mo abyss that we can't count on anything as fact or law so there's no point to anything, but like in Plato's Timaeus, we have to just conclude that our approximation of reality is good enough, go about our lives, and come back and do it again tomorrow. So, while the agnostic feels okay about leaving the 'god question' unanswered, I think the evidence fits well enough for me to go about my life as an atheist.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • ColdestWinter

      That's not true though. I am an atheist which to me means that I don't believe there is a God. Its doesn't speak to the fact of whether or not their is a God. Its just my feeling. There is no evidence of any rational, logical certainty for or against God. I accept both the position that he may exist and he may not but I personally don't think he does.

      April 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  15. Stargoat

    Thomas Jefferson did the same thing 200 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

    April 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Jason

    this entire project seems self-defeating.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Haruchai Anlashok

    ...beware true Islam unbelievers – we CHRISTians dont need to worry about it

    April 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • ScottK

      Beware anyone telling you that they have a personal relationship with an invisible person and attempts to get you to start talking to yourself and giving yourself (and your possesions) over to said invisible person, who never seems to be the one picking up the check.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Marcus

      Beware anyone who lives for the One and dies for the One.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  18. Abd al-Latif

    If you assert that reason is an "alternative" to religious revelation, this is like saying that logic and science are alternatives. In fact, they are complementary. Congratulations–you are now an ally of al-Qaeda. They too think that reason and religion are incompatible...and look at the results. You cannot interpret religious texts without reason, and likewise, reason without revelation leads to the horrors of utopian communism, Ayn Rand-style capitalist triumphalism, eugenics, and Nazism. "Reason" is not the benevolent force that naive secular people seem to think it is.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      Your "reasoning" is so twisted here I'm not sure where to begin. All I can say is according to your "logic" everyone can be made to appear as an ally of Al-Queada. If you don't see how... LOL. And just the fact that you would feel the need to bring all of the "big guns" of evil including Hitler in your sad attempt to disparage Athiests is double LOL. I feel sorry for you.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • JGalt

      Errr...I guess you'll have to count me as an Al-Qaeda supporter. Shucks....

      April 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  19. Andrew

    Leading what? Why is this guy "top" or "leading" atheist? Atheism is not a church or a religion or a movement. We don't have leaders who purport to speak for us. Also quite tiring to see some leftist atheists pretend to speak for everyone else. Not every atheist believes in the Humanist mumbo jumbo garbage.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      Buddhists are atheists...what do you say to them? I can be spirtual and STILL be an athiest. Your logic = FAIL.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • The Truth

      I am not an athiest, but I was thinking the same thing. With no belief in a religion what is there to study or work in to become the top or expert? You can almost see the arguement to be the top athiest to be like "I don't believe more than you" or "I am so much an athiest I don't even know how to spell God" or "I'm a level 6 athiest because I denounce God before I go to sleep each night." Its amazing in this world even believing in nothing needs experts and top people to tell us about it.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Andrew

      No it is your logic that is failing here. Just because some "religion" or "movement" is atheist does not mean that Atheism is a religion or movement. Just because murderers are human does not mean that all humans are murderers. Learn some logic dimwit. You are probably one of those leftists I mentioned.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Evy

      Like i mention in my post, i am NOT an atheist but i absolutely DO NOT believe in religion nor in the bible. So if a guy wants to write his own "version" of what he feels the bible should really be like, why not? I mean they're both man-made books after all!! God did not personally come down and write the bible for us and as for disciples? HA! that's a joke! Just like there has never been any concrete proof that Jesus existed either....just a bunch of "anthropologists and archaologists who are "religious" and attach their "believes" to their "findings".

      April 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      The Truth: It's our media's fetish to try to label people they speak to as Top or Expert in whatever they are talking about to create the illusion that they are talking to "important" people. Every time it's Top Republican this or Top Democrat that, when it's Dan Quayle or Kucinich.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • JGalt

      I think Atheism is just the combatting of bad ideas. I also think that is what's at the core of most atheists value system. We value science>belief. As long as you adhere to that, I think you can speak freely about what atheists hold to be true.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • The Truth

      Buddhism is a religion and Buddhists can not speak or be top experts for all athiests because many athiests do not even believe in Buddhist teachings. So therefore Buddhists can only be experts in Buddhism not all athiesm so not only is your logic flawd and a FAIL, but a MEGAFAIL.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Andrew

      JGalt: Not sure. Certainly combating bad ideas is a part of it. Speaking for myself, I am not interested in combating anything. I want to be perceived as a regular whole human being, not lacking in anything with my own moral system that does not need any God for confirmation or validation.

      If other people need God for that, then let them have it.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • JGalt

      I used to think it was better to just hold myself to my convictions and leave everyone else be...but after listening to "militant" atheists like sam harris, hitchens, etc., it has become extremely tough to ignore what the notion of god is doing to this world. We are dealing with Islamic regimes that are soon going to be abe to make nuclear weapons and who also believe in the metaphysics of martyrdom...does that not sound dangerous to you? It's annoying to have to fight this fight, but it may be essential to our continued existence.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Andrew

      JGalt: I can agree with that. I was speaking more about combating Christians which I just don't see the purpose of, unless it's on things like creationism in the classroom. Islam is a whole other animal. That is a fight that is necessary because they do threaten the entire Western Civilization with their religious fanaticism.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  20. Mike

    Put 40 people in a room. Make any kind of statement about any topic. Throw it out for discussion. Guess what? You can get up to 40 different views on that one statement about that single topic. Surprise. It's called "freedom of choice". As far as this particular book is concerned, you choose what you want to read.....you choose what you want to believe......etc. etc. And you can also rest assured, that no matter what those 40 people come up with, there are 40 more people out there who will swear up and down that those original 40 are all crazy, and have no idea what they are talking about. This can go on forever. That's called "human nature". We all get the chance to pick the path we will walk, and we all take the chance that the path we pick will be the right one. Only time will tell...................

    April 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Leslie

      I believe that this an important publication. This issue often comes up in my family (half atheist, half Christian thinkers) for discussion. Why can’t the human race build a positive community without the fear of the “man in the sky”. I believe that this book is Grayling’s attempt to do so. It is important to changing society’s view and negative perception of atheist philosophy.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • conoclast

      But sometimes one of that same 40-people-in-a-room will be a Copernicus whose ideas profoundly change the thinking of the other 39. We're not all equally idiotic you know!

      April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • M22

      leslie: "This issue often comes up in my family (half atheist, half Christian thinkers) for discussion. Why can’t the human race build a positive community without the fear of the “man in the sky”[?]"

      For one simple reason: If there is no god you have no reason to do "good" and avoid "evil" except so long as doing so brings you some type of inner peace and happiness. If you can get away with doing wrong when it benefits you, and avoid doing it when it doesn't, why shouldn't you do as many evil things as you please? Because doing evil is "wrong"? By what standard and according to whom?

      Hume's sensible knave would rule the world on that view.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Andrew

      Leslie: The problem is that there is no atheist philosophy. To pretend like there is is a lie that these people like the writer here are peddling. Atheists come in all stripes with many many different philosophies. We simply don't believe in God, but everything else is up for our own determination. We don't have the same morals or ideals. I couldn't care less for anything this guy wrote in his book, pretending to speak for other atheists. Don't let them try to box us in. Atheism is not a belief system, but just an absence of belief.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      M22
      There are other answers, but I think the answer you might find most satisfying to your question of "If you can get away with doing wrong when it benefits you, and avoid doing it when it doesn't, why shouldn't you do as many evil things as you please?" is that we shouldn't do "wrong" things because we live a society with the rule of law. If we lived without the rule of law then religion becomes more valuable as a modifier of people's behavior. But because we live in a civilized society where people who go around killing people tend to (eventually) go to jail, that behavior gets sorted out. But when you start looking beyond the mist of mythology there are other good reasons why you would not want to misbehave. I hope that answers your question.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • NC

      Well said Mike.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • M22

      mike: "but I think the answer you might find most satisfying to your question ... is that we shouldn't do "wrong" things because we live a society with the rule of law. ... But because we live in a civilized society where people who go around killing people tend to (eventually) go to jail, that behavior gets sorted out."

      Which is entirely meaningless, isn't it?

      That creates a very "person-centered" justification for not doing "wrong". If it's your own interests you should worry about, then you ought to do what you want, so long as you can get away with it. And that brings us right back to square one.

      The "rule of law" is irrelevant for that reason. If you can m- urder, r- ape, and steal without ever getting caught, you have no reason not to, save your own emotional limitations.

      Your own subjectivization of the standard ends up shooting itself in the foot.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Mike in SC

      Why would rule of law be meaningless in responding to the question of "What keeps a person from doing bad things to other people?" And your oversimplification of what controls peoples behavior suggests a leading question rather than one meant to elucidate. I mean, it kind of sounds like you are telling me that if you knew that you wouldn't get caught, lets say, stealing an old lady's purse, that the only thing standing between you stealing that old lady's purse and not stealing it is the thought that you would be punished by an invisible uberman? So if you no longer believed in a god you would immediately become a felon, murder and rapist??? WOW! As a free thinker, I would not steal that old lady's purse A) because it belongs to her and I respect the notion that people have posessions, B) because that lady probably needs what's in the purse more than me, C) because I don't need her purse for anything critical (ie. no emergency) are among the first few reasons I can think of...

      April 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • M22

      mike: "I mean, it kind of sounds like you are telling me that if you knew that you wouldn't get caught, lets say, stealing an old lady's purse, that the only thing standing between you stealing that old lady's purse and not stealing it is the thought that you would be punished by an invisible uberman? So if you no longer believed in a god you would immediately become a felon, murder and rapist??? WOW!"

      Evidently reading comprehension isn't your strong point.

      The argument was whether or not you had a "reason" not to steal the old woman's purse. There are only two conditions present, as originally noted: whether you have some subjective reason (your own sense of guilt) not to steal the purse, and whether you "can" get away with it (you will be punished).

      If you answer "no" to those questions, you have no reason not to do as much evil as you please.

      "As a free thinker, I would not steal that old lady's purse A) because it belongs to her and I respect the notion that people have posessions, B) because that lady probably needs what's in the purse more than me, C) because I don't need her purse for anything critical (ie. no emergency) are among the first few reasons I can think of..."

      Which, again, is entirely subjective. Your own guilt riddened, weakened feelings are irrelevant when talking about categorical or universal moral propositions. Especially when your own stance on morality (as you plainly admit) comes down to merely a subjective evaluation of the goods and evil that *you* will incur.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.