Segments in this Video

In Place of Prejudice: Meet the Panelists (01:46)


Musician and Church of England priest Richard Coles frames the debate on morality and introduces University of Manchester bioethics professor John Harris, New College of the Humanities philosophy lecturer Naomi Goulder, and King's College London philosopher Clare Carlisle.

John Harris: the Pitch (02:02)

Harris says morality is about personal flourishing and prudency, and exists independently of God or religion.

Naomi Goulder: the Pitch (04:09)

Goulder discusses Nietzsche's idea of morality as a power concept. Three ways of justifying morality in the absence of God include seeing human nature as sociable; using pure reason to legislate moral law; and acknowledging morality as a human construction.

Clare Carlisle: the Pitch (03:18)

Carlisle believes morality is not self-evident; humans can be deceived about the good of nature. She does not see God as a law giver, but as the mysterious basis of human existence.

Theme One: Why Has Morality Maintained its Authority? (14:02)

Harris says we have developed a moral system based on human nature, including a sense of justice and social harmony. Goulder argues that social deviants should not be labeled as defective humans. Carlisle sees morality as an individual response to searching for God.

Theme Two: Can We Find a Secular Basis for Morality? (11:30)

Harris says we created laws to institutionalize criminality; humans pursue philosophical questioning naturally. Carlisle believes God is something that we search for, rather than postulate. She discusses Plato's idea of virtue; Goulder advocates intrinsic morality.

Theme Three: Can and Should We Live Without Morality? (13:13)

Goulder argues that humans can exist outside the Judeo-Christian morality system. Carlisle says Christian teachings challenged moral judgment and discusses how religion can be misguided. Harris advocates philosophical questioning, and believes people make personal sacrifices for society without God.

Credits: In Place of Prejudice (00:21)

Credits: In Place of Prejudice

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In a secular age morality is very much alive and kicking. Yet without divine authority, morality risks being wheeled out in support of convictions, prejudices and favored institutions. Can rationality or transcendental values put morality on a firmer footing? Or is there a case for abandoning talk of morality altogether? On Habit author Clare Carlisle, outspoken bio-ethicist John Harris, and NCH Philosopher Naomi Goulder question the fantasy of morality.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL145281

ISBN: 978-1-64347-147-1

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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