Anselm Ramelow

Anselm Ramelow

Professor of Philosophy; Senior Fellow, Berkeley Institute


Can We Be Moral Without God?


Although their view of reality does not seem to invite it, atheists often claim that they can be just as good and moral people as religious believers. Theists, on the other hand, will frequently claim the opposite. For them, it is not so much that we need the threat of a final judgment to behave properly, but the very validity of the moral law seems to depend on the existence of God, either as a lawgiver or in other ways. This seminar will explain that the actual arguments might turn out to be a bit different than people would expect on either side. We will begin by reading some contemporary theists and their opponents. Then we will go a bit deeper into history: first to Newman and Kant, then to Thomas Aquinas. Short texts will be provided, no previous study of philosophy is required. 

Dates: Wednesdays on 3.6, 3.13, 3.20, 4.3
Time: 5:30-7:00pm

Readings and Discussion Schedule:

3/6: Atheists: Morality without a Lawmaker? 
3/13: The Problems of the Theist
3/20: Natural Law with and without a Lawmaker
4/3: A Lawmaker Need Not be a Tyrant

Location:  2134 Allston Way

**This seminar is free and open to all Cal, GTU, and St. Mary’s students.