Rational Irrationalism?

censorship-1After pointing out that moral nihilism follows logically from his materialism, Rosenberg is quick to add that even moral nihilists tend to follow the same basic moral code as the rest of us.

And when we are completely honest with ourselves and others, we really do sincerely endorse some moral rules we can’t fully state as being right, correct, true, or binding on everyone. (Atheist’s Guide to Reality, p. 106)

The most obvious problem here is the fact that this is, by Rosenberg’s own admission, no more rational an approach than he accuses theism of being. And, of course, it is much less rational than theism actually is.

Even proponents of materialism admit that they contradict their position almost constantly in daily life, as materialism makes it irrational for one to believe in moral truth–even as one behaves morally.

So long as one is willing to reject this area of rationality, it seems inexplicable why many such people show such moral indignation at the supposed irrationality of others. This seems a pick-and-choose approach to reason, which I find difficult to accept.

All of this is over and above the fact that a sense of moral truth is as basic to our perception of reality as a sense of the physical universe. Presumably, the reasons to accept materialism are so powerful that we should be willing to reject our basic grasp of moral truth for the sake of it.

However, I’ve not personally seen any good arguments for materialism. And, just as it would make no sense to abandon belief in the physical universe without very good reason, this doesn’t seem nearly good enough to throw out moral truth (let alone all the other things this view asks me to throw out).

So, if materialism contradicts moral truth, so much the worse for materialism, particularly when materialistic nihilists openly admit that they take a clearly irrational approach to daily life.

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