The Circle of Stupid..

Apologies for recent radio silence…

I’m currently working on a new book. Hopefully out later this year, The Circle of Stupid will be an attempt to place the discussion of ethics beyond the awfulness of the current ‘God Debate’.

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In the first sections, I argue that the entire atheists vs Theists ‘debate’ is both ill-conceived and entirely futile. The positions taken, arguments deployed, and claims of victory seem to amount to so little, and to effect such little change both in the world and people within it. From the painfully unsubtle atheist mockery of ‘sky fairies’ on Social Media, to ill-conceived and poorly executed (if rapturously received) books of Christian apologetics on “why atheist X is wrong”, I want us to think seriously about setting the entire genre aside. I want us to consider what might actually matter – which is surely not about who gets to be most smug, but may be about how we treat each other, other animals, and the planet. In short, let’s leave our comfortable self-righteousness and think about more important matters.

I hope the second half of the book will move on to show that what really matters is not winning debates, but thinking hard about ethics. In doing so, I suggest that while religious traditions are rich sources of ethical narrative and reflection, the idea of a metaphysical back-stop to ethics, deriving from the existence of a divine being, makes no sense at all. Furthermore, if ethics are going to be of any use to us in the secular, multi-cultural world, then they’ll need to be founded on something beyond un-shared metaphysical assertions.

That is, even though I will be heavily critiquing the new-atheist position, I will ultimately claim that ethics can only exist as a non-religious, non-spiritual undertaking.

When the manuscript goes off to the publishers, I’ll try and put some more thoughts on here – and see whether I’ve entirely abandoned my position, and changed my mind on everything I’ve said here. Which is quite likely…