I finished reading the Secular Conscience by Austin Dacey, and I don’t think my mere words can do justice to the secular philosophical poetry that the man can write.
The basic arguments of the book are:
- That secular liberals have lost their soul in being unwilling to debate religious/moral issues in the public square. This was done in the mistaken ideas of “privacy” of religion and “liberty” to believe anything and not be offended. Basically this is seen in extreme efforts to accomodate “multiculturalism” and endagers our free speech, but also prevents us from speaking out for abortion rights, stem cell research and other topics.
- That all ethics and morals come from a collective secular conscience that is accessible to all (or at least most, excluding sociopaths). He discusses much moral philosophy in that latter chapters that just build on his earlier arguments. For Dacey, all morality must be derivable from reason which is available to everyone.
I’m going to write a bit more on a few philosophical ideas that sprung from this book, and I highly recommend it to everyone, especially leftists, secularists and anyone who associates with the “freethought” movement.
And if you get a chance, see him speak, he’s sensational.