Secular Pro-Life is run by atheists. We bring it up not because we care if people agree with our (lack of) religious views, but because we want people to understand you don’t have to be religious to be pro-life. In fact, we like to emphasize that we do not care what your religious beliefs are; we care if you are with us in opposing abortion.
Still, the religious pro-lifers we partner with sometimes have questions about our atheism, such as whether we believe human rights exist, where we think human rights come from, what basis we have for telling others what is and is not moral, and so forth. In other words, they want to know the metaphysical underpinnings for the atheist worldview.
I’ve written previously that I believe these questions are outside the scope of our anti-abortion work (see The Imago Dei, or “Why should secularists care about human life?”)
Nevertheless, because we are public about being both atheist and passionately pro-life, the questions are part of the territory. So for the genuinely curious and philosophically inclined, below are a list of resources you can delve into discussing moral facts outside a theistic context. (If you have suggestions for additional such resources, we’re happy to expand the list. Please contact us.)
Please note: These sources don’t represent any particular Secular Pro-Life positions regarding the atheist worldview. While the individuals who volunteer for and work for Secular Pro-Life have our own ideas about these questions, as an organization, Secular Pro-Life does not take a position on where human rights come from. Instead we simply ask all those who believe humans have rights to recognize those humans exist before birth.
Formal philosophical accounts and discussions:
- Michael Huemer
- Shelly Kagan & William Lane Craig – Is God Necessary for Morality? (YouTube)
- Stefan Molyneux – Universally Preferable Behavior, A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics (PDF)
- Kai Nielsen – Ethics without God
- Russ Shafer-Landau
- Erik Wielenberg
- Erez Yoeli – Three game theory principles can create an environment where cooperation and altruism thrive
Further discussions from some SPL followers and supporters: