This book challenges the widespread assumption that the ethical life and society must be moral in any objective sense. In his previous works, Marks has rejected both the existence of such a morality and the need to maintain verbal, attitudinal, practical, and institutional remnants of belief in it. This book develops these ideas further, with emphasis on constructing a positive alternative. Calling it "desirism", Marks illustrates what life and the world would be like if we lived in accordance with our rational desires rather than the dictates of any actual or pretend morality, neither overlaying our desires with moral sanction nor attempting to override them with moral strictures. Hard Atheism and the Ethics of Desire also argues that atheism thereby becomes more plausible than the so-called New Atheism that attempts to give up God and yet retain morality.
Joel Marks is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of New Haven and a Bioethics Center Scholar at Yale University, USA. Marks has edited two books on philosophical psychology and authored many articles and books on ethics, most recently Ethics without Morals.
Dedication and Acknowledgments
Introduction. Starting Off on the Wrong Foot: The Fundamental Error in Ethical Theory
Chapter 1. The Story Thus Far
Chapter 2. None of the Above: What Desirism Isn't (and Is)
Chapter 3. Desire and Reason
Chapter 4. It's Just a Feeling