CPBD 003: Alonzo Fyfe – Morality without God

by Luke Muehlhauser on January 24, 2009 in Ethics,Podcast

For today’s episode of Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot, I interview Alonzo Fyfe, who completely changed the way I think about morality with this very interview. We discuss:

  • morality without gods
  • the failure of atheistic ethics
  • moral values that really exist
  • how to tell if something is right or wrong

guest alonzo fyfeI also answer another listener question: “As an atheist, have you ever felt really grateful about your life, but then, not had anyone to thank? Isn’t that kind of depressing?”

Download CPBD episode 003 with Alonzo Fyfe. Total time is 54:28.

Links related to the interview:

Let me know what you think about the interview, and submit your own questions for me to answer on the show!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

matt January 30, 2009 at 11:44 am

excellent interview, interesting moral theory, i look forward to learning more, thanks


CharlesP June 10, 2009 at 11:09 am

Thanks for this one luke. I think I found your site via Alonzo’s, but I’m no longer sure where I started finding the desire utilitarian stuff a few weeks ago (I think it might have been related to Alonzo’s post on Desire Utilitarianism vs Political Libertarianism, but I’m really not sure).   I’m looking forward to listening to the second interview with Alonso on my drive home today.


viverravid September 19, 2009 at 2:04 am

Thanks for your site, and for leading me to Alonzo’s work.

Regarding the “ask the atheist” question at the end… I often want to thank those who helped build the world in which we now live. The enquiring minds who discovered and perfected the germ theory of disease, vaccinations, placebo controlled trials, electronics, communications, the theories all these are built on, and the various industrial technologies by which my life is enriched in thousands of ways every day.

And I figure the best way to thank them is to contribute to the process – expanding the boundaries of knowledge, helping to make things less wrong in the future, and trying to make sure others fully appreciate the difference they’ve made.


Dumb_dog January 13, 2010 at 6:29 am

I am an error-theorist about morality, so I fully agree with Alonzo on the failures of traditional moral systems, whereas atheistic or religious, and I also believe we should base our ethic on our desires.

Unlike Alonzo however, I don’t think this would lead us to moral realism, but rather to a ‘revisioned’ moral discourse which exludes the existence of moral facts.

I have posted a long thread on the same blog about this subject, if someone is interested and has the time to read it, it is situated at:


completely at the end !


Usman Sharif October 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm

hey luke, Call me late but do you have another link for Alonzo fyfe new book? the old one does not work any more


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