A Moral Community for the 21st Century
Author: Martin L. Cowen III
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
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For almost two millennia religions have had a virtual monopoly on morality. No longer. Today, there is a philosophy of reason that provides a rational and objective validation of moral laws. The Fellowship of Reason exists to advocate, celebrate, and promulgate that morality based upon reality to a literate, thoughtful, reality-oriented, self-responsible general public worldwide. This book is divided into twelve chapters. Chapter 1 elaborates the reasons for the existence of our rational moral community. The objective human needs that until now have been served only by religion are explored. In chapter 2 I explain the details of our moral philosophy by identifying what we regard as the ultimate value. The choices of ultimate value include God, the state, the environment, and individual human life. Chapter 3 considers the meaning of life from three angles—the purpose or goal of life, the intention of life, and the actual definition of a particular human life as manifested in the actions taken by that individual. We work through an exercise to discover the meaning (definition) of the reader's life. Chapter 4 advocates that each individual discover and deliberately pursue his or her own major lifetime goals, that he or she give his or her life a meaning in the sense of purpose or goal. Happiness, we hold, requires a life purpose. Chapter 5 considers the contents of human consciousness. Five components of the human soul are explored—the other, your daemon, reason, emotions, and your parents' child. Chapter 6 presents techniques for working on your soul and explains the non-mystical, natural referents of the Holy Trinity. Chapter 7 concisely states our philosophy of reason. Chapter 8 introduces the new component to our philosophy of reason—benevolence. The relationship between the virtues of benevolence and the penultimate values of a loving family, good friends, and community is revealed. Chapter 9 details the elements of a regular meeting of the Fellowship of Reason. Chapter 10 describes our rational rituals. In order to be happy, one must selectively focus one's attention. These rituals are institutionally structured disciplines designed to focus our attention upon the good things in life. Chapter 11 reveals the mythology of our new moral community. And finally, in chapter 12 we provide reasons why you should create a Fellowship of Reason in your city. We show how reason, if utilized consistently as the means of living, will spread human freedom, prosperity, and happiness throughout the world. An appendix concludes, addressed to our theistic friends. The purpose of morality is to teach you to enjoy yourself and live well on earth. Reason makes human life possible. The Fellowship of Reason proposes to bring to you, in regular weekly celebrations and in daily spiritual exercises, tools that will enhance your life and the lives of everyone around you. Read the book to learn more about the Fellowship of Reason.