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The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 4:30pm

A+: Atheist-Agnostic Students of Portland State University in coordination with The Center for Inquiry presents:

The Secular Conscience:
Why Belief Belongs in Public Life

Who holds the monopoly on morality? Cultural conservatives from the Vatican to Washington tells us that ethics presupposes religion, and so religion belongs in public life. Secular liberals counter that conscience is a private matter, a personal choice free from shared standards of truth or right. Conservatives charge that conscience without standards is relativism. Liberals didn't lose their moral compass--they gave it away.

In his new book, The Secular Conscience, philosopher Austin Dacey breaks this ideological deadlock by boldly rethinking the nature of conscience and its role in public life. Inspired by an earlier tradition he traces to Spinoza and John Stuart Mill, Dacey urges secular liberals to reclaim the language of objective values. Conscience comes first, before god or government. It provides a shared vocabulary for meaningful dialogue in a pluralistic society, and a moral lingua franca that transcends creedal and civilizational boundaries.

When: Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
Where:
Smith Memorial Student Union, room 298
Time:
4:30 pm
Cost:
Free

For more information, contact A+: Atheist-Agnostic Students of Portland State University at athag@pdx.edu.

Austin Dacey is a representative to the United Nations for the Center for Inquiry in New York City, where he works on issues of secular values, science, and ethics. He is the author of articles in numerous publications including the New York Times. He holds a doctorate in applied ethics and social philosophy. His website is www.austindacey.com.