• What It Means to Be Moral

  • Why Religion Is Not Necessary for Living an Ethical Life
  • By: Phil Zuckerman
  • Narrated by: Paul Brion
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Audible Plus auto-renews for $7.95/mo after 30 days. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
What It Means to Be Moral  By  cover art

What It Means to Be Moral

By: Phil Zuckerman
Narrated by: Paul Brion
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $21.49

Buy for $21.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

The author of Living the Secular Life deconstructs the arguments for a morality informed by religion, urging that major challenges like global warming and growing inequality are best approached from a framework of secular morality.   

In What It Means to Be Moral: Why Religion Is Not Necessary for Living an Ethical Life, Phil Zuckerman argues that morality does not come from God. Rather, it comes from us: our brains, our evolutionary past, our ongoing cultural development, our social experiences, and our ability to reason, reflect, and be sensitive to the suffering of others.  

By deconstructing religious arguments for God-based morality and guiding listeners through the premises and promises of secular morality, Zuckerman argues that the major challenges facing the world today - from global warming and growing inequality to religious support for unethical political policies to gun violence and terrorism - are best approached from a nonreligious ethical framework. In short, we need to look to our fellow humans and within ourselves for moral progress and ethical action.

©2019 Phil Zuckerman (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

More from the same

What listeners say about What It Means to Be Moral

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Praise for Faith No More

This 395 page well researched and well reasoned book explains what it means to be moral, why we should want to be moral and all without the need to invoke any gods. Nothing is coming from outer space to help us. We are the help we need and Zuckerman makes the case.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read.

I would have liked having the person narrating to have more expression with the reading. It was hard to stay focused all the time, so I had to replay some.
Thank you!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very useful!

Great book on this topic, highly recommended. However I do disagree with a couple of assumptions that so many atheists make - and I am a lifelong atheist. Firstly, obviously there is purpose to life, every living thing gets up in the morning filled with purpose. It's one thing to say our purpose was not given to us by a supernatural power, but it seems to me foolish to argue that there is no purpose. If there is no purpose, why does evolution exist? Why do living things try to survive and reproduce? Will you argue that the evident purpose of every living thing is not really a purpose?
Secondly, obviously science can tell us all we need to know about morality. Our purpose is to flourish as individuals and as a species - we know this from evolutionary theory. Therefore what is good is what helps us to flourish as a species, and what is bad is what hinders that flourishing. How do we know what helps us in this our purpose, and what does not? Science!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book!

Phil Zuckerman has simply written a magnificent book in which he takes on religion. He makes very compelling arguments that religion is absolutely NOT necessary to lead an ethical life. His well-reasoned arguments are backed up by studies, experiments, etc. The reader does a terrific job with this book. Zuckerman's prose just flows so easily. A real pleasure to listen to this book.

This is one of the best books to which I have listened in many years. I learned of the book when Phil Zuckerman was interviewed by Michael Shermer of the Skeptic Society.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A genuine 'must-read' for theist and atheist alike

This is a truly brilliant work. It is encouraging, enlightening, well-informed, and highly informative. Yet it is also very readable and easily accessible to the lay reader. I highly recommend 'What it Means To Be Moral' for any and all persons interested in morality, justice, ethics, or the implications of Darwin and the evolutionary sciences for our understanding of human nature. I think it should be on the reading list of every atheist, and particularly anyone who considers themselves an agnostic. It should be required reading for the recently burgeoning populace of 'nones'. But perhaps most importantly, it should be read by the worlds copious devout, or at least those amongst them who are open-minded enough to consider justice, morality, and human good as the products of evolution, as entirely natural phenomenon, and no longer as the products of divine fiat or supernatural agency. An essential contribution to the secular canon, this important work should be in the library of everyone and anyone who is interested in ethics, morality, good and evil, or our increasingly naturalistic understanding of human nature.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!