Philosophical Advice Column Still Coming Soon, Keep Submitting Questions

Hi everyone! Sorry for the drop off in posting the last couple days. I will catch up reading your comments and resume posting at normal speed tomorrow. Sometimes a week just is harder than you anticipate going in and then it takes a little while to recuperate from.

I just figured while there is not much going on on the blog today I should take the chance to remind you that soon I will be launching my new “Philosophical Advice” column. If you have any practical questions about ethical decisions or about living as an atheist or about just making a difficult life choice in general and you think my philosophical perspective may aid you, send me your questions to my gmail account (“camelswithhammers@gmail”). I have already gotten some and have been excited by the prospect of answering them. Keep them coming and I will get to as many as I can, at least in private and hopefully on the blog too!

Thanks and see you tomorrow when I start posting in earnest for the month of March!

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Bret

    Is it unethical to speak ill of the dead?

  • Beth

    From the comment section of a previous post:

    “you are assuming that all faith-based religions restrict and repress rational questioning and investigation into values. That simply isn’t true.”

    Daniel (and others) have written numerous posts explaining why faith itself “restrict[s] and repress[es] rational questioning and investigation into values”. If you wish to dispute this claim, great — we can have that discussion; but it’s NOT an assumption; it’s the conclusion of a great deal of argument.

    It’s not a conclusion I agree with, so I wouldn’t mind having that discussion. However, before starting any discussion on the value of faith, I would like to hear a definition of what is meant by ‘faith’. Could you define what you mean by that term please?

  • Physicalist

    Here’s my ethical query:

    What criteria should one use for deciding whether to stop reading a blog because it is offensive?

    I’m trying to decide whether to delete Seven Landsburg’s blog from my RSS reader for defending Rush’s slut shaming. His clueless misogyny is offensive, and seems to me a good reason to avoid “rewarding” him with hits/subscriptions. (The scare quotes are there b/c I suspect Landsburgh will think that nothing but cash counts as a reward.)

    On the other hand, I’m wary of completely cutting myself off from all right-wing “thought.” (I’ll leave those scare quotes unexplained.) We left-wing folks criticize the Fox News folks as living in a bubble and not confronting argument and evidence that’s contrary to their views. (Remember Bush’s bubble?) And it does seem that we have an obligation to consider thoughtful criticisms of our world view — if we can find it.

    I’m happy to read Andrew Sullivan, but I fear that the Dish doesn’t really count as fulfilling the demands of epistemic due diligence (sure, he likes to call himself a conservative, but . . .).

    Landsburgh seemed potentially intelligent and thoughtful enough to be worth reading, but now I’m thinking that perhaps I should just delete anyone who is publicly calls a student a whore and extortionist (while defending someone else who called her a slut) while not even bothering to read the testimony that triggered these misogynistic onslaughts (or the transcripts containing the sexist epithets he’s defending).

    My worry is that if I rule out everyone who posts truly offensive items, I’ll never be reading anything by anyone but other liberals, and I may land in an epistemic bubble akin to the one surrounding Planet Wingnuttia. Advice appreciated.

    • Daniel Fincke

      Great. Stay tuned.

    • Bret

      I’m curious: do you see how conservatives verbally address women as more offensive than their stance on pretty much anything else, from their treatment of the poor in this country to the violent stance they take towards people in other countries?

      I don’t like seeing women called names, but in perspective… it’s one of the more harmless things about conservatives. I’m more offended that they want to limit a woman’s access to birth control than that they call women who use birth control “sluts.”

      Am I alone on this one, or are liberals just hyper-sensitive to language as a result of the whole culture of political correctness?

  • Bret

    Oh, another one that has been eating at me:

    Is it unethical to design, make or use robots for sex?

  • Zachariah

    Western pursuit of success through education and investing in the future or Eastern pursuit of enlightenment through asceticism and monastic life?