Rejecting And Reconciling Moral Intuitionist Ideas With My Naturalist Account Of Goodness

In reply to my post, Against Moral Intuitionism, James Gray defended his moral intuitionist leanings against my attacks on them.  He starts by quoting me: But many people can be and have been persuaded that goodness is not a property of things but rather of people’s attitudes towards them. The very existence of anti-realists about the existence [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith Which Exploits Infinitesimal Probabilities As Openings For Strong Affirmations

Pete C. argues that because our comprehension is limited, it is hubris for us to rule out faith in things that alleged to go beyond it: I’m not sure where I fall in the spectrum of agnosticism (if i belong there at all) so I can’t really self identify. But I will offer an explanation [Read More...]

TOP Q (7): When, If Ever, Are Intellectual Mistakes Morally Culpable?

Can we morally blame people for failing to pursue the truth well enough or for employing irrational methods of belief formation?  Is belief something not in our volitional control at all?  Is it an entirely passive thing to “just believe” something?  Or even if we have some volitional control over what we believe, does it [Read More...]

Against Accommodationism: Religion Has NO Rightful Claim To An Unencroachable “Magisterium” Of Its Own

Chris Mooney is an accommodationist.  In the conflict between science and faith, he is the sort of atheistic science defender who wants to minimize all appearance (and existence) of conflict between religious and scientific ideas because he thinks that vital public policy on matters like climate change hinges on scientists’ abilities to garner trust, cooperation, [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: The Evidence-Impervious Agnostic Theists

A vast majority of believers, though probably not all, believed in God before they ever encountered any arguments for its existence.  For obvious cultural and psychological reasons, the concept of God is intuitively understandable and believable for most children and by far most believers start believing in childhood.  Even those who spend a short time as [Read More...]

Agnostics Or Apistics?

In the past, I have defended the idea that rather than classifying people simply as atheists, agnostics, and theists that we should separate the questions of the contents of beliefs (whether they are atheistic or theistic) from whether one’s atheism or theism is held as a matter of knowledge or not. If one’s theism is [Read More...]

My Perspectivist, Teleological Account Of The Relative Values Of Pleasure And Pain

With Sam Harris doing the rounds promoting a utilitarianism that seems to take the pleasures of sentient beings to be the good to be maximized, it’s as appropriate a time as ever to flesh out my objections to prioritizing pleasure and pain as the central goods in life.  More specifically, you can read my already [Read More...]

Disambiguating Belief

Ophelia Benson counters a common and deeply misleading equivocation (one I counter often, but most specifically addressed here and here): Belief is about truth; it equates to”it is true that X”. It is thus cognitive rather than emotive. It seems odd to me to ask if it would be better to believe the things I [Read More...]

Typical Mind Fallacy: The Limits Of Generalizing From One Example

“Everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.” – Vlad Taltos (Issola, Steven Brust) My old professor, David Berman, liked to talk about what he called the “typical mind fallacy”, which he illustrated through the following example: There was a debate, in the late 1800s, about whether “imagination” was simply a turn of phrase [Read More...]


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