On Unintentionally Intimidating People

While most of us rightly want to be exceptional in some way or another, we often feel a lot of social and moral pressure not to think of ourselves as generally better than others. And, even more urgently, we feel pressure not to convey to others that we think ourselves superior and not to be [Read More...]

No, Not Everyone Has A Moral Right To Feel Offended By Just Any Satire or Criticism

4 Misconceptions About the Nature of Offense Here are four common sense assumptions about giving and taking offense that I think are fundamentally mistaken and which atheists need to argue against: “You have every right to be offended, but you don’t have the right to censor others just because you’re offended.” “You cannot blame people [Read More...]

Can Utilitarians Properly Esteem The Intrinsic Value of Truth?

The Obvious Intrinsic and Instrumental Values of Truth It is prejudicial and fallacious to assume that the world is an inherently just place and that all the traits we idealize as virtues will always lead to the best possible outcomes. So if we are to be honest and realistic in assessing those traits which are [Read More...]

The Illusion of Control

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart. [Much of the content and practice of religion is based on regulating (arousing, maintaining, and inhibiting) the illusion of control.  This illusion is briefly described here.  The neural basis of this illusion is clearly exposed in Wiccan texts.  The illusion of control is said to be an [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Rationality

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. According to the Farrars, “Witches [that is, Wiccans] are neither fools, escapist nor superstitious.  They are living in the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages” (1981: 105).  The Farrars write that “Many witches are scientists and technicians . . . [Read More...]

Podcast Series Covering The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

Earlier today, I posted a link to an exceptional, accessible podcast introduction to the philosophies of the ancient cynics. The whole series that that podcast comes from is a marvelous idea and the few I’ve listened to are just great. It’s called “The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps” and it’s a must listen, basically a [Read More...]

Why Bother Blaming People At All? Isn’t That Just Judgmental?

Before moving on to addressing the question of when it is right or wrong to get offended, let me quickly address a certain attitude that arises a lot in response to my posts on morality. I sense in the tone of a lot of comments I get in general that there is a fear of [Read More...]

Yes, We Can Blame People For Their Feelings, Not Just Their Actions

“You can’t blame people for how they feel, only for what they do.” “You have every right to be offended, but you don’t have the right to censor others just because you’re offended.” In this post and the next one, I want to explain why I think these two common moral sentiments are quite mistaken—or, [Read More...]

A Philosophical Polemic Against Moral Nihilism

Jesse is undeterred by my argument that at least some of our moralities (or elements of them) can be objectively defended even though the physical universe (taken as an entirety) does not care about them: Daniel– I haven’t gone deeply enough through the other posts you linked to, and I will — but I think [Read More...]


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