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...]

Christopher Hitchens and Freethinking Parenting At Its Best

One of our last, and by far the most touching, videos we have of Christopher Hitchens comes from the Texas Freethought Convention this past October. Watching him with the charmingly and precociously smart little girl in the video, he is downright grandfatherly: Mason was interviewed afterward: Why did you decide it was important to ask [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...]

If You Love South Park, Learn About the Originals–The Ancient Cynics

What kinds of philosophers choose the name for their school of philosophy from the word for dogs? The cynics, who were basically social-convention flouting performance artists and proto-south park scatalogical/philosophical satirists of their time. Learn plenty about them in a very accessible 22 minutes, filled with charming anecdotes. An ancient philosophy specialist and friend of mine recommended [Read More...]

If You Don’t Believe In Objective Values, Then Don’t Talk To Me About Objective Scientific Truth Either

I recently argued that when any of us act, we must act for reasons. When acting for reasons we must decide that the end we pursue is the best, most worthwhile, goal to pursue and that the action we take in order to achieve that goal is the most suitable one. I should also add [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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