Nietzsche: We Cannot "Selflessly" Investigate Morality

Nietzsche writes a lot of things which attack the ideal of selflessness. Yet he does not make any blanket call for an ideal of unmitigated, small-minded selfishness. He calls for certain kinds of self-concern and in some cases certain kinds of self-denial in the pursuit of higher purposes or higher ideals of self-cultivation. Rather than [Read More...]

Love Religious People (Tip 10 of 10 For Reaching Out To Religious Believers)

Top Ten Tips For Reaching Out To Religious Believers: 1. Don’t Call Religious Believers Stupid. 2. Make Believers Stay on Topic During Debates. 3. Don’t Tell Religious Believers What They “Really Believe”. 4. Clarify What Kinds of Evidence Warrant What Kinds of Beliefs. 5. Help Break The Spell Of Religious Reverence. 6. Don’t Demonize Religious [Read More...]

Nietzsche: "'Good' Is No Longer Good When One's Neighbor Mouths It"

I argued yesterday that Nietzsche believes that there are objective standards of value for assessing divergent moralities. In reply, Juno (of the blog Letters from Le Vrai) asks what I would make of Section 43 of Beyond Good and Evil which reads, in full, as follows: Are these coming philosophers new friends of “truth”? That is probable enough, for [Read More...]

Can Good Teaching Be Measured?

In recent posts I have been arguing that if only we interpret the word “good” to mean “effective” we can ground our discussions of values (moral and otherwise) in facts about effectivness. I argue that in that context we can have greater and lesser degrees of goodness, measurable in terms of greater or lesser degrees [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Religious Beliefs Become Specifically *Faith* Beliefs

Faith is the deliberate will to believe, in advance of all future evidence and investigation, what one perceives to be either unsupported by evidence or even outright undermined by evidence. In this way faith is essentially a matter of will and not just belief.  Simply having a belief that is unsupported or undermined by evidence [Read More...]

On Zealously, Tentatively, and Perspectivally Holding Viewpoints

In a recent post, I wrote the following: Changing people’s minds to make them stop holding positions dogmatically and instead hold them tentatively is still a change of mind one may zealously pursue. On Facebook, Greg writes in reply: I want to address the peculiarity of this statement. One may passionately pursue such a change [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...]

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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X