Grounding Objective Value Independent Of Human Interests And Moralities

In my most recent philosophical post, I have finally explained one of the most fundamental premises necessary for explaining and justifying my overall views on ethics.  I explained my view that goodness objectively means effectiveness and that all further true ideas of “good” should be understood only as derivative from the basic good of effectiveness.  Also [Read More...]

Goodness Is A Factual Matter (Goodness=Effectiveness)

All statements about values can be restated as statements of facts. The truth or falsity about value claims can be discovered by investigations of facts. Goodness is a word that can be defined by reference to certain kinds of factual relationships in the world. Whether or not something deserves to be called good can be [Read More...]

I Am A Moral Naturalist, Not A Subjectivist

In a long comment on my post from this morning, George raised the question of usage of “subjectivism” beyond my own interpretation of the word.  Let’s look to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which should be as neutral an adjudicating source as the English-speaking philosophy world has.  I selected this source for its independent, encyclopedia character [Read More...]

Deriving An Atheistic, Naturalistic, Realist Account Of Morality

Tom Gilson thinks that theism accounts for moral realism better than atheism does.  My reasons for rejecting that view are here (though I am interested in tailoring a future post specifically to Gilson’s particular way of arguing for a theist basis for moral realism). For now, however, rather than counter Gilson’s positive claims for theism’s [Read More...]

How Morality Can Change Through Objective Processes And In Objectively Defensible Ways

Jason of Lousy Canuck thinks I am quibbling over semantics in complaining about his characterization of morality as essentially “subjective” and he wants me to clarify how my position diverges in substance from his own.  Answering his questions and his formulations may prove a fruitful way to clarify my own positions.  So, here goes.  He [Read More...]

Mutable Morality, Not Subjective Morality. Moral Pluralism, Not Moral Relativism.

I hope soon to engage a few of the specifics of a debate going on at our friend George’s blog Misplaced Grace which started when a Christian apologist named Peter tried to argue that atheism has no way of ruling out pedophilia as immoral.  Peter’s first remarks were critical of posts at Jason Thibeault’s blog Lousy Canuck. [Read More...]

The Separability Of Metaethics From Questions Of Theism

Earlier today, I argued that atheists cannot duck metaethics challenges from theists (or anyone else) and that we should not respond to such challenges with the knee jerk response that we are being bigotedly assumed to be incapable of moral behavior.  I wrote: it is not mere prejudice for theists to demand atheists give an [Read More...]

James Fallon: Confessions of a Pro-Social Psychopath

Thanks to Dunc, here is a fascinating video of James Fallon, at the World Science Festival: Below the fold is more on the history of the development of the science of psychopathy, including a long segment on Fallon himself, from a much darker toned documentary on the BBC. In the second video below, Fallon explains [Read More...]

Being Personally Moral Is Not Enough, Atheists Need A Coherent Metaethics

Atheists can be as moral as anyone else.  When theists imply that atheism by itself entails that people will either likely or necessarily be less moral, they trade in oblivious, self-satisfied, prejudicial thinking which besmirches atheists unfairly. But it is not mere prejudice for theists to demand atheists give an account of their metaethical positions. [Read More...]


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