On The Incoherence Of Divine Command Theory And Why Even If God DID Make Things Good And Bad, Faith-Based Religions Would Still Be Irrelevant

The claim that all value, whether moral or otherwise, requires a God is a familiar one.  But what this claim either means or how it is supposed to be apparent to us is far from self-evident. The claim could mean something along the lines of a divine command theory interpretation of value according to which [Read More...]

A Philosophers’ Blog Carnival!

This month, the New York Times featured numerous philosophers’ opinions on the “experimental philosophy” movement which has garnered increasing attention in the last couple of years.  In response,  at Thoughts Arguments and Rants, Brian Weatherson tries to discern what precisely makes “experimental philosophy” any different than the many other scientifically aware philosophical approaches that have existed [Read More...]

Reflection And Moral Behavior

In the video below (via Pete Mandik), philosophers Josh Knobe and Eric Schwitzgebel discuss the extent to which thinking about morality can make them behave more morally by measuring whether ethics professors, who presumably think about morality the most often and the most systematically, are any more consistently moral or at least act more consistently [Read More...]

Just Another Raving Socialist…

Now, according to the natural order instituted by divine providence, material goods are provided for the satisfaction of human needs. Therefore the division and appropriation of property, which proceeds from human law, must not hinder the satisfaction of man’s necessity from such goods. Equally, whatever a man has in superabundance is owed, of natural right, [Read More...]

My Perfectionistic, Egoistic AND Universalistic, Indirect Consequentialism (And Contrasts With Other Kinds)

A consequentialist assesses the ultimate worth of all the various features of our ethical lives according to whether or not they bring about some specific intrinsic good or goods that the consequentialist judges to be of primary value. All the various valuable features of our lives have their ultimate value with respect to how they [Read More...]

Gay Sex And Reality

Recently a University of Illinois adjunct professor in a course on Catholicism got into unfairly lost his job over expressing his philosophical opposition to homosexuality in an e-mail to his student in what seems to me like a pretty clear violation of academic freedom. As to the substance of his arguments though, PZ Myers does [Read More...]

Barry Schwartz’s Urgent Call For Practical Wisdom

I love how he sums up Aristotle’s notion of practical wisdom, to paraphrase, “practical wisdom is about having a moral will and a moral skill”. The entire talk is a great defense of wisdom, the skill of moral judgment, against cultural overemphases on bureaucratic reliance on rules at the expense of all thinking: Schwartz’s books [Read More...]

Towards Atheistic Religions (Or Away From Them, Depending On How You Define “Religions”)

In a rare occurrence, I am being taken to task for giving religion too much credit and atheists too little!  Here are the offending paragraphs I wrote on Friday: I would say that various practices called religious, if stripped of all their dogmatism, traditionalism, literalism, and authoritarianism, can and do certainly coexist with and complement science [Read More...]

How Our Morality Realizes Our Humanity

In a previous post, I discussed the intrinsic connection between being and goodness and between functional activity and being.  I argued, for example that the various components of a heart need to function as a heart to be a heart and similarly that a human being must act morally to realize her humanity.  Specifically, I [Read More...]


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