How Foolish Atheists Convinced The Atheist Blogger Leah Libresco That Catholic Philosophy Was Rationally Superior To Atheism

On Friday I am finally going to put up an extensive post dissecting the philosophical arguments that atheist blogger Leah Libresco has either made or referred to in defending and explaining her decision to convert to Catholicism. But first this post will make some more important preliminary points about the inadequacy of the reasons for [Read More...]

Meditations on How to Be Powerful, Fearsome, Empowering, and Loved

Yesterday I observed that sometimes an inaccurate sense of modesty can lead a powerful person to underestimate the extent to which he intimidates others. I focused particularly on the fact that moral and social conditioning trains us to downplay our accomplishments, the extent of our influence on others, and our fearsomeness in their eyes. It [Read More...]

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...]

Deriving a Naturalistic, Realistic Account of Morality

This is a repost from January 2011. The post is a nice overview of my account of moral philosophy, written as a reply to Christian doubts about the possibility of an atheistic moral philosophy. I have worked out a number of important nuances since writing this but it should serve as a nice introduction for [Read More...]

Dying Responsibly

Yesterday the New York Times published a must-read op-ed by Susan Jacoby about the costly disconnect between Americans’ values and their practices when it comes to end-of-life health care. Just a few key statistical takeaways: A third of the Medicare budget is now spent in the last year of life, and a third of that goes for care in [Read More...]

Should We Love Abortion?

Jessica DelBalzo argues yes and goes so far as to say women should “venerate it wholeheartedly”: Suggesting that abortion be “safe, legal, and rare,” and crowing that “no one likes abortion,” accomplishes nothing for women’s rights. Pandering to the anti-choice movement by implying that we allfind termination distasteful only fuels the fire against it. What good is [Read More...]

The Dubious Value of Interpersonal Charity

I am reading Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion chapter by chapter and blogging about it as I go. In the book he is trying to collect insights from religions that might inform the lives of convinced atheists. There are several points of contention I have about his analysis [Read More...]

No, You Can't Call People Sluts.

Ever since Rush Limbaugh tried to slut-shame a law student for testifying at a forum hosted by Congressional Democrats about the medical needs that contraception serves, I had wanted to go through all Limbaugh’s remarks and detail the millions of ways they were awful for the morally obtuse. But I kept thinking, no, it’s just too [Read More...]

New Atheism Is A Moral Movement

Last night I argued that when fundamentalist religious people, out of an inflated sense of privilege, demand that no one never offend them, that atheists should challenge the moral rightness of the fundamentlists’ specific, hypersensitive, unwarranted feelings of offense. I argued we should do this rather than indiscriminately defend the right to morally offend people [Read More...]


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