Force and Reason

In previous posts (like Rational Passional Persuasion and On Zealously, Tentatively, and Perspectivally Holding Viewpoints) I have argued that there is a proper place for emotional appeals as part of a rational argument. In the last couple of weeks, though, I have also argued firmly against certain kinds of emotional appeals that I consider abusive, counter-productive, and hypocritical [Read More...]

A Debate About The Wisdom of Trying To Deconvert People

Jaime: So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how best to debate the existence of God with religious believers… Kelly: Why would you do that? Jaime: Do what? Kelly: Debate the existence of God with religious believers. What’s the point in that? Jaime: What do you mean, “what’s the point?” We live in the [Read More...]

Fighting The Dictionary

Ophelia wrote an insightful, controversial paragraph: Churches don’t do education. Religion doesn’t do education. Churches and religion do religion, which is different from education. Education is what schools do. It is fundamentally secular – it is about the world, and exploring and learning about the world. Like newspapers, like forensics, like medicine, like so many human institutions, [Read More...]

Judging Yourself Truthfully

One of the most important mental disciplines is to assess yourself honestly. We are so naturally susceptible to judging ourselves according to both the flattery of our admirers and of our own ego, on the one hand, and the disdain of our detractors and our own irrational fears, on the other. It takes a lot [Read More...]

Homosexuality As Naturally Good Part 1: Laying Out Objections To Ethical Naturalism, Some On Behalf Of Gays

I intend to lay out the case for the ethical goodness of homosexuality for homosexual people in a way that is consistent with my funadmentally naturalistic ethical theory. Many philosophers, natural scientists, social scientists, and laypeople alike are averse about trying to base ethical judgments on appeals to nature. And there are a number of [Read More...]

Confidence vs. Self-Confidence (And The Will To Power)

Greta has a meditation up today on the topic of seeking new adventures, doing things you don’t think you’ll like, and generally expanding your horizons. It reminded me of something I think and say a lot but don’t think I have yet recorded on the blog. And of course, everything I think and say has [Read More...]

The Facts About Intrinsic and Instrumental Goods and The Cultural Construction of Intrinsic Goods

In this post I want to say something which many would find radical and would assume is impossible and clearly false: I want to say that it can be a fact whether something is intrinsically good in some particular respect, for some particular being. A major part of this requires that I distinguish another two other [Read More...]

The Moral Toll of Executions on the Consciences of Executioners

Allen Ault is the retired director of the Georgia Department of Corrections and former warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison which handled Troy Davis. Ault oversaw executions for the state of Georgia. He is now Eastern Kentucky University’s dean of “College of Justice and Society” and well-informed from an academic perspective about the [Read More...]

On The Ethics of "Sugar Daddies" and "Sugar Babies"

Kelly: Did you hear about this “sugar daddy” and “sugar baby” phenomenon wherein college girls are whoring themselves out through the internet to skeevy rich older men so they can pay for their college educations? It makes me sick to think that for these girls an education costs their bodies. These kids have to sell [Read More...]


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