“Gratified By Humiliating and Dominating A Helpless Human Being”

The connection between conservative religiosity and greater proneness towards corporal punishment and authoritarian parenting styles in general is well known. But in contemporary American purity culture this can go to uncommon extremes. Michael Pearl’s well-read and oft-recommended book To Train Up A Child essentially teaches parents to aim to crush all willfulness, any hint of [Read More...]

Should Women Get “Menstrual Leave”?

Thought provoking, had never considered this before and I’m interested in Your Thoughts after you watch the video. Transcript here. Here’s the initial HuffPostLive segment. Here’s the Breitbart article criticized in the video above. Here’s a summary of research on the benefits of paid time off. Here’s a link to Rebecca’s Patreon, where you can support her videos. Your [Read More...]

Empowerment Ethics: “How Can Atheists Condemn Rape Without Theistic Moral Absolutism?”

This blog post is a new installment of my “Empowerment Ethics” series, in which I systematically explain, develop, defend, and apply my distinctive spin on humanist, perfectionist, virtue, consequentialist, ethical system called “Empowerment Ethics”. In response to my most recent repost in this series, about why moralities don’t need to be conceived of in moral absolutist terms in order [Read More...]

In Defense of the Moral Cause of Feminism

In the last few years I have written a lot both on behalf of social justice and on the need to elevate the discourse surrounding it. I can say unequivocally that the feminist blogosphere and my activist feminist friends have made me a far better ethicist, a far better person, and a far better man [Read More...]

Moral Philosophers, Role Models, and Hypocrisy

Does being a moral philosopher obligate you to be a moral role model? And when is hypocrisy evidence against a moral philosophy? [Read more...]

“You Can’t Stop Teenagers From Having Sex”

Don’t say “You can’t stop teenagers from having sex”. It’s not true. You can stop some of them. (I held out! And I know plenty of others who did too.) You just can’t stop enough of them with abstinence-only stuff and you just shouldn’t AIM to stop all of them with repressive anti-sex messaging. And you shouldn’t send the message to teenagers that every teenager has sex. That just says “everyone is doing it”, which pressures them to do it and makes them feel bad about themselves when they can’t find a partner or don’t want one. [Read more...]

When All That Abstinence Fetishism Goes Too Far…

Did you hear about this young evangelical couple in Topeka?? Jon and Darla Crocker, who dutifully abstained from sex during their 14-month courtship, have remained abstinent after marriage and plan to do so indefinitely. “If it was holy before, it must be double-holy afterwards,” Darla says. They have now completed 25 months of marriage without [Read More...]

Philosophical Advice For Dealing With A Bad Mother With Medical Needs

Hi Dan! I have a question for you! What do you think one’s moral obligations are to an ailing parent who parented very poorly? I had what seems to me to have been a very rough childhood. My parents divorced when I was four and my mom pretty much neglected me. She stayed out all [Read More...]

You Don’t Kill Hateful Words’ Powers By Ignoring Them

The problems discussed in the middle section of this post’s essay are epitomized in various ways by this video: The Stoics, with some wisdom that is in need of some qualification, advise us to always be mindful about the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. Stoics typically argue that we are [Read More...]


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