"Should Catholic Employers Be Exempted From Paying For Health Insurance Covering Contraception?"

If you were reading Camels With Hammers regularly before we made the move to Freethought Blogs, you would have frequently been treated to the long, insightful, and vigorously argued comments of my friend Mary. Mary is a Roman Catholic and is politically liberal in many (but not all) respects. We met when I was a [Read More...]

Can Utilitarians Properly Esteem The Intrinsic Value of Truth?

The Obvious Intrinsic and Instrumental Values of Truth It is prejudicial and fallacious to assume that the world is an inherently just place and that all the traits we idealize as virtues will always lead to the best possible outcomes. So if we are to be honest and realistic in assessing those traits which are [Read More...]

Christopher Hitchens and Freethinking Parenting At Its Best

One of our last, and by far the most touching, videos we have of Christopher Hitchens comes from the Texas Freethought Convention this past October. Watching him with the charmingly and precociously smart little girl in the video, he is downright grandfatherly: Mason was interviewed afterward: Why did you decide it was important to ask [Read More...]

If You Love South Park, Learn About the Originals–The Ancient Cynics

What kinds of philosophers choose the name for their school of philosophy from the word for dogs? The cynics, who were basically social-convention flouting performance artists and proto-south park scatalogical/philosophical satirists of their time. Learn plenty about them in a very accessible 22 minutes, filled with charming anecdotes. An ancient philosophy specialist and friend of mine recommended [Read More...]

If You Don’t Believe In Objective Values, Then Don’t Talk To Me About Objective Scientific Truth Either

I recently argued that when any of us act, we must act for reasons. When acting for reasons we must decide that the end we pursue is the best, most worthwhile, goal to pursue and that the action we take in order to achieve that goal is the most suitable one. I should also add [Read More...]

On Not-Pologies, Forgiveness, and Gelato

Kinds of Forgiveness Let’s start with the theoretical. How should we characterize forgiveness, and when and why should we forgive people? Full forgiveness involves three things: 1. Waiving all just moral and/or legal penalties, including all forms of restitution and compensation, that we would normally demand for wrongdoing. 2. Restoring amicable emotional, social, and/or professional [Read More...]

Maryam Namazie Attacks Shari'a And Defends Muslim Immigrants Against The Far Right

A great lecture and Q&A my estimable Freethought Blogs colleague Maryam Namazie: . An important excerpt from the Q&A: Look, George Bush says he attacked Iraq for women’s rights and I’m a women’s rights campaigner, but I don’t believe him. It’s possible that a politician will say something, that they’ve done something for a reason and, [Read More...]

Is The Use of Pepper Spray Torture?

Yesterday digby discussed various cases of the use of pepper spray to argue that it is obviously torture. Is it torture? If it is torture but in some cases it could foreseeably prevent an altercation with greater likelihood of long term physical damage could it be justified nonetheless?  Is it only unjustified when applied to non-violent [Read More...]

What Would JT Do…When Propositioned For Sex By A Married Woman…

JT shares an intimate story about apprehensively taking up a polyamorist married woman on her invitation for sex: On the way to her house I asked her where her husband was that night. “At home” came the thoughtless reply.  Oh fuck. And like that we were walking into her house.  Within seconds Chris, her husband, [Read More...]


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