My Atheistic Reply To Rabbi Adam Jacobs’s Open Letter To The Atheist Community

Oh boy, I just love getting letters!  So, you can only imagine my enthusiasm at getting An Open Letter To The Atheist Community from a Rabbi Adam Jacobs of The Huffington Post Synagogue: My dear atheist friend, Gosh, he holds me dear! The first point I’d like to explore is that there really are no [Read More...]

Sex And Apostasy

Drew Dyck has written a book called Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith. . .and How to Bring Them Back. I want to focus on just a few passages from his interesting five page article from last fall in last November’s Christianity Today. Unlike many Christians who, despite living in a culture [Read More...]

TOP Q: “Do Children Have Higher Moral Status Than Adults?”

In his book Moral Status and Human Life: The Case for Children’s Superiority, law professor James Dwyer argues that children are not merely equal to adults in moral status but actually have a higher moral status than adults.  Below is a brief video in which he sketches out the broad contours of his thought on moral [Read More...]

Just How Much Control Over Their Children’s Thought Are Parents Entitled To?

In reply to yesterday’s open philosophical question whether a Swedish law banning any school, even private ones, from indoctrinating students by teaching their religious tenets as truths (with the ulterior motive of undermining Islamic schools’ abilities to radicalize their students), Mary Young makes a rigorous and eloquent case against such bans well worth highlighting (and [Read More...]

Thoughts On The Ethics Of Private Vs. Publicly-Mediated Generostiy

Tom Rhees has a fascinating article in which he analyzes religious and irreligious generosity by a number of metrics, yielding some revealing insights. The whole piece is worth reading. But I would like to focus on this last bit: Arguably, charity is a means to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. Seen in [Read More...]

Pleasure And Pain As Intrinsic Instrumental Goods

In recent posts I have been arguing that there is one sense of the word “good” which can be analyzed in terms of facts and that this is the kind of “goodness” which we can consider a real part of the world.  This real, intrinsic, factual sense of goodness is its meaning as “effectiveness”. We [Read More...]

The Harmony Of Humility And Pride

Previously I have argued that pride is the proper identification of the self with whatever excellently expresses, manifests, reflects, results from, or causes one’s own excellence. It is only fitting that we feel that we love and admire that which is good and love and admire it more the better it is and less the [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Why Faith Is Unethical (Or “In Defense Of The Ethical Obligation To Always Proportion Belief To Evidence”)

A couple of weeks ago, I argued that there was a real distinction between “lacking a belief in any God or gods” on the one hand and “believing there is no God (or gods)” on the other hand.  Primarily I saw the heart of the distinction as resting with the difference between on the one [Read More...]

Some Suspicions About The Superiority Of Liberal Moral Values

Earlier today, I drew attention to Greta Christina’s article formulating some ideas she picked up from Rebecca Newberger Goldstein.  If you have already read either or both of those posts, you can just skip the next two paragraphs meant to catch up new readers. The Goldstein/Greta Christina argument built off of Jonathan Haidt’s theory of [Read More...]


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