Natural Functions

I have argued several times that objective goodness, factually speaking, tracks objective effectiveness. To say that something is good, in objective terms, is to say that it effectively (i.e., in fact) functions in such a way that it realizes a kind of being (such that it is a good instance of that kind of being), [Read More...]

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...]

From Is To Ought: How Normativity Fits Into Naturalism

In a previous post, I laid out a number of reasons that people think values cannot be grounded in naturalistic ways or that if they were they would be values which would threaten vulnerable groups. In this post, I want to address the charge of the naturalistic fallacy: i.e., the claim that you cannot derive [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...]

Nietzsche: "'Good' Is No Longer Good When One's Neighbor Mouths It"

I argued yesterday that Nietzsche believes that there are objective standards of value for assessing divergent moralities. In reply, Juno (of the blog Letters from Le Vrai) asks what I would make of Section 43 of Beyond Good and Evil which reads, in full, as follows: Are these coming philosophers new friends of “truth”? That is probable enough, for [Read More...]

Nietzsche: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism Are "Equally Childish"

Recently Joel Marks, a career moral philosopher, concluded that the moral certitude he has felt and argued for his entire career was built as much on faith as many theists’ belief in God is. And in response he swung radically in the opposite direction and came to believe that there can be no rational objectivity [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...]

Moral Perfectionism, Moral Pragmatism, Free Love Ethics, and Adultery

Kelly: You are a moral absolutist, Jaime. Jaime: Nonsense. You are the one who wants to impose monogamy on everyone, whether they like it or not. Kelly: No, when we talked the other day, I conceded it was your right to have whatever kinds of open relationships you wanted. I only said that, given human [Read More...]