Gays, Jesus, and Judging

photo courtesy of Chris Calvey/Jesus

In response to my earlier post praising the young Christian man in the video above, who reached out with love to what he thought was a lesbian couple being berated by a cruel and judgmental waitress, Justin writes: Not to point out the obvious, but homosexuality is a sin, You have indeed not pointed out [Read More...]

Is it Too Risky to Debate Morality’s Foundations in the Public Square?

Jean Kazez argues that the public square is not the place for atheists to be arguing that science and religion are incompatible. I strongly reject her position on this point because not only do I believe that ordinary people are quite capable of handling a vigorous, no-holds-barred debate about religion but because I believe the [Read More...]

The Role Of Honor In Moral Revolutions

Kwame Anthony Appiah explores a thesis I’ve never heard before in his new book, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen summarized by Matthew Pianalto: Judged by contemporary Western standards, honour has a mixed moral record. On the one hand, a sense of gentlemanly honour underwrote the practice of duelling, long after it had been [Read More...]

Dawkins Against Religion’s Claim To Superiority Because It Offers Absolute Morality

This is one of the most concise, eloquent, and accurate statements on the problem with religious absolutism in morality and the superiority of secular, non-absolutist approaches to morality I have ever heard. And it is certainly Dawkins’s best 2 and a half minutes on the topic of morality I have ever heard: Thanks to Lucy. [Read More...]

The Religious Conservative’s False Choice: “Big Brother” Or “Heavenly Father”

In an e-mail to me, Caroline proposes thought provoking reasons for non-believers to encourage (or at least to not actively discourage) religious beliefs: It would also be nice if people would carry out actions in good conscience of just being decent human beings rather than in fear of reprisal in the afterlife, but as there [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...]

Rejecting And Reconciling Moral Intuitionist Ideas With My Naturalist Account Of Goodness

In reply to my post, Against Moral Intuitionism, James Gray defended his moral intuitionist leanings against my attacks on them.  He starts by quoting me: But many people can be and have been persuaded that goodness is not a property of things but rather of people’s attitudes towards them. The very existence of anti-realists about the existence [Read More...]

What Does It Mean For Pleasure And Pain To Be “Intrinsically Instrumental” Goods?

In reply to my post, Pleasure And Pain As Intrinsic Instrumental Goods, James objects: You are defining pleasure as intrinsic instrumental good. This is obviously not intrinsic goodness as I define it at all. Instrumental goodness is not intrinsic goodness. A successful pleasure instance is an intrinsically good instance of pleasure in-itself and for-itself, just for being [Read More...]

Against Moral Intuitionism

In the series of posts I began on Sunday and which has continued through this morning, I have developed and defended my naturalistic approach to understanding value as a realist.  James Gray, despite being a moral realist, has balked at much in my attempts to do this and it has become increasingly clear that the [Read More...]


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