Mutable Morality, Not Subjective Morality. Moral Pluralism, Not Moral Relativism.

I hope soon to engage a few of the specifics of a debate going on at our friend George’s blog Misplaced Grace which started when a Christian apologist named Peter tried to argue that atheism has no way of ruling out pedophilia as immoral.  Peter’s first remarks were critical of posts at Jason Thibeault’s blog Lousy Canuck. [Read More...]

The Separability Of Metaethics From Questions Of Theism

Earlier today, I argued that atheists cannot duck metaethics challenges from theists (or anyone else) and that we should not respond to such challenges with the knee jerk response that we are being bigotedly assumed to be incapable of moral behavior.  I wrote: it is not mere prejudice for theists to demand atheists give an [Read More...]

My Perspectivist, Teleological Account Of The Relative Values Of Pleasure And Pain

With Sam Harris doing the rounds promoting a utilitarianism that seems to take the pleasures of sentient beings to be the good to be maximized, it’s as appropriate a time as ever to flesh out my objections to prioritizing pleasure and pain as the central goods in life.  More specifically, you can read my already [Read More...]

My Perfectionistic, Egoistic AND Universalistic, Indirect Consequentialism (And Contrasts With Other Kinds)

A consequentialist assesses the ultimate worth of all the various features of our ethical lives according to whether or not they bring about some specific intrinsic good or goods that the consequentialist judges to be of primary value. All the various valuable features of our lives have their ultimate value with respect to how they [Read More...]

Towards Atheistic Religions (Or Away From Them, Depending On How You Define “Religions”)

In a rare occurrence, I am being taken to task for giving religion too much credit and atheists too little!  Here are the offending paragraphs I wrote on Friday: I would say that various practices called religious, if stripped of all their dogmatism, traditionalism, literalism, and authoritarianism, can and do certainly coexist with and complement science [Read More...]

How Our Morality Realizes Our Humanity

In a previous post, I discussed the intrinsic connection between being and goodness and between functional activity and being.  I argued, for example that the various components of a heart need to function as a heart to be a heart and similarly that a human being must act morally to realize her humanity.  Specifically, I [Read More...]

A Dictatorship Of Relativism?

BBC Radio 4 analyzes the pope’s catchphrase, “a dictatorship of relativism”, used for describing the secular West.  Here’s the program description: The idea that no one has a monopoly on the truth seems to be fixed in the modern Western psyche. But it’s an idea that is under attack. Pope Benedict claims that we are [Read More...]

Having A Market Economy Vs. Becoming A Market Society

A while back I posted a portion of this Michael Sandel speech but I never heard the entirety of it until this weekend when I was frantically re-embedding all the videos on the site. After embedding the Sandel clip, I listened to the whole speech and found it pretty great. The last two clips of [Read More...]


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