Deriving An Atheistic, Naturalistic, Realist Account Of Morality

Tom Gilson thinks that theism accounts for moral realism better than atheism does.  My reasons for rejecting that view are here (though I am interested in tailoring a future post specifically to Gilson’s particular way of arguing for a theist basis for moral realism). For now, however, rather than counter Gilson’s positive claims for theism’s [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...]

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...]

Moral Actions, Moral Sentiments, Moral Motives, and Moral Justifications: More On The Nun Excommunicated For Approving A Life-Saving Abortion

In reply to my post on the story of Sister Margaret McBride whom the Catholic Church “automatically excommunicated” for helping to give the go-ahead to an abortion claimed necessary for saving the life of an 11 week pregnant mother, I have already received two interesting replies.  The first challenged the medical argument for the necessity of [Read More...]

Legalism Over Life: Nun Supports Life-Saving Abortion And Gets Excommunicated

Feministing: Sister Margaret McBride has been demoted from her position at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ after participating in the approval of an abortion for a critically ill patient in 2009. McBride was part of the hospital ethics committee that approved an abortion for a patient with pulmonary hypertension, which can be [Read More...]

Maximal Self-Realization In Self-Obliteration: The Existential Paradox of Heroic Self-Sacrifice

Last summer I wrote a number of posts through which I sought to disambiguate the various senses of the word faith and in the process distinguish the various virtuous ethical and epistemic practices for which faith is typically confused by means of ambiguous equivocations.  I attempted to distinguish the virtues of hope, loyalty, trust, intuitional [Read More...]

A Brief Overview Of My Dissertation

Nietzsche’s writings on morality are famously provocative and controversial.  His criticisms of morality in both theory and practice are so extensive and rhetorically scathing that many philosophers assume that he can offer little or nothing constructive to moral philosophy.  Additionally, his glorification of the will to power sounds prima facie like a celebration of excessively [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Can We Uphold A Moral Law And A Principle That We Should Break It?

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: A Possible Kantian Formula For Determining The Permissibility Of Self-Defense

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]


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