Nietzsche's Immoralism As Rebellion Against The Authoritarian Tendencies Of Moralities

Nietzsche casts himself, quite provocatively, as an “immoralist”.  In this post, I want to make clear what Nietzsche means by this term as a first step towards understanding the exact nature and scope of his hostility to morality.  As should already be apparent to longtime Camels With Hammers readers, I am optimistic about philosophy’s possibilities [Read More...]

On The Conflict Over The Meaning And Cultural Influence of Political Secularism

In this post I just want to jot down some thoughts about a knotty issue. I probably will not make much progress in untangling all its strands but hopefully will stimulate a discussion that straightens things out at least a bit. Is political secularism inherently neutral or antagonistic to religiosity? There are a couple of [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...]

What Can An Atheist Love In People’s Religiosity?

Earlier today, I argued that atheists can vigorously and outspokenly oppose bad faith-based ideas, values, and behaviors, but still love other aspects of the religiosity of their religious friends (and of religious people in general). I argued that religion can be as central to personal identity formation as sexuality is and that to indiscriminately hate [Read More...]

Moral vs. Non-Moral Values

In a recent post I distinguished numerous times between moral and non-moral values and between different sorts of intrinsic and instrumental goods.  James Gray asks for clarifications about how I use these terms: First, I don’t know that it matters to call something a “moral value.” Of course, there are instrumental values concerning morally neutral [Read More...]

Non-Reductionistic Analysis Of Values Into Facts

I have recently been arguing that the term good: must be cashed out in fact terms lest it just be a projection of our preferences and nothing more.  [And] if it means anything objective, it means effectiveness. In reply, James Gray accuses me of reductionism: One, “good” does not have be defined in non-good terms. [Read More...]

I Am A Moral Naturalist, Not A Subjectivist

In a long comment on my post from this morning, George raised the question of usage of “subjectivism” beyond my own interpretation of the word.  Let’s look to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which should be as neutral an adjudicating source as the English-speaking philosophy world has.  I selected this source for its independent, encyclopedia character [Read More...]

How Morality Can Change Through Objective Processes And In Objectively Defensible Ways

Jason of Lousy Canuck thinks I am quibbling over semantics in complaining about his characterization of morality as essentially “subjective” and he wants me to clarify how my position diverges in substance from his own.  Answering his questions and his formulations may prove a fruitful way to clarify my own positions.  So, here goes.  He [Read More...]

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...]


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