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 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...]

Defining Intrinsic Goodness, Using Marriage As An Example

The other day, I wrote a post exploring a major reason that getting away without penalties would not be enough to make at least some kinds of wrongdoing in our best interests. I was taking one of a few possible tacks at answering Glaucon’s question in Plato’s Republic as to how being a just person might be [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...]

Why Getting Away With Wrongdoing Does Not Make It Worth It

This past week across numerous different classes I am teaching in both ancient philosophy and ethics, I have been talking with my students about Plato’s Republic, Book II. We have discussed whether there would be any intrinsic goodness to justice such that it would be in our interests to choose just courses of action even [Read More...]

On Rejecting Faith in Morality

Update: Joel Marks has replied to this post and to my first follow up post.  I have reedited this post to incorporate his remarks at the end. Joel Marks is at the Center for Bioethics at Yale University and is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of New Haven. Though writing on ethics throughout [Read More...]

What It Means To Me To Be Free

I think that in some meaningful ways, human beings are free. In a couple of previous posts and in subsequent comments in their comments sections, I have been arguing for the ways that we are not free in a libertarian sense, i.e., our actions are not “undetermined” by forces outside our fundamental control. We are [Read More...]

Internecine War At Freethought Blogs: Philosopher vs. "Redneck" Edition: Free Will And The Real World Smackdown

As far as I have noticed, there has not been a blog war between any of the Freethought Blogs (or, er, since we all moved here anyway) so I was a little trepidatious of going and picking apart the every word of a quick comment on one of my posts by my new favorite blogger, Hank [Read More...]


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