Moral Offense Is Not Morally Neutral

A couple weeks ago I challenged the notion that everyone has the moral right to be offended by whatever they happen to feel offended by. I acknowledged, of course, that we do (and should) have the legal right to feel whatever feelings we do. But morally, I argued, we are not justified to take offense unless [Read More...]

No, Not Everyone Has A Moral Right To Feel Offended By Just Any Satire or Criticism

4 Misconceptions About the Nature of Offense Here are four common sense assumptions about giving and taking offense that I think are fundamentally mistaken and which atheists need to argue against: “You have every right to be offended, but you don’t have the right to censor others just because you’re offended.” “You cannot blame people [Read More...]

Is Emotivistic Moral Nihilism Rationally Consistent?

Taylor: I know you’re bothered that I don’t believe in objective values, Pat, but I assure you I still care about the same things that you do. I just don’t say I’m being “objective” when I do so. Pat: I don’t know why you think I would be impressed by that. Taylor: Well when you [Read More...]

God and Goodness

Robin: Look, I get it, Jaime. As an atheist, you think that God’s wisdom is foolishness, that God’s righteousness is wickedness, and that the bloody death of Jesus on the cross is hateful and ugly rather than the epitome of love and beauty that Christians like I think it is. The Bible makes it very [Read More...]

Baby Morality

Yale psychologist and author of How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like, Paul Bloom discusses the evidence that certain behaviors, dispositions, and feelings on which morality is built are innate in us and present already in babies: Relatedly, Alison Gopnik’s The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About [Read More...]

The Case Against Literature As Moral Education

The other day, Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, eviscerated Christopher Hitchens over two morally dubious comments he made. Robin concluded from them that, contrary to his reputation, Hitchens was not at all an internationalist but rather “a narcissist, the most provincial spirit of all”. Robin ended his post quoting [Read More...]

Podcast Series Covering The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

Earlier today, I posted a link to an exceptional, accessible podcast introduction to the philosophies of the ancient cynics. The whole series that that podcast comes from is a marvelous idea and the few I’ve listened to are just great. It’s called “The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps” and it’s a must listen, basically a [Read More...]

If You Don’t Believe In Objective Values, Then Don’t Talk To Me About Objective Scientific Truth Either

I recently argued that when any of us act, we must act for reasons. When acting for reasons we must decide that the end we pursue is the best, most worthwhile, goal to pursue and that the action we take in order to achieve that goal is the most suitable one. I should also add [Read More...]

Why Bother Blaming People At All? Isn’t That Just Judgmental?

Before moving on to addressing the question of when it is right or wrong to get offended, let me quickly address a certain attitude that arises a lot in response to my posts on morality. I sense in the tone of a lot of comments I get in general that there is a fear of [Read More...]


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