Immoralism?

Taylor: I’ve been reading a lot of Nietzsche of late, like you recommended. Pat: Oh? And what do you think? What are you taking away from it? Taylor: I really like what he has to say about immoralism. I realized I am an immoralist. Pat: How so? How are you interpreting that word? Taylor: Well, he makes this really fascinating [Read More...]

Bullying or Debating? Religious Privilege or Freedom of Speech?

Jaime: Did you see the Republicans just endorsed the right to bully in schools as long as it’s done in the name of religion. Kelly: They did not. Jaime: Yes. They did. They perversely added to anti-bullying bill the right to bully as long as such bullying was based on “sincerely held religious or moral convictions.” [Read More...]

A Critique of Noble Lies And The "Theologies" They Create

In this long post, I begin by explaining Plato’s formulation of the concept of a noble lie for those unfamiliar with it and then I explain in detail numerous problems I see with employing noble lies and with attempts to persuade people through “theological” arguments. I think all theology is either an explicit or an [Read More...]

Is Oxytocin The "Morality Molecule"

That is Paul Zak’s theory. The video is fascinating: Now I just need to find 8 people to hug me everyday. (via Philosopher’s Haze, who you can read for a summary if you cannot watch the video for some reason). Patricia Churchland’s book Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality explores the role of Oxycotin in morality [Read More...]

Qualia Soup on Morality Part 3: Of Objectivity and Oughts

Qualia Soup makes the case for a J.L. Mackie sort of subjectivism in ethics against William Lane Craig. I think more can be said for objectivity than he allows. As I summarized last week, in my own objections to Craig’s positions: I, for one, am convinced atheists can have a perfectly fine naturalistic ontology of objective goodness, which allows us [Read More...]

Force and Reason

In previous posts (like Rational Passional Persuasion and On Zealously, Tentatively, and Perspectivally Holding Viewpoints) I have argued that there is a proper place for emotional appeals as part of a rational argument. In the last couple of weeks, though, I have also argued firmly against certain kinds of emotional appeals that I consider abusive, counter-productive, and hypocritical [Read More...]

From Is To Ought: How Normativity Fits Into Naturalism

In a previous post, I laid out a number of reasons that people think values cannot be grounded in naturalistic ways or that if they were they would be values which would threaten vulnerable groups. In this post, I want to address the charge of the naturalistic fallacy: i.e., the claim that you cannot derive [Read More...]

Fighting The Dictionary

Ophelia wrote an insightful, controversial paragraph: Churches don’t do education. Religion doesn’t do education. Churches and religion do religion, which is different from education. Education is what schools do. It is fundamentally secular – it is about the world, and exploring and learning about the world. Like newspapers, like forensics, like medicine, like so many human institutions, [Read More...]

Nietzsche: We Cannot "Selflessly" Investigate Morality

Nietzsche writes a lot of things which attack the ideal of selflessness. Yet he does not make any blanket call for an ideal of unmitigated, small-minded selfishness. He calls for certain kinds of self-concern and in some cases certain kinds of self-denial in the pursuit of higher purposes or higher ideals of self-cultivation. Rather than [Read More...]


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