Deriving a Naturalistic, Realistic Account of Morality

This is a repost from January 2011. The post is a nice overview of my account of moral philosophy, written as a reply to Christian doubts about the possibility of an atheistic moral philosophy. I have worked out a number of important nuances since writing this but it should serve as a nice introduction for [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 Moral Nihilism Is Self-Contradictory

My post against moral nihilism on Friday received many stimulating replies. I hope to address those replies, or their general concerns, as there is time and occasion in future posts. In this post–and in another I have written for later today–I want to start by answering thedudediogenes. He is the most seemingly self-conscious moral nihilist [Read More...]

Thinking According To Scale

PZ and Crommunist offer nice denunciations of the significance of a graphic which has been going around the internet which concludes that the chance of any given individual alive today ever existing was 1 in 102,685,000.  Below the fold is the graphic, key snippets of their remarks and the lesson to draw for how we should consider [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...]

Natural Functions

I have argued several times that objective goodness, factually speaking, tracks objective effectiveness. To say that something is good, in objective terms, is to say that it effectively (i.e., in fact) functions in such a way that it realizes a kind of being (such that it is a good instance of that kind of being), [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...]

Can Good Teaching Be Measured?

In recent posts I have been arguing that if only we interpret the word “good” to mean “effective” we can ground our discussions of values (moral and otherwise) in facts about effectivness. I argue that in that context we can have greater and lesser degrees of goodness, measurable in terms of greater or lesser degrees [Read More...]

What I Think About Metaethics

To get new readers caught up and to inspire all of you to resume old conversations and to get new ones rolling, periodically I will write posts which tour you through my archive.  In each post I will briefly summarize the positions I have taken in the past and provide links to the posts where [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X