Empowerment Ethics: “Is Morality Just Culturally Relative?”

This is a new installment of my “Empowerment Ethics” series. Anthropologists, sociologists, historians, social psychologists, and other academics are all very interested in accurately describing different culture’s de facto systems of moral practices and norms. Famously these vary quite a bit. And good science requires not letting one’s own culture’s value judgments compromise one’s ability to accurately [Read More…]

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Empowerment Ethics: “How Can Atheists Condemn Rape Without Theistic Moral Absolutism?”

This blog post is a new installment of my “Empowerment Ethics” series, in which I systematically explain, develop, defend, and apply my distinctive spin on humanist, perfectionist, virtue, consequentialist, ethical system called “Empowerment Ethics”. In response to my most recent repost in this series, about why moralities don’t need to be conceived of in moral absolutist terms in order [Read More…]

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Video: Relating Morality To Nietzsche and Psychology

John Shook of Humanist Matters and Christopher Maute of Meeting of the Minds did a combined show last night interviewing Sarah Morehead (who is awesome) from the Recovery From Religion Foundation (which is also awesome) for about 50 minutes. Then they started interviewing me at 55 minutes. In the beginning of my portion, my audio [Read More…]

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In Defense of the Moral Cause of Feminism

In the last few years I have written a lot both on behalf of social justice and on the need to elevate the discourse surrounding it. I can say unequivocally that the feminist blogosphere and my activist feminist friends have made me a far better ethicist, a far better person, and a far better man [Read More…]

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“Skepticism about Morality and Religion” (a lecture by Shafer-Landau)

Russ Shafer-Landau is a leading moral philosopher. Below is his case on how there can be objective morality without belief in God. Shafer-Landua is a moral realist–he thinks that morality is real, true, binding, and he is not a moral naturalist but a moral non-naturalist. Though I am a moral naturalist, I have learned an immense [Read More…]

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Some Variant Meanings of “Intrinsic Value”

The term “intrinsic value” is ambiguous. I leaned on it heavily in yesterday’s Nietzsche Saturday post and a reader raised a worthwhile challenge to the rightness of the word and I replied. I think it’s worthwhile to disambiguate the word a bit by going over its multiple connotations and explaining which ones I intend and [Read More…]

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Moral Philosophers, Role Models, and Hypocrisy

Does being a moral philosopher obligate you to be a moral role model? And when is hypocrisy evidence against a moral philosophy? [Read more…]

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“You Can’t Stop Teenagers From Having Sex”

Don’t say “You can’t stop teenagers from having sex”. It’s not true. You can stop some of them. (I held out! And I know plenty of others who did too.) You just can’t stop enough of them with abstinence-only stuff and you just shouldn’t AIM to stop all of them with repressive anti-sex messaging. And you shouldn’t send the message to teenagers that every teenager has sex. That just says “everyone is doing it”, which pressures them to do it and makes them feel bad about themselves when they can’t find a partner or don’t want one. [Read more…]

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Kinds of Pleasures

Thomas Hurka is one of my favorite moral philosophers.  His essay on Nietzsche found in the compilation Nietzsche and Morality is meaty and challenging both as a stark reading of Nietzsche and as a strong perfectionist view of ethics, developed on Nietzsche’s behalf.  I’ve also read most of his first book, Perfectionism, which was excellent. [Read More…]

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