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...]

“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...]

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...]

When All That Abstinence Fetishism Goes Too Far…

Did you hear about this young evangelical couple in Topeka?? Jon and Darla Crocker, who dutifully abstained from sex during their 14-month courtship, have remained abstinent after marriage and plan to do so indefinitely. “If it was holy before, it must be double-holy afterwards,” Darla says. They have now completed 25 months of marriage without [Read More...]

The JT and Bria Conflict and Why I Usually Don’t Blog About Interpersonal Conflicts

The best moral judgment is not absolutist. It does not blindly apply simplistic, overly broad rules in every circumstance regardless of the consequences. When necessary, the best moral judgment in fact takes into account a whole host of relevant, situational nuances. It assesses each nuance according to any of a range of important formal moral [Read More...]

Philosophical Advice For Dealing With A Bad Mother With Medical Needs

Hi Dan! I have a question for you! What do you think one’s moral obligations are to an ailing parent who parented very poorly? I had what seems to me to have been a very rough childhood. My parents divorced when I was four and my mom pretty much neglected me. She stayed out all [Read More...]

You Don’t Kill Hateful Words’ Powers By Ignoring Them

The problems discussed in the middle section of this post’s essay are epitomized in various ways by this video: The Stoics, with some wisdom that is in need of some qualification, advise us to always be mindful about the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. Stoics typically argue that we are [Read More...]

From Normal to Normative, Human Minds’ Conformist Conservative Prejudice

In this post I use a social psychology finding as a key for speculating about the causes of a lot of frustratingly poor ethical reasoning. [Read more...]

Vulnerability, Victim Blaming, and The Just World Fallacy

Trigger Warning: What follows are speculations about the implicit philosophies and psychologies underpinning victim blaming. Years ago I read an article by a rape survivor who talked about how after she was raped she would obsess over what she should have done differently to prevent the attack. By beating herself up over what was done [Read More...]


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