In Defense of Taking Offense

As predominantly pro-social animals, humans are quite often conflict averse. And innumerable forms of social pressure, all the way from authoritarian patriarchy to liberal multiculturalism, encourage people to be as polite as possible as the standard default. This is why letting loose and offending people can feel so incredibly liberating at times. Insofar as our [Read More…]

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Forward Thinking: The Ethics of Challenging Each Other’s Identities

In this post I explore some of the ways that our beliefs, values, commitments, behaviors, etc. constitute ourselves and how our commitments to various ideas, institutions and practices, etc. also contribute fundamentally to our identity. In light of this, I explore the moral difficulties that potentially arise when we intellectually challenge these things. [Read more…]

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My Appearance on the Atheist Experience Defending Objective Morality

Click the headline of the post for a guide to finding my articles on morality that most apply to your challenges and interests! [Read more…]

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Intent Is Not Magic, But It Still Matters

Sometimes we hurt others without intending to do so. Often in these cases, we typically feel it a matter of paramount importance to clarify our intentions and demonstrate that they were not malicious, and that the harm our actions did was accidental. This makes sense and is legitimate in that whether we are perceived as [Read More…]

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Forward Thinking: Round up of Responses About the Ethics of Cruelty

For this round of the “Forward Thinking” values development project Libby Anne and I are running, I asked bloggers to contemplate the ethics of cruelty. I pointed out a number of roles cruelty plays in our lives and asked them what ethical sense we should make of it. How should we determine what is good or [Read More…]

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Shades of Cruelty

How BDSM is like sour candies, cannibalism is like white chocolate, and violence is like cinnamon. [Read more…]

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4 Kinds of Irony and Nietzsche. An Excerpt From My Dissertation

A peek inside my dissertation! I love this stuff about irony that I worked out in this section. Irony is such a generally ill-explicated subject. I wanted to blog about it today but decided I had already done it well enough in my dissertation and didn’t want to put in a ton of work to replicate what I had already come up with. Tell me what you think! [Read more…]

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Oh You Can Get Good People To Do Bad Things Without Religion Alright…

Sometimes atheists become enamored with some pretty psychologically shallow memes. In this post, I fisk one. [Read more…]

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On the Ethics of Teasing and Mocking People, in Groups, in Friendships, and in Debates and Satire

One of the difficulties in working out the civility pledge I co-wrote and signed earlier this year was addressing the use of humor and mockery in disagreements. So let me offer a bunch of points of clarification of the use of humor to persuade. I will focus on antagonistic humor—like teasing people for what they [Read More…]

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