Yes, We Can Blame People For Their Feelings, Not Just Their Actions

“You can’t blame people for how they feel, only for what they do.” “You have every right to be offended, but you don’t have the right to censor others just because you’re offended.” In this post and the next one, I want to explain why I think these two common moral sentiments are quite mistaken—or, [Read More...]

On Not-Pologies, Forgiveness, and Gelato

Kinds of Forgiveness Let’s start with the theoretical. How should we characterize forgiveness, and when and why should we forgive people? Full forgiveness involves three things: 1. Waiving all just moral and/or legal penalties, including all forms of restitution and compensation, that we would normally demand for wrongdoing. 2. Restoring amicable emotional, social, and/or professional [Read More...]

A Philosophical Polemic Against Moral Nihilism

Jesse is undeterred by my argument that at least some of our moralities (or elements of them) can be objectively defended even though the physical universe (taken as an entirety) does not care about them: Daniel– I haven’t gone deeply enough through the other posts you linked to, and I will — but I think [Read More...]

Why Be Morally Dutiful, Fair, or Self-Sacrificing If The Ethical Life Is About Power?

I argue in my moral philosophy that our highest ethical goods are to maximally flourish in our power and in our will to power. When I say this, many immediately assume that my ethics must be quite at odds with the sorts of concerns for selfless respect for duty and for the autonomy of all [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...]

Some People Live Better As Short-Lived Football or Boxing Stars Than As Long Lived Philosophers

I have argued in several posts that our good is to maximally flourish in our powers and recently I wrote that “it is a practical contradiction to destroy (or reduce on net) the preconditions of one’s own being.” In reply, Russell Turpin writes: There are myriad examples of people committing suicide or sacrificing their lives [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...]

Judging Yourself Truthfully

One of the most important mental disciplines is to assess yourself honestly. We are so naturally susceptible to judging ourselves according to both the flattery of our admirers and of our own ego, on the one hand, and the disdain of our detractors and our own irrational fears, on the other. It takes a lot [Read More...]

Love Religious People (Tip 10 of 10 For Reaching Out To Religious Believers)

Top Ten Tips For Reaching Out To Religious Believers: 1. Don’t Call Religious Believers Stupid. 2. Make Believers Stay on Topic During Debates. 3. Don’t Tell Religious Believers What They “Really Believe”. 4. Clarify What Kinds of Evidence Warrant What Kinds of Beliefs. 5. Help Break The Spell Of Religious Reverence. 6. Don’t Demonize Religious [Read More...]

Nietzsche: "'Good' Is No Longer Good When One's Neighbor Mouths It"

I argued yesterday that Nietzsche believes that there are objective standards of value for assessing divergent moralities. In reply, Juno (of the blog Letters from Le Vrai) asks what I would make of Section 43 of Beyond Good and Evil which reads, in full, as follows: Are these coming philosophers new friends of “truth”? That is probable enough, for [Read More...]