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...]

The Facts About Intrinsic and Instrumental Goods and The Cultural Construction of Intrinsic Goods

In this post I want to say something which many would find radical and would assume is impossible and clearly false: I want to say that it can be a fact whether something is intrinsically good in some particular respect, for some particular being. A major part of this requires that I distinguish another two other [Read More...]

On The Ethics of "Sugar Daddies" and "Sugar Babies"

Kelly: Did you hear about this “sugar daddy” and “sugar baby” phenomenon wherein college girls are whoring themselves out through the internet to skeevy rich older men so they can pay for their college educations? It makes me sick to think that for these girls an education costs their bodies. These kids have to sell [Read More...]

Defining Intrinsic Goodness, Using Marriage As An Example

The other day, I wrote a post exploring a major reason that getting away without penalties would not be enough to make at least some kinds of wrongdoing in our best interests. I was taking one of a few possible tacks at answering Glaucon’s question in Plato’s Republic as to how being a just person might be [Read More...]


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