Can You Really Love Religious People If You Hate Their Religion?

Atheists do not exactly claim to “love sinners but hate sins” (if for no other reason than that most, if not all, of us reject the category of “sin” as a meaningful or valuable way to talk about ethical failure). Also, atheists may be more realistic than to think that we really do, or feasibly [Read More...]

What Is Love? Here’s My Theory.

This is a renamed repost of July 24, 2009 post called “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways”: In the first part of this series, I explored the reasons for rejecting “unconditional” love as a candidate for the ideal essence of love since as a concept it is riddled with numerous problems [Read More...]

Moral vs. Non-Moral Values

In a recent post I distinguished numerous times between moral and non-moral values and between different sorts of intrinsic and instrumental goods.  James Gray asks for clarifications about how I use these terms: First, I don’t know that it matters to call something a “moral value.” Of course, there are instrumental values concerning morally neutral [Read More...]

Pleasure And Pain As Intrinsic Instrumental Goods

In recent posts I have been arguing that there is one sense of the word “good” which can be analyzed in terms of facts and that this is the kind of “goodness” which we can consider a real part of the world.  This real, intrinsic, factual sense of goodness is its meaning as “effectiveness”. We [Read More...]

What Is Happiness And Why Is It Good?

In this post, I explore the meanings and worths of two phenomena recognized by our language as  “happiness”, in reply to remarks by James Gray on my most recent post.  For a little background for those joining late and who would like to catch up: I have been arguing in several posts now that goodness factually means [Read More...]

Effectiveness Is The Primary Goal In Itself, Not Merely A Means

In a recent post I argued that goodness, objectively speaking, means effectiveness.  Of course we use the word “good” for numerous purposes, to express that we find something pleasant, desirable, useful, advantageous to our interests, etc.  But I want to argue that when it comes to the facts of reality, goodness has only this one essential [Read More...]

Grounding Objective Value Independent Of Human Interests And Moralities

In my most recent philosophical post, I have finally explained one of the most fundamental premises necessary for explaining and justifying my overall views on ethics.  I explained my view that goodness objectively means effectiveness and that all further true ideas of “good” should be understood only as derivative from the basic good of effectiveness.  Also [Read More...]

Deriving An Atheistic, Naturalistic, Realist Account Of Morality

Tom Gilson thinks that theism accounts for moral realism better than atheism does.  My reasons for rejecting that view are here (though I am interested in tailoring a future post specifically to Gilson’s particular way of arguing for a theist basis for moral realism). For now, however, rather than counter Gilson’s positive claims for theism’s [Read More...]

How Morality Can Change Through Objective Processes And In Objectively Defensible Ways

Jason of Lousy Canuck thinks I am quibbling over semantics in complaining about his characterization of morality as essentially “subjective” and he wants me to clarify how my position diverges in substance from his own.  Answering his questions and his formulations may prove a fruitful way to clarify my own positions.  So, here goes.  He [Read More...]


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