Non-Reductionistic Analysis Of Values Into Facts

I have recently been arguing that the term good: must be cashed out in fact terms lest it just be a projection of our preferences and nothing more.  [And] if it means anything objective, it means effectiveness. In reply, James Gray accuses me of reductionism: One, “good” does not have be defined in non-good terms. [Read More...]

A Video Of Me Rambling About Nietzsche

This is from 2007 and I just found that it pops right up when one Googles me. It’s hard for me to watch because it involves watching me. But I figured it might be of interest to others. Forgive the extemporaneousness of it all and enjoy some of the more hilarious hand gestures. (My favorite [Read More...]

On Defending True Spirituality And Taking The Word Back From Spiritually Bankrupt Fundamentalism

So Chris Mooney’s article in Playboy about the spirituality of scientists has sparked some interesting debate in the atheist blogosphere. His new post on the subject explicitly interprets his aims and themes in the piece as essentially saying what I interpreted them to be—to defend the idea that you can have completely sufficient spirituality without [Read More...]

My Perspectivist, Teleological Account Of The Relative Values Of Pleasure And Pain

With Sam Harris doing the rounds promoting a utilitarianism that seems to take the pleasures of sentient beings to be the good to be maximized, it’s as appropriate a time as ever to flesh out my objections to prioritizing pleasure and pain as the central goods in life.  More specifically, you can read my already [Read More...]

How Our Morality Realizes Our Humanity

In a previous post, I discussed the intrinsic connection between being and goodness and between functional activity and being.  I argued, for example that the various components of a heart need to function as a heart to be a heart and similarly that a human being must act morally to realize her humanity.  Specifically, I [Read More...]

Why I Think Theistic Religion’s Psychological Grip Can Be Weakened Or Broken

In a recent comments section, Gregory Wahl argued to me that religion is so deeply rooted in psychological needs, specifically the longing for immortality, that there is an inherent limitation to the ability of all my philosophical arguments to dissuade the faithful.  As this line of reasoning goes, they do not believe for intellectual reasons [Read More...]

Sympathy For The Hate-Mailers

Barrett Brown, the director of communications for the godless lobby “Enlighten The Vote” and a contributor to skeptic magazines, explains why he deserves all the mean e-mails he gets: In my defense, though, I didn’t choose to be either an atheist or a skeptic; rather, these were simply mindsets I came to adopt around the [Read More...]