My Systematic, Naturalistic Empowerment Ethics, With Applications to Tyrants, the Differently Abled, and LGBT People

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If you only ever read one thing I write about ethics. Let it be this.

This is a long, comprehensive, systematic defense of a naturalistic atheistic ethics, grounded in an attempt to be rationally coherent, consistent, and developed based on objective, factual premises that should not be very controversial in themselves.

This post also features an explanation of how we can say ethics is rooted in nature without coming to anti-LGBT conclusions that Catholics claim “natural law” would dictate. It also includes an explanation about how we can talk about power as a good thing (contra-Christian messaging) without endorsing abuses of power. And it has an explanation of how we can talk aspirationally about an ethics of maximizing human greatness without being ableists who throw the “disabled” under the bus in the process.

This is one of the longest posts of my original writing I have ever put up. I think it’s worth it though. It unites what could have been 8 separate posts together for the sake of putting my arguments about crucial applied topics in a relatively full context. [Read more...]

A Map With A Few of My Paths to Objective Morality

Yesterday I kicked off a series called “Paths to Objective Morality”. In response to commenters vigorously challenging my choice of vocabulary in calling morality “objective”, I decided to lay out my justification for my word choice systematically and to explain how it will be justified in each of the major components of my overall account of [Read More...]

Moral Perfectionism, Moral Pragmatism, Free Love Ethics, and Adultery

Kelly: You are a moral absolutist, Jaime. Jaime: Nonsense. You are the one who wants to impose monogamy on everyone, whether they like it or not. Kelly: No, when we talked the other day, I conceded it was your right to have whatever kinds of open relationships you wanted. I only said that, given human [Read More...]

Philip Pettit On How Consequentialism Can Respect The Integrity of Agents

Princeton professor Philip Pettit makes the case for consequentialism on this week’s Philosophy Bites. The voices and elocution of everyone in this interview are worth the price of admission. I love the way they pronounce al-Qaeda (“al-kay-ee-duh”) in particular. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

My Perfectionistic, Egoistic AND Universalistic, Indirect Consequentialism (And Contrasts With Other Kinds)

A consequentialist assesses the ultimate worth of all the various features of our ethical lives according to whether or not they bring about some specific intrinsic good or goods that the consequentialist judges to be of primary value. All the various valuable features of our lives have their ultimate value with respect to how they [Read More...]

Moral Actions, Moral Sentiments, Moral Motives, and Moral Justifications: More On The Nun Excommunicated For Approving A Life-Saving Abortion

In reply to my post on the story of Sister Margaret McBride whom the Catholic Church “automatically excommunicated” for helping to give the go-ahead to an abortion claimed necessary for saving the life of an 11 week pregnant mother, I have already received two interesting replies.  The first challenged the medical argument for the necessity of [Read More...]

Legalism Over Life: Nun Supports Life-Saving Abortion And Gets Excommunicated

Feministing: Sister Margaret McBride has been demoted from her position at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ after participating in the approval of an abortion for a critically ill patient in 2009. McBride was part of the hospital ethics committee that approved an abortion for a patient with pulmonary hypertension, which can be [Read More...]

A Brief Overview Of My Dissertation

Nietzsche’s writings on morality are famously provocative and controversial.  His criticisms of morality in both theory and practice are so extensive and rhetorically scathing that many philosophers assume that he can offer little or nothing constructive to moral philosophy.  Additionally, his glorification of the will to power sounds prima facie like a celebration of excessively [Read More...]

“What Makes It Immoral If You Lose And Not Immoral If You Win?”

The recently deceased Robert S. McNamara, architect of the Vietnam War, once hit upon the harsh and unpleasantly outcome oriented way that in practice we judge actions of comparable type and from comparable motivation. “We burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo — men, women and children,” Mr. McNamara recalled; some 900,000 Japanese civilians [Read More...]


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