Why Bother Blaming People At All? Isn’t That Just Judgmental?

Before moving on to addressing the question of when it is right or wrong to get offended, let me quickly address a certain attitude that arises a lot in response to my posts on morality. I sense in the tone of a lot of comments I get in general that there is a fear of [Read More...]

The "Moral Argument" For Free Will Is A Morally Troubling, Hypocritical, Faith Position

Many who believe that we have free will are what philosophers call “libertarians”. These are not necessarily libertarians in the political sense but in a metaphysical sense. Libertarians conceive of free will as incompatible with determinism. Their notion is that to the extent that our actions are determined by forces or factors which are beyond [Read More...]

Jonathan Glover On The Consciences Of Sociopaths

The moral philosopher Jonathan Glover interviewed a number of anti-social people, including psychopaths, who have committed serious crimes and live in secure hospitals in order to investigate how they think about right and wrong and what sort of conscience they have. ┬áHe thinks they have a conscience, but one unlike others’. They have strong feelings [Read More...]

Unconscious Influences

Time ticks off some observed ways in which people have been shown to be susceptible to irrational subconscious influences: Studies have found that upon entering an office, people behave more competitively when they see a sharp leather briefcase on the desk, they talk more softly when there is a picture of a library on the [Read More...]

Beliefs Have Consequences, Including Religious Ones

ZJ has another predictably perfect video brilliant in unpredictably sharp ways: There are those who say that religious beliefs are not at the root of certain behaviors that appear to be caused by religion. Even when the actions of the religious are completely in line with their beliefs, even when they openly proclaim that they [Read More...]

Character As Fate And Environment As Variability

In reply to this post from late last night in which I took a first pass at trying to sketch out my views on fate, George writes: Dan, Again I find myself thanking you for this blog. Good blogging is all for naught without good readers (and especially without good readers who contribute excellently and [Read More...]


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