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.  He thinks they have a conscience, but one unlike others’. They have strong feelings [Read More...]

TOP Q (7): When, If Ever, Are Intellectual Mistakes Morally Culpable?

Can we morally blame people for failing to pursue the truth well enough or for employing irrational methods of belief formation?  Is belief something not in our volitional control at all?  Is it an entirely passive thing to “just believe” something?  Or even if we have some volitional control over what we believe, does it [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...]

The Christian Logic Of Power, Pride, Humility, Free Will, Original Sin, And All-Consuming Divine Narcissism

Pride has traditionally been disparaged by Christianity as not only a vice but as the chief vice. Christianity has gone so far as to recommend humility as one of the highest virtues for a human being. The theological reasons for this begin with the way that traditional Christianity understands human beings primarily relationally, as in [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...]

Sam Harris’s Case Against Collins

President Obama’s recent choice to head the National Institutes of Health was Francis Collins who was both head of the human genome project and is an outspoken proponent of the complementarity of religion and science.  Here are some of  Sam Harris’s objections to his nomination: Why should Dr. Collins’s beliefs be of concern? There is [Read More...]


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