Bullying or Debating? Religious Privilege or Freedom of Speech?

Jaime: Did you see the Republicans just endorsed the right to bully in schools as long as it’s done in the name of religion. Kelly: They did not. Jaime: Yes. They did. They perversely added to anti-bullying bill the right to bully as long as such bullying was based on “sincerely held religious or moral convictions.” [Read More...]

Obama’s Rawlsian Defense Of Separation Of Church And State

This video of a speech Obama made during his presidential campaign which is making the rounds among my atheist Facebook friends today: When the speech was made I commented on James Dobson’s faulty reaction to Obama.  As I implied in that post, in the part not addressing Dobson, I think this speech is a spectacular [Read More...]

Some More Thoughts On Rawls’s Maximin Principle And Fairness

A week ago, I wrote a brief primer post explaining John Rawls’s maximin principle. In that post I explained that Rawls conceives of justice as being quintessentially concerned with fairness.  In order to determine what is maximally fair politically we must imagine ourselves behind a veil of ignorance behind which we do not know what [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Rawls’s Maximin Principle

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Lights, Camera, Ethics!

The ethics lectures of Harvard’s Michael J. Sandel are getting high quality video presentation and dissemination: it is the first time that public broadcasters can remember a regular college course’s being presented on television. What’s more, it is also a highly produced multimedia event, with high-definition video, interactive Webcasts, podcasts, a new book and a [Read More...]

The Theocratic Mindset of James Dobson

As something of a Rawlsian about public discourse, I have no problem with religious people arguing in government for application of ideals that they personally discovered through their religion or their sacred texts, their religious institutions, etc. as long as they respect the need to give reasons that are publicly accessible, reasons that do not [Read More...]


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