On Traditions, and How I Approached My First Humanist Wedding

On March 2, 2014, I had the honor of performing my first marriage ceremony. There is a relative paucity of resources for self-conscious atheists and humanists eager for help in planning weddings that reflect their values, break with religious forms they conscientiously object to, and yet also feel in keeping enough with existing traditions to feel [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith As Tradition’s Advocate And Enforcer, Opposed To Merely Provisional Forms Of Trust

David appeals to MacIntyre to raise a really interesting question: What is your assessment of faith as the starting point of tradition constituted inquiry as understood by MacIntyre? This is accepting the standards of argument, explanation, justification internal to and partially constitutive of the extended argument that constitutes what MacIntyre calls a tradition. In this [Read More...]

Religion As A Morally and Politically Ambivalent Force

Two weeks ago, I profiled various remarks from Jerry Coyne for the incisive way they challenged assumptions that (1) religion is indispensable for moral progress, (2) that religion is even on balance usually an aid to moral progress, and (3) that moral progress is even something observable over the course of history.  Coyne’s remarks were written [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: The Threatening Abomination Of The Faithless

Faith is a form of loyalty. But more than that, faith is a form of trust which does not calibrate itself to objective standards of trustworthiness but trusts people despite their limitations as provably trustworthy people or even despite counter-evidence to the notion that they are worthy of trust at all. Even more than that, however, faith [Read More...]

The Evolutionary Advantages And Present Disadvantages Of Our Conformist Minds

John Wilkins has a good post on the value of our minds’ readinesses to defer to authorities from an evolutionary standpoint: The evolutionary justification for this is, of course the following: if evolution were a designer, trying to ensure that thinking beings learned and knew what they had to to survive, a cheaper rule than [Read More...]

An Argument For Gay Marriage And Against Traditionalism

I am puzzled by appeals to history to oppose gay marriage because history is only the story of what people have done and never of itself directly tells us anything about right or wrong.  Results of history can serve as warnings about effective and uneffective approaches to goal x or goal y but what people [Read More...]


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