Can Utilitarians Properly Esteem The Intrinsic Value of Truth?

The Obvious Intrinsic and Instrumental Values of Truth It is prejudicial and fallacious to assume that the world is an inherently just place and that all the traits we idealize as virtues will always lead to the best possible outcomes. So if we are to be honest and realistic in assessing those traits which are [Read More...]

In Memory of Christopher Hitchens, A Nietzschean Lion

Christopher Hitchens was not fond of Nietzsche. When I picked up his Portable Atheist I flipped to the table of contents to see what Nietzsche selections he’d included. And saw none. None?? Possibly the most famous, unabashed, and irreverent atheist of all time was not worthy of inclusion in Hitchens’s compendium? A brief remark found [Read More...]

Asking Richard Wade About The Ethics of Lying To Stay In A Protective Closet

In four previous posts, I have discussed with the Friendly Atheist’s advice columnist Richard Wade the origins of his “Ask Richard” column, the nature of family conflicts over atheism, the problems with forming one’s identity based on one’s beliefs (or non-beliefs), and how atheists should respond to the possibly religious dimensions of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the installment of [Read More...]

Apostasy As A Religious Act (Or “Why A Camel Hammers The Idols Of Faith”)

In “The Three Transformations of the Spirit” in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and Nobody, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra describes the human spirit as successively taking three different forms: the camel, the lion, and the child. The transformations begin with the spirit of the camel, which Nietzsche characterizes as consisting of obedient, self-sacrificing, reverential, [Read More...]

Why Camels With Hammers?

Evangelos has asked and it’s a good question, so here’s a brief explanation: It’s a combination of two images in Nietzsche.  The camel comes from “The Three Transformations,” a section of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  He is there describing transformations that the “spirit” must undergo.  First it must become a camel.  The camel represents austere, ascetic, [Read More...]


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