The Ethics of Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories, a recent article emphasizes, are not harmless self-delusions: In an important sense every conspiracy theory comes at some moral cost. To offer a conspiracy theory is to make an accusation. The accusation may be amorphous (‘shadowy forces run the country!’) or highly specific (‘Prince Philip ordered MI6 to kill Princess Diana!’) but by [Read More…]

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The Theology and Ethics of Star Wars

The above discussion of theology and ethics in Star Wars at Conway Hall includes Biblical scholar Francesca Stavrakopoulou. It uses LEGO Star Wars images, discusses orientalism and radicalization in the films, and includes reading from the scripts (the stage directions in which are often significant for how we understand some key moments). It is definitely worth [Read More…]

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The Sanctity of Life

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Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion

“The Zygon Inversion” is an instant classic, one of those episodes that immediately adds itself to my list of all-time favorites -and possibly my absolute favorite episode, just because of the speech the Doctor gives at the end, which you can watch in the video below. Spoilers ahead. This episode concludes the two-parter which brilliantly introduced a [Read More…]

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Ethics and Empathy

The quote comes from the post “How Golden is the Golden Rule?” on Steve Douglas’ blog Undeception. As was pointed out in discussion here previously, a rigidly literalistic adherence to the Golden Rule might lead one to inflict one’s own preferences and desires on others. But clearly the point of the Golden Rule is about [Read More…]

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Robot Ethics CFP

Via the Religion Call for Papers Tumblr I learned about this volume, which I should perhaps consider submitting an abstract for, since I have published on the topic in the past. But I have other projects I am committed to completing before the end of the year, and so am still unsure if I will. But I [Read More…]

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The One True Religion, With Evidence

IO9 shared the above comic, depicting a future in which people have found a way to exploit a religious loophole in laws regarding medical ethics. It is OK to make exceptions for sincerely-held religious beliefs. Well, what if someone finds a way to foster certain beliefs, in the interest of scientific advancement…and profit? If you like the [Read More…]

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Discount on the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics

Not long ago I mentioned that my entry on “Monotheism” was published in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics. It is an expensive two-volume reference work, and so I thought it appropriate to share with blog readers a discount code that Oxford gave to contributors, to share with friends and family. Type in AFMPG04 [Read More…]

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Monotheism, Ethics, and the Bible

A pdf of my article on “Monotheism,” published in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics, is available on my Selected Works page. I am grateful to Oxford University Press for the permission to make the article available there. [Read more…]

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The Doctor Who Kills

I thought of other titles for this post, but the fact that it manages to include “Doctor Who” in a sense other than as the title of the TV show, while being about that TV show, made me opt for this one. (Does anyone else regularly mistake articles about a doctor who did something, as [Read More…]

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Comparative Dalek Ethics

If you’ve seen the latest trailer for the upcoming Doctor Who series, you’ll have seen a hint that (SPOILER ALERT) a Dalek that develops ethical sensibilities seems like it will be a focus at some point. I’ve been intrigued ever since that early promotional spot on the BBC had a Dalek saying that it detected in [Read More…]

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