Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 2

It is not clear why Brigham Young followed the racist pro-slavery views of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery from 1836 instead of the more liberal-minded abolitionist views of Joseph Smith from 1842 to 1844.  However, confronting the reality of mixed-race marriages and sex between black men and white women appears to have pushed Young further in the direction of racist beliefs and practices: ================================= One of the most significant, and simultaneously most obscure marriages … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 1

Brigham Young was a racist white man who initiated racial discrimination into the official policies and practices of the Mormon church (more specifically: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement). One key racist policy of the Mormons was to exclude blacks from "the priesthood". In the Mormon faith "priesthood" was not limited to just a few select members of the church (as in the Catholic faith). Any adult male or boy who is … [Read more...]

Terence Cuneo Reviews C. Stephen Evans’ new book, God and Moral Obligation

The review is found at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews here. … [Read more...]

Richard Schoenig’s New Paper: “Objective Ethics Without Religion”

Abstract: Theists frequently aver that atheism is incompatible with moral realism (the view that there are objective moral facts). This paper defends a justifiable objective moral code, termed ethical rationalism (ER), that does not depend on the existence of any supernatural being. ER is a seven-principle moral code comprising two general prescriptions: do not harm others and help them whenever feasible. It is argued that ER (and hence objective morality) is justified by the fact that all moral … [Read more...]

Really Handy Survey of Metaethics

I have no idea if the site posting this actually has the copyright permissions to do this or not, but there is a site with the entire copy of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's book, Moral Skepticisms, available as a PDF file. For those of you with an interest in learning more about metaethics--such as the distinction between "moral metaphysics" (moral ontology), "moral linguistics" (moral semantics), and so forth, check out pages 5-7 of the PDF file, especially the diagram on page 6. … [Read more...]

Louise Antony on Divine Goodness

I'm reading Debating Christian Theism, based on Keith Parsons's recommendation. I just finished reading the essays by Paul Copan and Louise Antony debating moral arguments for God's existence. Antony's essay ends with a very interesting point. In a way, it’s puzzling why, of all God’s attributes, moral goodness is the one held to be constituted merely by God’s possessing it. God is omniscient, but what’s true is not held to be true in virtue of God’s believing it; God is omnipotent, … [Read more...]

A Quick and Easy Refutation of Theologically-Grounded Ethics?

According to many skeptics, including many philosophers, the idea that God is the foundation of morality can be refuted according to the Euthyphro dilemma (ED). Socrates, in Plato's Euthyphro dialogue (10a), asked: "Is what is holy holy because the gods approve it, or do they approve it because it is holy?" In modern times this has been rephrased in various ways. Here's one: "Is what is good good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good?" Is this a good objection? … [Read more...]

Gay men can marry lesbians, say Catholic church

I thought this was satire when I read it, but apparently this is for real. http://planetivy.co.uk/offbeat/52058/senior-catholic-priest-says-gay-men-can-marry-lesbians/ … [Read more...]

An Astonishingly Bad Argument against Gay Marriage

Over at The Christian Post, General Jerry Ralph Curry gives an astonishingly bad argument against gay marriage. Should SCOTUS actually declare homosexuality a civil right, it logically follows that polygamy, pedophilia and bestiality would one day also be declared a civil right by the Court. In spite of society’s thirst for more modernism, inclusiveness and diversity, who would want to live in the midst of such moral depravity? . . . (emphasis mine) Umm, in a word, "No." With all due … [Read more...]

Kahane on Cosmic Insignificance

This paper is an absolute must-read. Abstract: The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. Many philosophers assume that such worries about our significance reflect a banal metaethical confusion. They dismiss the very idea of cosmic significance. This, I argue, is a mistake. Worries about cosmic insignificance … [Read more...]