In Which I Feel Like a Heel

This Easter season, I made it to two days of the Triduum: Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil. (Since I couldn’t make it to Friday evening services, I went to Tenebrae with my boyfriend instead). The Easter Vigil was lovely, even if my boyfriend was so tired as a result of exams that his mom and I had to keep a close eye on him whenever he was holding a lit candle.Maundy Thursday was a little less pleasant. I had gone last year and had an awkward moment since I hadn’t checked ahead of time whe … [Read more...]

Two Fights to Pick On Homosexuality

I've heard two major types of Christian arguments against homosexuality (or, more precisely, against acting on a homosexual orientation).  I find both unpersuasive, and I thought I'd close out this series inspired by Christiopher Yuan by explaining why I don't buy the arguments and why I think one of them is never worth making to non-Christians.It is Bad because God forbids it. God asks people to do a lot of strange things, especially in the Old Testament.  At the most horrifying end of the … [Read more...]

The Trap of Numbness and Self-Satisfaction

I've still been thinking about some of the questions we've been picking over in the discussion of David Brook's new book and attempts to alter personality/moral character through pharmacology.  I'm sure some of my friends are delighted to find that there are transhumanist ideas I'm uncomfortable with, and I've been trying to nail down why.To refresh your memory, Tristyn asked: What if there was a drug that made you kinder, more charitable, more forgiving? Let's say even that it has some … [Read more...]

Inducing a Moral Jump Discontinuity (A thought experiment)

Tristyn of Eschatological Psychosis jumps the line by prefacing her comment on my review of Brook's The Social Animal with 'TRANHUMANIST QUESTION.'  I am powerless to resist.  Here's what she asked: So, we have established that if, in fact, holding warm beverages makes you nicer, going out of your way to find a warm beverage before interacting with an annoying person is acceptable to you. Seems fairly reasonable, though (I think) clearly in a closer-to-ideal world we wouldn't need such c … [Read more...]

Necessary Responses

Yesterday's post on necessary evils drew two responses, one from Rust Belt Philosophy, one from Alex Knapp, whose post I was originally commenting on.  I plan to respond to at least one of them today but not until I do some studying for my epidemiology exam tomorrow morning, so use the morning to check out their thoughts and browse their blogs. Here's one quote from each:Alex Knapp: And here’s where Ms. Libresco loses me. It appears that she thinks that there is a problem in overcoming on … [Read more...]

A Choice Between Evils

I’ve recovered from being sick just in time to face down three midterm exams this week, so my extended response to your comments on my two case studies in my moral thought is still being delayed, but a recent post by Alex Knapp at his new blog at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen gave me a nice opening to address one common critique.In a post titled “Pet Peeves: ‘A Necessary Evil’” Knapp wrote: Let me tell you a phrase that I hate. That phrase is “a necessary evil.” It doesn’t make sense. If … [Read more...]

Ethics Case Study #2: Senior Gift

The last post I wrote about parts of my ethics that my friends label as 'Christian,' several commenters wrote in to take issue with the idea that Christians had a monopoly on that strand of moral thought.  I thought I'd run another example by you all, since my resolution to a  recent dilemma had my atheist friends snickering and saying, "You are such a Catholic!"So here's the situation: My university is in the middle of the drive for the Senior Class Gift and plenty of students disagree a … [Read more...]