Prep for a Case Study in Christian Thought

When people read my "Testing the Truth-Telling Thing" post in my Chesterton series, the first question everyone asked was: Which ethical beliefs do you have that fit better into a Christian context?  As luck would have it I recently gave a speech for my debating group that drew heavily on Christian ideas (even though I scrubbed them from the speech).  The speech is up at the Huffington Post, and if you go check it out, I'll be back this afternoon to explain how most of the ideas I expressed make … [Read more...]

Submitting to Others

This is part of a series on covenant marriage, and, hopefully, it’s becoming clearer what this all has to do with virtue.How do you know that you’re not a psychopath?The simplest check on your sense perception (moral or physical) is checking with others to see if they have the same observations as you. If you diverge, you have to weigh the odds that you are the lone sane person in a crazy world. If you’re seeing auras that are invisible to everyone else, you probably have a migraine, not … [Read more...]

Covenant Marriage Index

Some time ago, I got into a dispute about covenant marriage with my friend Stephen, who blogs at The Last Delta-T.  I'm defending my position in a series of posts, both because I have problems with a subset of anti-marriage rhetoric that is sometimes used by people on the left (particularly my friends!) and because I think my views on marriage are a decent intro to some of my virtue ethics beliefs generally. What We Talk About When We Talk About Marriage - an intro to our … [Read more...]

Ethics Without Other People are Empty

I don’t understand ethical systems or teleology meant for humans that doesn’t talk about our relationships to other humans.That, in a nutshell, is why I hated Steve Antinoff’s Spiritual Atheism. Antinoff tries to find a way for atheists to live without God. He writes ”Spiritual atheism begins with a triple realization: that our experience of ourselves and our world leaves us ultimately dissatisfied, that our dissatisfaction is intolerable and must be broken through, and that there is no God. … [Read more...]

Where can I find atheists arguing about ethics?

After reading “What Atheists and Republican Strategists Have in Common.” one anonymous commenter took issue with my assumption that popular atheists try to act as philosophers. It's true that there are tough discussions that need to be had, but I think you give the average atheist - even the average outspoken atheist - too much credit. You're a bit too quick to discount the possibility that many atheists really don't have any philosophy because they've never had any curiosity about phi … [Read more...]

Questions for Atheists: Why is there Evil (Part 2)

This post is part of a series written in response to creationist Michael Egnor's Eight Questions for Atheists.  You can check out all my responses to date at the series index.In part one of this answer, I wrote about evil that befalls people, and this half of my answer will focus on the evil committed by people. When I talk about evil actions here, I’m going to leave aside incidental evil – evil that is not deliberately willed, but which is the result of a lack of knowledge or a f … [Read more...]

Dirty Hands and Drone Strikes (Part 2)

This post is a LONG overdue response to Peter Somerville, who had some questions about a post I wrote way back in October on the morality of drone strikes.Here's a quick excerpt from Peter (not a full recap, so click over and read it) Given that Leah’s post falls under a series on the topic of sinfulness, I was surprised that she never identifies any sinfulness in her post. Does she believe that a soldier killing an opponent is sinful? Is a soldier killing a noncombatant sinful? Are voters a … [Read more...]