On Not Respecting Autonomy

This was more fun to use as an illustration of 'nudge' than Cass Sunstein's bookThis is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time)There's a (probably) apocryphal George Bernard Shaw story in which he approached an elegant woman at a party and asked, "Madam, would you go to bed with me for one hundred thousand pounds?"  She was stunned, but, after a moment's reflection said she would.  Shaw then asked her, "Madam, would you … [Read more...]

Where Yuan Went Wrong (Part 3)

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time)In this last post on problems with Christopher Yuan's rhetoric (meant as a caution to Christians or anyone else addressing a hostile audience), I want to highlight a misstep that occurred outside of the main lecture.At the beginning of the talk, some of the members of the sponsoring groups passed out index cards and told us to write down any questions we had for Yuan.  After he … [Read more...]

Ex-Gays and Debating Mores (Index Post)

On April 1st, 2011, it turned out that the advertised visit from an ex-gay, Protestant minister was no prank.  When he came to campus, controversy erupted, even though the substance of his arguments was not as offensive as I had feared.  His talk seemed like as good a lens as any to talk a little about sexual ethics and debating strategies (though, so far, not in the same post).  Both are topics I like opinionating about, so here goes: Get Up to Speed on Yale's Ex-Gay Preacher - A q … [Read more...]

Where Yuan Went Wrong (Part 2)

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time)A few weeks ago, in my post detailing mistakes atheists make about Catholics, one of the big ones was assuming that Catholicism, a tradition with a 2000 year history, doesn't have at least a plausible sounding explanation for common objections to its tenets.  Now, I know we atheists haven't had as coherent a series of apologetics, but we're not stupid.  If you don't bother to ack … [Read more...]

Where Yuan Went Wrong (Part 1)

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time).Although I thought Christopher Yuan presented a reasonably compassionate explanation of his beliefs about sexual morality when he came to Yale, there were some parts of his talk that made my hair stand on end.  I honestly don't know whether some parts of his talk were intended to be subtly derogatory of gay people and gay culture.  I'm a debater, so I pay a great deal of attention … [Read more...]

The Ex-Gay Lecture Letdown

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time). To get an overview of the controversy under consideration, check out yesterday's summary post of the controversy that erupted when an ex-gay speaker came to campus (which has now been updated to include a link to the explanatory/apologetic letter from the groups that invited him).The talk was an anti-climax.Prior to Yuan's arrival, I'd gotten plenty of tip-off emails from the … [Read more...]

Get Up to Speed on Yale’s Ex-Gay Speaker

I'm off to face down Tristyn of Eschatological Psychosis and other fine speakers tonight at the Yale Political Union's annual Party Prize debate (though I fear the topic "Resolved: Don't Fear the Reaper" plays to the formidable strengths of someone whose blog includes the tags "Death is the prize" "Tom Waits is the soundtrack to my life" and "Yugoslavia is just a dance party."  Ok, maybe not that last one as much, but who knows?).  I'm definitely looking forward to her speech, and I hope she p … [Read more...]


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