Is Judgement Always about Punishment?

Chris Hallquist has uploaded another chapter of his book for comment/questions.  I don't have anything very helpful to say, since I mostly agree with him and Dennett.  "I feel strongly about this, and your questions make me sad" is a really bad approach to an argument about truth claims.  I disagree with some of the stuff about the use of mockery , but that's more a content disagreement than a "I think religious readers will misunderstand X as currently outlined."  (Plus I've written on this befo … [Read more...]

What do natural lawyers chase instead of ambulances?

Buried in the (correct) thread for discussing meta-questions about that gargantuan thread on natural law, Joshua Zelinsky of Religion, Sets, and Politics raised a meta-question about whether he should find natural law plausible enough to raise to the level where he cares about investigating the hypothesis.  He wrote: The following is not a critique of natural law but rather a meta-level heuristic concern about it. It seems pretty clear that once one buys into a general Catholic (or a high … [Read more...]

A reading from Henry VI, Part 2 4:2:73

Yes, in context, the line has the opposite sentiment to most of the people quoting it.Yvain asked, in good faith, a detailed question about Natural Law theology, but his comment is buried in the wilds of the comment policy discussion, where tempers are rising.  So I want to pull it out and give it its own thread, and also take the opportunity to do some of the wacky experimental comment moderation I was talking about yesterday.  Here's how it's going to go down:Only make a top-level … [Read more...]

How Critical is Sexual Desire to Human Identity? [Blogathon 8/12]

This post is number eight of twelve for the Secular Student Alliance Blogathon.  I'm responding to comments in the "Go Ahead, Tell Me What's Wrong with Homosexuality" thread all day.  You can read an explanation of the Blogathon and a pitch for donations (even if you're religious) here.At one point in the discussion, Ubiquitous was expanding on Thomist philosophy and laid out a 'prebuttal' (of which I'm excerpting only one idea): In a hale and mature adult human, eyes are for seeing. If … [Read more...]

Go Ahead, Tell Me What’s Wrong with Homosexuality

One of the reasons I found the "gay brownshirts" argument so frustrating is that it's a distraction from the fight I really want to have with Mark Shea and other orthodox Catholics.  I want to know why they think gay people are required to be chaste, why homosexual relationships are 'intrinsically disordered.'  Mark put out a call to his commenters on my behalf for reading recommendations.My questions are a little unusual, as I don't think it's necessarily wrong to limit the behavior (sexual … [Read more...]

Natural vs Normative

I appreciate the Christians weighing in on why they oppose gay marriage and trying to explain how they think people are harmed. One genre of response has turned up in thread and is fairly widespread, so I’ll try to address it. Anonymous wrote: Many people are wondering why infertile heterosexual marriages are considered moral and praise worthy while homosexual "marriages" are not. The reason is that in an infertile heterosexual marriage the sexual organs are, at least, being used for the p … [Read more...]

Natural Moral Theory is Bunk

This is part of a series of posts on gay marriage. You can see all posts in the series at the index.Yesterday, I wrote about the need for religious opponents of same sex marriage to base their objections in facts that are accessible in the secular sphere. Some Catholics maintain that most Christian morality, and sexual morality in particular, are manifestly correct and accessible to all people, whatever their religious background. In a profile in the New York Times, Catholic theologian … [Read more...]