It seems to me that selection of a moral point of view is similar to selection of a car to buy. There is no such thing as “the right car to buy”, although there are probably lots of “the wrong cars to buy.” Selection of a car is neither a purely subjective matter, nor is … Objectivity and Moral Viewpoints
Johann Hari has an opinion piece in The Independent, “Why should I respect these oppressive religions?”. I don’t seriously disagree with anything in it. But then, maybe that is precisely the problem. I live and work in an academic environment, where I take free discussion for granted. I’m a fully paid-up member of the Argumentative … UN vs free speech again
Taner is going to love this one. I’ve made a short list of some of the stupidest things philosophers have said over the millennia. Each of these claims has been seriously maintained by one or more major philosophers (in parentheses). Each is not only false, but obviously so. As the late philosophical iconoclast and maverick … Stupid Philosopher Tricks
Jerry Coyne, the evolutionary biologist, has a very good book review article on science and religion, “Seeing and Believing,” in The New Republic.
Our moral lives are rooted in our interests and our agreements. If we want to explain our moral lives, from gut-level moral perceptions to moral discourse intended to persuade others and ourselves, we need not go beyond very thisworldly interests and agreements. Hence morality is, broadly speaking, politics. If morality is politics, it is ugly. … A cynic’s definition of morality
I have not been able, so far, to find any references prior to the 1800s to a Latin sentence presenting a dilemma (e.g. aut deus aut homo non bonus – either God or a bad man) that could have been the original basis for the Trilemma. Because of this, I am skeptical that the Latin … The Trilemma – How Old? part 2
A serious and thoughtful objection against metaphysical naturalism is that it cannot provide a basis for some of our deepest and most intuitive moral judgments. If so, a metaphysical naturalist could bite the bullet and say “so much for our deepest and most intuitive moral judgments!” Still, if this consequence could be avoided, it would … Naturalism and Objectively Horrifying Evils
Conservative Jewish writer and intelligent-design supporter David Klinghoffer writes on the Discover Institute’s ID blog, arguing that both Hitler and Stalin’s versions of totalitarianism were inspired by Darwin. Apparently, “The Soviet state was, then, an experiment in applied Darwinism.” Klinghoffer’s main theme is that without the restraint due to recognition of God’s higher laws, secular … Evolution leads to totalitarianism?
I’m not entirely certain why I object to supernatural beliefs. Sure, supernatural claims are, I think, invariably mistaken. But that alone is no reason to object. A false belief may still be socially useful, culturally meaningful, or commendable in a zillion different ways. Now, particular religions, including all the really popular ones, very often do … Supernatural? Ick.
The trilemma argument goes something like this: Jesus claimed to be God. Therefore, either Jesus was in fact God, or else he was a liar or a lunatic. But clearly Jesus was neither a liar, nor a lunatic, so he must in fact be God.C. S. Lewis presented the trilemma argument in a 1943 BBC … The Trilemma – How Old?