Long time readers will know that I’ve been a long time advocate of objective morality, via Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape. Those who have joined more recently may have instead noticed that I have relied on different moral frameworks when talking about morality - the appeal to a conceptual set of rules and values that… Continue reading Ethics and the Hunter
The necessity of secular morality – even for religious people
There is a contradiction at the heart of some escatological religions - or, at least, their interpretations - that I think can only be solved by recognising that it is necessary to have a secular ethical system. The contradiction is this: an escatological religion is one that has in it the claim that judgement and… Continue reading The necessity of secular morality – even for religious people
The Progressive House
This is my second draft of this post, and that’s not how I normally operate. I normally write one draft with very few revisions (or even spell checking ― you may have noticed). Initially, I wrote a point by point rebuttal to Caroline Smith’s The House Progressives Built. But, in writing that, I noticed there… Continue reading The Progressive House
The Family, Brexit and the Right Wing: George Lakoff’s ‘Moral Politics’ applied to Brexit
Introduction In this post, I want to summarise the key points of the book ‘Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives think’ by George Lakoff (1996). (Don’t worry, I’ll leave enough out to justify you buying the book.) In it, Lakoff explains how differences of perspective on the family can go a long way to explaining… Continue reading The Family, Brexit and the Right Wing: George Lakoff’s ‘Moral Politics’ applied to Brexit
Is it good because it is God’s nature? or is it God’s nature because it is good?
The Euthyphro Dilemma is a Theology 101 problem, without a satisfactory answer. Posed in Plato’s dialogues, it is often formulated like this: “Does God command something is good because it is good, or is it good because God commands it”. Plato was writing from a polytheistic culture, so this is a variation (and translation) on… Continue reading Is it good because it is God’s nature? or is it God’s nature because it is good?
What is Beautiful about Determinism?
The beauty of determinism is hidden in the tragedy and injustice of freewill. I don’t believe in freewill (but I do believe it is one word). More importantly than that, I don’t see ‘no freewill’ (“determinism”) as a miserable or stale thing. The implicit assumption (and explicit in the full question asked: “God gave us… Continue reading What is Beautiful about Determinism?
The Inhumanity of Religious Morality
Before your religion was conceived of, before anyone believed in your God, what do you think people were doing? Do you think rape and infanticide and pillaging and murder were considered permissible and everyone brought down their full force of aggression to get their way? That every teenage compulsion immediately resulted in rape, and every… Continue reading The Inhumanity of Religious Morality
Against the Moral Landscape: AI and universal truth
Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape (2011) is a thesis that claims morality is objective and knowable by scientific means. It is predicated on the initial premise that wellbeing is worthy of safeguarding, and thus intended actions can be objectively evaluated against that value. I have long agreed with this claim, with one subtle change: I… Continue reading Against the Moral Landscape: AI and universal truth
Sam Harris and Jordan B Peterson: On truth
As part of Sam Harris’ Waking Up podcast, Harris invited someone I had not heard of ― Jordan B Peterson ― with a schedule that, I presume, included discussions of morality and religion. However, Harris and Peterson ended up having a disagreement about what it means for something to be true. Harris didn’t really offer… Continue reading Sam Harris and Jordan B Peterson: On truth
Allallt believes in Objective Morality
I’ve called this ‘Allallt believes in Objective Morality’ because the issue of morality is actually beyond the confines of “atheism”. I doubt many of the other authors on this blog agree with me on this one. However, the discussion that is likely to follow, I hope, will offer elucidation on atheists. I believe in objective… Continue reading Allallt believes in Objective Morality