Category Archives: morality

The best argument for God? Really?

Either a reader called my attention to the articles discussed below, or I found them on my own; I am aged and forgetful. If someone pointed them out to me, my belated thanks. Both articles deal with what is claimed to be the best argument for God’s existence—one based on the existence of moral agents, i.e., us. […]

Cat adopts baby squirrel, proves existence of God

The Dodo reports a mother cat, with kittens, who happens to have adopted (and suckled) a baby squirrel.  I have a feeling that I posted this before, but I realized that it bears on one of the arguments for God: the Argument from Altruism. This has been made by many, most prominently by Francis Collins, […]

My New Republic piece on bungled executions (and a related radio interview)

My piece on Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett has been heavily rewritten, combined with some other stuff, and published by The New Republic as “The three-drug death penalty cocktail is a mess.” (It takes about 2.5 hours to rewrite a website post for a column.) If you love Professor Ceiling Cat, who has hearts on […]

Damon Linker fails to spot the nightjar; says human altruism proves Jesus

I’m not really sure who Damon Linker is, but this recommendation on his website doesn’t give me a lot of confidence: Damon Linker is one of the most arresting and honest writers of his generation  on the subjects of faith and politics.—Andrew Sullivan And if you Google “Damon Linker”, the second hit you get, after his […]

Must you be religious to be moral?: A worldwide survey, and its lesson

A post by C. J. Werleman at Alternet called my attention to a new study by the Pew Research “Global Attitudes Project” that polls people on the perennial (and already answered) question, “Do you need God to be moral”? Pew’s answer, however, is a general “yes,” but that answer is far more common in poorer than richer countries. […]

Paul Bloom claims that we’re not biochemical puppets because we can reason. He’s wrong.

Paul Bloom is a noted psychologist at Yale, specializing in morality and its development in young children (see an earlier post on that topic here). Now, in the new Atlantic, Bloom has published a longish piece, “The war on reason,” that describes a purported war on rationality incited by the findings of neuroscientists, determinists, and […]

Another paper on “folk intuitions” about free will: Nahmias et al.

To complement the paper of Sarkissian et al., which I wrote about the other day, I’ll present as briefly as I can the results of an earlier paper on beliefs about free will by Eddy Nahmias et al. (references to both papers are at bottom, free download on this one). In contrast to the results […]

Bizarre Mormon anti-masturbation video narrated by BYU President

We all know the Catholic strictures about masturbation, and how you can suffer eternally for unconfessed onanism. What I didn’t realize is that the Mormons also regard “self abuse,” depicted in the video below as an implied consequence of watching online pornography, as something with dire consequences. This video, narrated by Kim B. Clark, president […]

Save a life in 3 minutes

A reader who is taking Paul Bloom’s free online course “Moralities of everyday life” (it started Jan. 20), sent me this short video that Bloom uses in the course.  It’s based on Peter Singer’s argument on why we’re obligated to help strangers, and I find it very convincing. The link at the end to The […]

Paul Bloom debunks the “Moral Law argument for God”

I’ve just finished reading Paul Bloom’s short book, Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil, which was published last November by Crown Publishing. Bloom, who works at Yale, is a well-known psychologist, specializing in the development of morality—especially in infants. I recommend his book, especially if you’re interested in how much of human morality is […]

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