Category Archives: morality

Shermer refutes Prager’s view that you can’t be moral without religion

A while back I put up conservative Dennis Prager’s video (here) claiming that you couldn’t have a justified morality without religion.  And then I briefly refuted that claim, which wasn’t hard because it rested largely on the Divine Command Theory: good and bad are absolutely determined by God’s dictates. The Euthyprho argument, one of the great contributions of […]

“If there’s no God, murder isn’t wrong”: A ridiculous video from Prager University

Reader Kurt sent me this video with the note, “Sending you this for your listening pleasure in the hope you’ll never post anything from the execrable ‘Prager U’” again.” Sorry, Kurt: here it is. In fact, in this video Dennis Prager himself asks the burning question, “How do you know murder is wrong?” Science, he says gives […]

Peter Singer’s talk censored in Canada as shouting students accuse him of “euthanasia”

I’m a a big admirer of philosopher Peter Singer, for he deals with philosophical problems affecting the real world, not with arcane stuff like compatibilism; and he really lives his philosophy, donating a substantial portion of his income to charity, not eating meat, and not wearing leather. His work on practical ethics, altruism, and animal rights has […]

Hitchens-disser Larry Alex Taunton says that atheists can’t be moral, and there’s no culture without Christianity

Hemant Mehta (“the Friendly Atheist”) is all over atheist news like white on rice (or, as they say, “like ugly on a frog”), so I usually avoid posting on the same things he does. But in this case I’ll make an exception. As Hemant notes in a post from Monday, Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s candidate […]

Michael Shermer and Robert Wright on evolution and “purpose”

Here we have Michael Shermer and Robert Wright discussing the issue of “purpose” in evolution—something I studiously avoid because it’s not only a useless discussion, but also gives fodder to religion. I’ve written about Wright’s teleology (he might reject the word, but there it is) quite a bit, and it seems to me that—in his […]

University of Virginia students and faculty object to the University President using quotes by its founder, Thomas Jefferson

It was only a matter of time before one of the greatest Presidents and statesmen this country ever had, Thomas Jefferson, came under the Knife of Offense because he owned slaves.  And indeed, that was a terrible form of oppression, one that caused Jefferson himself some cognitive dissonance, but he kept his slaves till he died, […]

Proof that the scriptures are man-made and don’t convey God’s word

When you read this I’ll be over—or, if something goes wrong, in—the Atlantic. If all goes well, Grania will have done the Hili dialogue; please her a hand for repeatedly filling in for me when I’m traveling. I woke up about 2 a.m. in the Warsaw airport hotel and this idea suddenly popped into my head. […]

Reader beefs at reader

On my recent post, “Is there a ‘meaning to life’ for nonbelievers“?, there was some good discussion, but a goddie tried to interpolate him/herself into the discussion in response to the comments. First, reader jblilie said this: Posted April 12, 2016 at 10:08 am I think I agree [with] all that you said. The things I […]

The Princeton dilemma: what do we do about Woodrow Wilson?

If you’ve followed these pages, you’ll know that, among the welter of college protests, student activists at Princeton have asked for expunging the name of a Princeton icon, Woodrow Wilson, from its infrastructure. Wilson was not only president of Princeton, but President of the United States, and apparently a progressive one. But he was regressive […]

Moral, religious and free-will fictionalism: how dangerous are they?

At its philosophy website The Stone, the New York Times finally published an article that sparked my interest, though of course I don’t completely agree with it. It’s called “How to live a lie,” and it’s by William Irwin, a philosopher at King’s College in Pennsylvania. By “living a lie,” Irwin refers to three forms of “fictionalism”: […]