Ethics

Pharyngula

Category archives for Ethics

The IDiots at Uncommon Descent are horrified and appalled by my ideas about the status of fetuses and babies … so horrified, in fact, that some of them want to make me the poster child for the fall of Western Civilization into a godless, nihilistic chaos in which babies are casually destroyed, and there are…

An ethical dilemma!

It’s hard not to crack a cheerful smile at this story, but do try to take it seriously. A coven of Westboro Baptist anti-gay kooks went off to protest outside a soldier’s funeral in Oklahoma, and returned to their car to find their tires slashed. When they drove into town on the flat tires anyway,…

Free Gregory Koger

Gregory Koger is an ex-con and a revolutionary communist…and none of that should matter in the slightest. He’s also a person who was beat up, handcuffed, maced, arrested, and now faces the prospect of a three year jail sentence for the crime of holding up his iPhone to take pictures of police harrassment. Koger is…

I’m still wrestling with Sam Harris’s and Richard Carrier’s ideas that there can be a scientific foundation for morality. I guess I am concerned with the claim that we can science our way to a moral society; I am more comfortable with the idea that we can develop an objective criterion for judging an act…

The secret life of babies

Years ago, when the Trophy Wife™ was a psychology grad student, she participated in research on what babies think. It was interesting stuff because it was methodologically tricky — they can’t talk, they barely respond in comprehensible way to the world, but as it turns out you can get surprisingly consistent, robust results from techniques…

Sam Harris v. Sean Carroll

The discussion is interesting. Sam Harris recently and infamously proposed that, contra Hume, you can derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’, and that science can therefore provide reasonable guidance towards a moral life. Sean Carroll disagrees at length. I’m afraid that so far I’m in the Carroll camp. I think Harris is following a provocative…

I’ve been married for 30 years, and there’s no end in sight, fortunately. But just imagine that, in my imminent old age, I were to seriously injure myself and be hospitalized for a long period…and my wife wasn’t allowed to see me. And then it was decided that we were both so feeble and in…

We had a fun evening on Friday—a crowd of a few hundred people sat down to consider the problem of a morality at the University of Chicago. At the front of the room we had Bob Bossie (a very liberal Catholic), Sunsara Taylor (a very articulate Communist) and me to make a few opening remarks…

A moral conundrum, resolved with scripture

I’d never realized what a useful tool the Bible is in infallibly resolving difficult moral problems until I read this detailed dissection of a difficult situation on Answers in Genesis. Here’s the hypothetical situation: you know the whereabouts of a family of Jews hiding from the Nazis. A Nazi patrol comes up to you and…

Don’t die gay in R.I.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe how callous these conservative politicians can be. The governor of Rhode Island has just vetoed a bill that would have allowed a same-sex partner to make funeral arrangements for a dead partner. So imagine this: someone wracked with grief at the loss of someone to whom they had…