Ethics

Pharyngula

Category archives for Ethics

The Minnesota Anti-Texan Act of 2011

I would like to propose a new law for consideration by our legislature, which I am calling The Minnesota Anti-Texan Act of 2011. I need to work on the formal language for it, but I can give the gist of it here. If any person within the boundaries of the fine state of Minnesota exhibits…

This is not a case about abortion

I have been receiving lots of triumphant mail from anti-choice people claiming vindication, that abortion is wrong, and demanding to know how I can possibly support abortion rights after hearing about the case of Dr Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell ran an abortion mill in Philadelphia, and was a hack who maimed and killed women while doing…

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…