Blog Profile / Atheist Ethicist

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:712
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:February 23, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Self-Help Philosophy

333 days until my first classes and, as promised, a blog post on self-help philosophy. A couple of posts ago, I distinguished between moral philosophy (How moral-ought I to live my life?) from what I will call here self-help philosophy...Show More Summary

Emerita Steinbock on "Designer Babies"

334 days until the start of class. I tried to get a posting on self-help philosophy in yesterday, but I failed to finish it. Not enough time. I will likely post it later today. One of the reasons I failed is because I went to the University of Colorado in Boulder to attend another lecture. Show More Summary

How Practical-Ought/Moral-Ought I to Live My Life?

The first day of class is now 335 days away. The final episodes of Philosophy Bites exposed me to a pair of interviews that brought up the idea of "Self Help Philosophy". This is the idea that philosophy exists to improve the quality...Show More Summary

Recent Encounters on the Purpose of Punishment

336 days until classes start. I have finished Philosophy Bites podcast. The last podcast episode that I listened to was Gregg Caruso on Free Will and Punishment. Caruso argued that free will does not exist; consequently, moral praise and condemnation are illegitimate - as is moral reward and punishment. Show More Summary

"Dieting" and Evaluating Desires in Context

339 days until classes start. This morning, I listened to the nautical philosopher Jimmy Buffett - a collection of works on The Good Life of beach-combing, sailing, and the drinking of margaritas. Actually, I was celebrating the fact...Show More Summary

"Blood Oil" and the Real-World Implications of Moral Philosophy

339 days until I am sitting in my first class. I am down to eight (8) Philosophy Bites podcast. One of the recent set of podcasts that I listened to, Leif Wenar on Trade and Tyranny discussed changing international law to prohibit the...Show More Summary

Desirism and the Duty to Keep a Promise

One of the recent Philosophy Bites podcasts that I listened to interviewed David Owens on Duty.. Desirism has some specific things to day about duty. Namely, that duties have to do with aversions that people generally have many and strong reasons to create, using the tools of praise and condemnation. Show More Summary

341 Days Until Classes

341 days until the start of classes. I am assuming, of course, that I will have a class on the first day of classes. This is certainly not guaranteed, but it does admit to an error bar in my calculations. The latest London School of Economics public lecture broadcast was a waste of time. Show More Summary

Adam Smith on Moral Approval and Disapproval

342 days until the start of class. I am continuing my reading of Adam Smith’s A Theory of Moral Sentiments.. Part II of the book concerned "Merit and demerit: The objects of reward and punishment" - or, in other words, praise and condemnation. Smith's view, as I wrote yesterday, is substantially intersubjective. Show More Summary

David Hume and Adam Smith

343 days until the start of class. I am down to 17 Philosophy Bites podcast episodes. There has not been an episode posted since early August so I think this may be the end of it. It has given me a good overview of current philosophical...Show More Summary

Declawing a Cat

Earlier, I wrote about the intrinsic value of an animal's life. Here, I want to apply those ideas. Let me take the moral issue of whether it is permissible to declaw a cat. The declawing of a cat involves the amputation of each "finger" at the first knuckle. Show More Summary

The Intrinsic Value of an Animal Life

Classes start in 346 days. I am nearing the end of my project of going through all of the Philosophy Bites podcasts - about 25 to go. I still think that I can make a contribution. I find philosophers saying things that I take to be mistaken. Let's consider Christine Korsgaard on the Status of Animals. Korsgaard holds a Kantian theory of value. Show More Summary


347 days until my first class, and I sent the university my money to confirm that I will enroll in 2017. I seem to be committed. Yet, there are Philosophy Bites podcasts that frighten me. They tell me not only how little I know, butShow More Summary

Definition: "Good Desires"

I have been asked to provide a definition of "good desires". The short answer is that a good desire is a desire that tends to fulfill other desires. To fulfill a desire means that, for a desire that P, to create a state of affairs in which P is true. Show More Summary

The State of Philosophy and Atheism Regarding Evolution and Morality

Classes start in 348 days. Actually, it seems that there are no current obstacles - just potential setbacks (like being hit by a bus and suffering brain damage). So... Yeah... 348 days from today I will be nervously anticipating theShow More Summary

Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and the Threat of Atheist Tribes

In 349 days, I start my first day of classes. On September 11, somebody took a lighter and set fire to the clothing of a Muslim woman - a dentist - while she was shopping. Atheists need to concern themselves with the question of howShow More Summary

The Failure of Desirism

The Failure of Desirism 353 days now until classes start. There is still a question of whether I will have a part time job that will allow me to go to graduate school. (No part time job - no graduate school.) But, I have hope in that...Show More Summary

A Desire to Thwart the Desires of a Minority

Sometimes, it is useful to try to express an argument in new ways. What is confusing in one expression may be clear in another. So, let's take: Here's an argument against desirism. 1. The majority of people desire to see the desire of...Show More Summary

Presenting Desirism

355 days until I start classes. I have an active dislike of the idea of going to graduate school with the idea that I have this philosophy that I intend to defend. First of all - and this is an issue I have long dealt with - it seems presumptuous and arrogant to be promoting and defending my own philosophy. Show More Summary

Donald Trump's Hate Mongering

Twice, now, Republican Presidential Nominee pulled a stunt that I consider far outside the bounds of morality, and generated very little comment that I know about on this fact. At the Republican National Conventional in which he wasShow More Summary

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