Blog Profile / Atheist Ethicist

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:758
Posts / Week:1.7
Archived Since:February 23, 2008

Blog Post Archive

John Locke, Natural Moral Law, and Human Moral Convention

264 days until I am sitting in my first class. Time keeps on slipping by. I have a few people looking at “A Motive Consequentialist Theory of Condemnation and Punishment”. We will see what I get back in terms of edits. Once those edits...Show More Summary

Expanding the Circle of Trade

I was asked to explain my view on trade - why I think Trump will make America a poorer nation and its people less well off. So... consider this: Is it a good idea to build a wall around the United States, build everything within theShow More Summary

Locke on Property

268 days from today... I will be nervously awaiting the start of my first class. I am putting some effort into establishing contacts in the department – so it will likely be just another day. But, still, a milestone day. My current projects...Show More Summary

The Lesson of Trump

I have been told by a worthy commenter that I should join a political party and thereby learn how politics really works. And this by a person who brags about sitting beside a politician he helped to get elected. Notwithstanding the fact...Show More Summary

Finishing the Last Paper, Planning the Next

In 271 days I attend my first class. Recent projects include reading John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, and starting John Locke 's Two Treatise on Civil Government. I am actually including the first treatise, which is usually skipped, and for good reason. Show More Summary

The Neurobiology of Assessing Punishment

279 days until the start of class. Don’t mind me. I only stopped by to drop something off. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms. It is an article on the neurobiology of how...Show More Summary

What Makes a Country Great?

Make America Great? Let's look at this. When you think of a great country, what is it that you think of? One way to imagine greatness is to imagine a future history book looking back on these times. Future students - will they see these...Show More Summary

Party of Reason and Progress

I dislike it when people steal my ideas before I even have a chance to come up with them. It's so rude! The biggest culprits in history have been David Hume, John Stuart Mill, R.M. Hare, and J.L. Mackie. But a contemporary example that...Show More Summary

John Stuart Mill's ON LIBERTY

279 days until the first day of classes. I have just finished John Stuart Mill's book On Liberty. I seriously recommend reading it. Consider the views of somebody writing purely from an interest in the public good, some of whose views...Show More Summary

A New Kind of Third Party

Do you like the idea of a "Third Party"? This, I think, is an idea for a third party that can actually make substantive change. This idea comes out of several different discussions, both before and after the last elections, regarding...Show More Summary

"A Moral Aversion Theory of Punishment" Version 0.1

284 days until I will be attending my first class – I hope. Readers of previous posts know that I have been reading David Boonin’s book The Problem of Punishment. The problem of punishment involves the fact that punishment involves intentionally harming another person. Show More Summary

A Big Data Evaluation on the Causes and Policies Regarding Upward Mobility

284 days until I start classes. I hope. Trump's victory will likely make it the case that I have no option but to be a serf working in some corporate-feudal empire, as that will become the only way to get access to health care. Of course, the corporate-feudal lords and masters will love the power that this gives them over workers. Show More Summary

Strategies Against Extremism

This post is written in response to many of the social media posts and comments I have encountered in the last few days. I also want to make clear that this is not an objection to protests, which I have defended in an earlier post. It is a discussion of strategy. Show More Summary

Give Trump a Chance?

"Give Trump a chance" they say. I already have. Trump had over 500+ days to prove that he was a decent human being with sound policies that would help - rather than hurt – good, honest people. That's what campaigns are for. He failed. He...Show More Summary

The Fine Art of Effective Protest

The Fine Art of Effective Protest There are three things wrong with these current round of protests. (1) They are not neaerly big enough. (2) They need a reason to exist - a clear message. Protesting the fact that Trump was elected is nonsense. Show More Summary

The Fine Art of Finger Pointing

As the finger pointing begins, to aid discussion, I would like to establish some ground rules. (1) Direct one's criticism at a trait or attitude, not at a person or group. Bigotry, authoritarianism, intolerance, misogyny, a disregard for the truth - these are all problems worthy of condemnation. Show More Summary

Injustice, Retaliation, Retribution, and Violence

This morning, a lot of Americans are waking up to a more hostile world. Muslim Americans, Latino Americans, women, are going to find themselves facing verbal abuse, even violence. Some will get angry, and they will want to react in kind. Of...Show More Summary

Honesty, Justice, and Civility

Today is election day. The fate of civil community hangs in the balance. It seems odd to say that. Important issues were on the table in previous Presidential elections. However, we would have survived a McCain or a Romney administration. Show More Summary

Unconscious Pleasure

294 days until the start of class. I must say, my introduction to the Philosophy department on Friday did not go as I would have liked. I introduced myself to a few people, but nobody seemed interested in talking. However, they now know what I look like (some of them). I did, as is my current MO, provide Dr. Show More Summary

The Neuroscience of Desires and Aversions

The first day of class is in 298 days – but I am visiting the philosophy department tomorrow. As I work on editing my paper on a moral aversion theory of punishment, I have turned my attention in reading to neuroscience, for three reasons. Reason 1: The presentation I will be attending tomorrow is on unconscious pleasures. Show More Summary

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