Blog Profile / Atheist Ethicist

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:686
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:February 23, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Free Will and Moral Responsibility

364 days from today and I will be sitting in my first class. I hope. There is still some uncertainty about that. If somebody wants to just give me $2 million - we can put all of this uncertainty to rest. This afternoon at 3:30 pm local time I hope to be attending a lecture at the University of Colorado: Prof. Show More Summary

Free Will

368 days until the first day of classes. My recent discussion about the fact that I have interests that a person with good desires would not have – interests that motivate me to spend time playing computer games – brings up the issue...Show More Summary

Reasons, Motives, and Doing the Right Thing

372 days until the first day of classes. I have been writing about time - that I do not have enough of it, and I waste some of it playing computer games. The playing of video games, I argued, is something that people generally have many...Show More Summary

Computer Games, Hypocrisy, and Demagoguery

373 days until the start of class as I return to graduate school. In yesterday's post, I lamented that shortage of time. I reported wanting more time each day to read, to write, and to prepare for graduate school. Yet, I spend a fair amount of time playing online games. Show More Summary

Time - Addemdum. Philosophy Bites Podcast Notes

Speaking about needing more time (the subject of my last post, today's list of Philosophy Bites podcast episodes while I exercised left me with a great deal that I would want to write about - if I had the time. J.L. Austin and the Philosophy of Language Today's podcasts included Guy Longsworth talking about J.L. Show More Summary


374 days until the first day of classes. Time! I need more time! Not “time” in terms of days, but “time” in terms of hours within a day. I need time to comment on a blog post a few posts on universal moral truths that discusses the relevance of moral intuitions that I want to respond to. Show More Summary

Epiphenomenalism and the Challenge of Original Ideas

375 days until the first day of classes. As I mentioned yesterday, the primary way in which I hope to offer compensation for an opportunity to attend the graduate program at the University of Colorado in Boulder is by making some original...Show More Summary

The Ethics of an Older Student Attending Graduate School

376 days until the first day of classes.... I wonder what it will be like, introducing myself to the department as a new graduate student, with my gray hair and obviously more years behind me than ahead of me. The Philosophy Department website contains a list of graduate students. Show More Summary

John Makhail on Universal Moral Grammar

377 days until the first day of classes - my return to graduate school at a ripe age of 57. I have been putting a lot of effort into brushing up on my general understanding of philosophy. Recently, this has involved going through the Philosophy Bites podcast - a series of 15 to 20 minute episodes interviewing a philosopher on some interesting topic. Show More Summary

Trumpism - Trump as the Personification of Social Media

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is the candidate for our time. If social media - Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and the comment sections of articles and blogs - were to be given human form, it would be DonaldShow More Summary

Clinton, Trump, and Trade

One of Hillary Clinton's recent and frequently used attacks against Donald Trump is entirely wrong-headed. Granted, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should be allowed nowhere near presidential power. However, this doesShow More Summary

Benefitting a Person - Part 4 - Reviving a Person from a Coma

For the past few posts I have been looking at some objections that Dr. Chris Heathwood at the University of Colorado - Boulder - sent to me regarding a "desire satisfaction" (or desire fulfillment) theory of well-being. I had presented the idea that desire fulfillment theory should not be understood as wanting as much desire fulfillment as possible. Show More Summary

Unwanted Desires - Part 3 - Well-being and Giving a Child a Desire to Read

I am spending a few posts going over what Dr. Chris Heathwood of the University of Colorado suggested may be problems with my "desire satisfaction" theory of well-being. Consistent with my earlier writings, I would rather call it a desire-fulfillment theory of well-being. Show More Summary

Unwanted Desires - Part 2 - Well-being and Teaching a Child to Read

In an email, Dr. Chris Heathwood of the University of Colorado - Boulder - suggested a potential problem with the desire fulfillment theory of value that I recommend here. The specific context of this discussion was the "desire-satisfaction theory of well-being." In an article, "Desire Fulfillment Theory" (in G. Show More Summary

Unwanted Desires - Part 1 - Dr. Heathwood Responds

Back in May, I wrote a letter to Dr. Chris Heathwood (Univ. of Colorado - Boulder) providing a possible answer to an objection that Derek Parfit raised to desire satisfaction theories of value. I posted a copy of that email here. Basically, Dr. Show More Summary

Lies, Falsehoods, and Clinton's Email

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's State Department Emails provide a good example to use to illustrate some of the finer points about lying. I would like to start by directing the reader to some background material on the topic. Specifically, I wrote a post several years back on the ethics of lying. Show More Summary

“Trumpian Ethics” – Lies and Intellectual Recklessness

As a writer, I recognize an obligation to make certain that what I write is true. This does not only mean writing what I believe – refusing to include claims I know to be false. It also means going through the effort to make certain what I write is not false. Show More Summary

"Trumpian" Ethics - Bigotry

People object to many of Donald Trump's policies, but seldom offer more than grunts of disapproval. This is an ethics blog, and I want to look at the reasons why Trump deserves these grunts of disapproval. Imagine that you are walking...Show More Summary

Conservatives, Libertarians, and Bigoted Values in the Market

Is "conservatism" compatible with civil rights? This question arises from an article I read that argued that, in 1964, a branch of the Republican party began to oppose civil rights legislation - not because they were racist, but because it was incompatible with their ideology. Show More Summary

Third Parties and Voting on Principle

Some people make the false claim that those who reject voting for third parties in a winner-take-all political system such as the United States are against voting on principle - or favor abandoning principle in order to obtain some non-moral...Show More Summary

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