Rational Religious Ethics

Religious ethics are commonly dismissed by philosophical writers as unworthy of consideration, because they rely on divine authority, and are thus non-rational. In this article, I challenge the idea, by comparative examination of the underlying notions of what makes ethical theories function, as well as the structure of ethical theories.

Continue Reading →

Moral and Functional Value Scales: Understanding the Issue of Equality

By understanding the notion of human equality along a single axis (i.e. human rights), we have failed to appreciate the importance of properly identifying and accounting for functional differences. This has, among other things, led to an important problem posed by elements of the politically correct speech and

Continue Reading →

Thoughts on School Shootings (pt. 2: Problems and Suggestions)

Having previously sketched out my perspective on the phenomenon of school shootings, this article delves into the proposed solutions by the generally two sides of the gun-control debate. It points out the problems with the many of the solutions proposed thus far, and makes a tentative proposal on a meaningful solution.

Continue Reading →

Understanding Military, Democracy, and Ethics

Actions have consequences. Military actions have very big, wide-ranging, and long-lasting consequences. However, military actions are ultimately within our control. Who we vote for, what we vote for, what we support and what we condemn, are all elements that directly shape our ideas of the military and its use. Understanding these issues is a necessary part of functional democratic participation, as well as an ethical engagement with the world.

Continue Reading →

Finding the True Scotsman

The recent trend of “excommunicating” people from various groups, as a rejection of their behaviors, is a bad option for several reasons. Yes, the idea that ISIS members are Muslim sounds abhorrent to Muslims, and the idea that Myanmar’s genocidal government sounds abhorrent to Buddhists. But the attempt to simply call them non-Muslim or non-Buddhists creates far more problems than it solves.

Continue Reading →

The (im)possibility of Translation

Translations are a common part of our every-day experience, whether in terms of world news or texts we read. What we often fail to appreciate is the relative impossibility of translation, especially when complex ideas or texts are in question. To demonstrate this impossibility, the analysis relies on three languages (Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese), with two examples each.

Continue Reading →