I have been quite outspoken in recent times about what I believe to be a necessary and inescapable connection between Islam, as properly understood (yes, that notion is wrought with issue) and violence (and intolerance). I have even debated this publicly and given a public talk on the topic (at the University of Exeter).
Hitting the news today was research using data from around the word which showed that children from non-religious families were more altruistic and empathetic than their religious counterparts. This is interesting because it fits into a wider picture as to how religion works in tandem with identity, psychology and religion.
I know this has done the rounds. I often refer back to similar experiments which have show that TMS can alter moral judgements, as this BBC article shows:
Scientists have shown they can change people’s moral judgements by disrupting a specific area of the brain with magnetic pulses.
This is a really important topic and piece which I think needs to be understood by many, not least the politicians working on the world stage. In fact, politicians seem these days to lack in philosophical rigour and understanding. Let me show you one such example here. The topic of Saudi Arabia, its history of human rights abuses, and it sitting so ironically on the UN Human Rights Council is one which is hitting the media outlets in the UK presently.
Apologist Matthew Flannagan has criticised my points made on the recent post “Inter-Testamental Moral Relativism” which can also be expressed as “Covenantal Moral Relativism” as Justin Schieber has stated it. In this post I declared that the moral obligations being different between the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) amounted to moral relativism (MR). Here is what Flannagan had to say:
Further to my post yesterday on Inter-Testamental Moral Relativism, I would like to make a few more points (which I have mentioned before here) on morality concerning God. Divine Command Theory (DCT) is the Christian/theistic ethical system whereby whatever God commands is rendered morally good and right on account of God commanding it. As Franz Kiekeben states in The Truth About God (pp. 133-134):
Theists hate moral relativism. They often accuse atheists and secularists of having it. For them, only the pseudo-moral absolutism of…
Everyone knows about it. I needn’t really explain the story, but I will.
Dentist from Minnesota pays loads of money to go shoot a lion with a bow in Zimbabwe, after it is lured illegally outside of the national park with bait. Lion gets hit, wonders around in pain, life ebbing, for 40 hours until dentist finds it again, and shoots it in the head with a gun. Lion dies. Man thinks it’s all legal, apparently. The lion was left skinned and beheaded after the hunters trying to destroy the tagged collar Cecil the lion had. Man also faced prison in 2008 after lying to a federal agent about killing a bear.
An occasional commenter here, Ron Murphy (ronmurp), linked to one of his pieces in another thread. It’s a really good piece, with some thought-provoking stuff on the is/ought issue in moral philosophy. See what you think and comment as usual below:
Yet another moral philosopher (another religious one) makes a hash of morality. So I wanted to get this down as a summary of my position on how morality is nothing more than opinion elevated to nobility; a common man made special by simply calling him a lord or a bishop.
Profiling is often seen as highly controversial by many. This is the act of looking into the common properties of a particular type of person (criminal, terrorist) and using that knowledge to direct resources into particular areas or people in order to get a maximum return on your investment (cost of stop-checks, border controls, airport security etc).
This is something I wrote four years ago on my previous blog, but thought it was interesting to bring up again. I thought about it in response to a comment over on fellow writer Rebecca Bradley’s Lateral Truth piece, “Social Justice: A Millenarian Movement”:
Recently, the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) has been toying with the idea of employing the Rooney Rule when shortlisting and interviewing candidates for managerial positions in football clubs in England. The rule demands that clubs must interview at least one black person for manager when recruiting.
I have been very busy lately and then the call from OFSTED, the government school inspectorate, came this week, I ended up camped at work for 3 days. It’s over now. To get the ball rolling again is a guest post from ML Candelario. It is interesting toying with the idea of moral nihilism, which all depends on how you define objective or ontic reality. Anyway, over to Cendelario:
The general election is only just over, and I am sorry for being off my usual topics. I will return to them shortly. I would like to provoke thought on what motivates voters to vote for particular parties, briefly and rather anecdotally and theoretically.
With the rise and rise of UKIP, even despite their consistent foot-in-mouth propensity (and perhaps because of it), I have written a piece looking at UKIP in a skeptical light and am now due to write about the subject which concerns them the most. Immigration. This is quite a useful thing to do because in some respects I am not fundamentally sure where I stand on the minutiae of this core election Pandora’s Box.
Dan Fincke, blogger and philosopher over at the Patheos atheist channel at Camels With Hammers is always producing great content. With his permission, I am reblogging a really good piece on the term “objective” which gets bandied around with wild abandon. I am not a fan of it since, as a conceptual nominalist, mind independent abstract ideas beg for a Platonic realm of sorts, such that objective rather begs the question.
This chap (to whom the series was directed), Scotty M, has replied to some of my points in the series on Free Market Economics. Unfortunately, he would rather rabidly bash away at You Tube than bring a civil discussion here.
The most common issue that Scotty faces is his predilection for straw manning positions by either misunderstanding them or wilfully employing some kind of bait and switch or intended mischaracterisation to fight against an imaginary foe.
I have told you before that Reasonable Doubts is my favourite podcast. Well, here is a great RD Extra podcast with Luke Galen, psychologist, looks skeptically at claims of religious people being kinder, more charitable, prosocial. So very worth a listen:
Fans de Waal is a crucial figure in the research into morality, fairness, reciprocal altruism and suchlike within the realm…
I wrote a chapter on morality in John Loftus’s recent anthology, Christianity Is Not Great. The book has received some…
What follows is a guest post by a woman named Heather over in Australia. She is involved in something called microfinance through an organisation called Kiva. Kiva is something I got involved in since one of the Skepticule podcast hosts mentioned it in a discussion on morality following one of my Pearced Off segments.
As you will read, microfinance is way of doing charity through loaning out to worthy causes and then receiving the money back to loan out again. This empowers those borrowing to better their lives off their own backs, and gives them the leg up they often need.