September 2015


BidenVice President Biden says abortion is always wrong, but he won’t impose his views on others. Mr. Biden, are there any other human beings believe it’s wrong to kill, but won’t impose that view on others?  How about newborns?  How about toddlers?  How about teenagers (some parents would like to kill a few)?  Why not allow others to kill newborns, toddlers, and teenagers?  Why do you feel the right to impose your view on others for these human beings, but not unborn humans?  Why are you discriminating against the unborn?

Deliberation-by-Mario-Sánchez-NevadoCompatibilists are those who believe that freedom and determinism are compatible with each other. On their view, one is free so long as they make actual choices. And they maintain that people do make actual choices: They choose what they desire. Of course, the problem comes when you ask where those desires come from. The desires are determined by God or physics. So what if physics or God determined for you to desire to kill your roommate? Then you will “choose” to kill your roommate.

In my estimation, this is not a very robust sense of freedom. Indeed, I would argue that it is not freedom at all. If desires cause actions, but the desires are determined by something other than the self, then the actions are determined as well, even if only in a secondary or intermediate sense. More could be said in the way of critique, but I have done so elsewhere.

For this post, I just want to pose a simple question to compatibilists: If our choices are caused by our desires, are our desires are determined by God/physics, then why is “choosing” so hard?  Why do we struggle with deliberation?  The only reason we experience deliberation is because we possess conflicting desires and we need to weigh them to decide which desire to act on.  If our desires are determined, does that mean God (or physics) determined for us to have conflicting desires?  If so, what would the purpose be other than to give us the false appearance of having libertarian free will?

Doritos-RainbowTongue-in-cheek, of course, but c’mon!  What’s next?  Polygamous Doritos that contain three flavors in a single bag?  I can see the ad: “They’re Doritogomous!”  Or perhaps Bisexual Doritos (Bi-ritos), where each chip contains two flavors?

It’s just amazing to me how brands like Oreos and Doritos are bending over backwards to promote the moral acceptance of homosexuality. Enough already. Let me eat my Doritos in peace. They are “food,” not propaganda.

Religious-Liberty-CensoredIt’s alarming to me how the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment is being framed these days by government officials. It is being limited to the freedom to believe as you want privately, rather than the ability to practice your faith publicly. Case in point: same-sex marriage. A Christian business owner is free to believe that same-sex marriage is immoral, but they are not free to act on their convictions by denying a request to offer their services in support of a same-sex wedding. They can believe as they want, but they cannot act on those beliefs in a public manner.

This is wrong. The First Amendment guarantees us the right to believe and practice our religion without government interference.  The freedom of religion is not limited to the private sphere, but to public expression as well.  Indeed, religious freedom that doesn’t allow one to act as if their beliefs are actually true is not religious freedom at all.

If we allow the government to reinterpret the First Amendment as a right to private belief only, we will cease to have true religious freedom in this country. Freedom of religion means that one is free to believe as they want, and to act on those beliefs.

Medical history is going to be attempted in 2017 with the world’s first head transplant. Does anyone see any implications this might have for substance dualism?

Frank BruniBack in April, Frank Bruni wrote an opinion article for the New York Times on the Indiana religious freedom debacle. Bruni is very negative toward conservative Christians in his article.  In his opinion, conservative Christians can support homosexuality, but choose not to do so.  Instead, they cling to outdated interpretations of an outdated text. Bruni writes:

So our debate about religious freedom should include a conversation about freeing religions and religious people from prejudices that they needn’t cling to and can indeed jettison, much as they’ve jettisoned other aspects of their faith’s history, rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity.

(more…)

The University of Tennessee is inventing new gender neutral language for those who do not want to identify by the traditional gendered “he” and “she.” Instead of “he” and “she,” it’s ze and xe. Of course, these need object and pronoun forms as well.  Here’s the interpretive chart:

gender-pronouns

Insanity.

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