Monday, April 12
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Marriage Equality

Bootstrapping Ethics … The “Anthropic” Paradigm

Bootstrapping Ethics … The “Anthropic” Paradigm

"Life" Issues, anthropic principle, Atheism, epistemology, Ethics, God, Ideology, Marriage Equality, monotheism, Religion, secularism, separation of Church and State, Spirituality, Theology
Herewith this week’s six-pack of heresies: To found ethics on the categories of “good” and “evil” is to guarantee confusion from the get-go The first point is all the more true, given that religion – specifically monotheism – is usually the context used to define “good” and “evil” There is nothing at all necessary about the first two points, i.e., there are other bases for ethics than monotheistic religion: we have alternatives Human reason is entirely adequate for stating those alternatives: we do not need supernatural revelation … which tends to only obfuscate, not clarify, anyway, as the bloody pre-Enlightenment religious history of Europe amply illustrates The basis of any alternative starting point for ethical reflection should be – in fact, must be – the welfare of the human co...
On Being Right the First Time

On Being Right the First Time

14th Amendment, Change, conservatism, Consitution, First Amendment, GLBT, Ideology, Marriage Equality, Religion, sexual orientation, Sexuality, Spirituality, Tolerance
It isn’t often that a writer gets to publish a retraction that says, essentially, “I was right the first time”. But this is one such occasion. I recently published a “Skeptic's Collection” post in which I expressed concern about what I viewed at the time as a possible infringement of the “free exercise” rights of the owners of the Sweet Cakes bakery. Citing personal religious objections, the owners of the bakery had refused to provide a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The couple filed a complaint against Sweet Cakes, and my original understanding was that the bakery was fined for retaliating by publishing the couple’s private contact information, not for refusing to bake the cake. (Many of the privacy issues resulted from the fact that the complaint, once filed, becomes part of the publ...
The “Benedict Option” Reconsidered

The “Benedict Option” Reconsidered

Article Review, Change, citizenship, conservatism, Consitution, culture, Ecumenism, Equality, faith, First Amendment, Ideology, Marriage Equality, Politics, Religion, Sexuality, Spirituality, Supreme Court
Once in a while I encounter a book or an article that is a perfect summarization of the issues I have with conservative evangelicalism in general, and with regard to same-sex marriage in particular. The latest example of this is Damon Linker’s article in the 18 May 2015 issue of the conservative religious publication The Week. Mr. Linker’s text illustrates an enduring syndrome in the politics of religious conservatives, specifically conservative evangelical Christians: how the religious right is in many ways at radical variance with the fundamental principles of the Nation for which it otherwise professes such affection. As I read it, Mr. Linker’s argument is that while conservative evangelicals’ optimism and faith in “majoritarianism” were amply justified during the heyday of Jerry Falwe...