“Horror is not a glimpse into someone’s dark imagination, but a bridge into corners of everyday life most of us would rather not think about.” – Tauriq Moosa
The Walking Dead and Philosophy brings together a number of philosophers and ethicists to analyze ethical dilemmas as highlighted in AMC’s incredibly popular series “The Walking Dead.” Season Three has recently wrapped up, so this seems like a good time to wrap up my series based on both the show and the book. (If you would like to read the previous entries, click here for a quick link to all of them ). While the book addresses many intriguing issues, the core essays address a foundational question: Where do we ground any discussion concerning ethics and morality? Continue reading
My Past Week
I’ve noticed lately that I have a harder and harder time going to see movies purely for the entertainment value of the show. This weekend I went to see one that really made me step back and look at society, not just as portrayed in the movie, but the society of the audience. Last week I had a conversation with a person that was still fresh on my mind, and I finished reading a specific book on the topic. Those allowed my mind to make some interesting connections.
Last week’s conversation was a political/worldview discussion with a friend on Facebook. This person was more concerned that he be allowed to believe whatever he wanted to believe rather than be concerned about the truth of the content of his belief. He stated that he was a moral relativist and that nothing could be considered “right” or “wrong” on his view; he also believed that the government and its official documents (the US Constitution, in this case) is from where people derive “intrinsic” rights. When he asked me moral questions, I asked if he was asking from within his worldview or mine. He told me to just answer the question however best suits me.
Now we’ve seen what goes into an argument, and how to possibly respond to an argument. We’ve also seen some arguments that commit logical fallacies, which is simply an error in reasoning. Now we’ll look at some arguments that are simply bad arguments, from both sides of the abortion fence.
Now that we’ve learned what goes into making an argument, let’s talk about how to respond to an argument. First, a bit about why philosophy is necessary.
Science can be a wonderful tool in the pro-life advocate’s arsenal. However, science can’t dictate morality, it can only inform morality. Science can tell us that something we are harming or killing is human; science can’t tell us that it’s wrong to kill that human. So while we can demonstrate scientifically that the unborn are living human organisms from fertilization, we must turn to philosophy to demonstrate whether we can or can not kill that living human organism.
Atheists really like to fight against us ignorant theists who say they have no morals. We’re the backwards hicks who take instruction from a book written by ignorant goat-herders who believed the earth was flat and that the sky was a dome that contained the sun, moon, and stars (all of which circled the earth!). What do we know about morality?
Atheists are so enlightened that they’ve thrown off the shackles of God-belief and are doing the right things because they’re the right things, not because some ancient patriarch shakes his finger at you from 1,000 years ago and says, “Do it or I’ll spank you!”
So of course they don’t lack morals! In fact, they’re more moral than religious people — the vague statistics quoted above don’t lie!
Sensing the sarcasm yet? I hope so. Because I don’t know how to lay it on thicker than what I just did.
Atheists are not immoral. They are amoral.
Difference? Immoral means acting contrary to established morality. It is a question of ethics, not ontology or epistemology. Amoral means lacking morals. It is a question either of ontology or epistemology, not ethics. Continue reading
We resent laws and restrictions. They get in our way. Consequently, many understandably resented the orders to evacuate their homes prior to Sandy’s uninvited visit, and stayed put. However, many had to pay a price for their choice.
Many also resent the teachings of Scripture as an unwanted intrusion. We cringe with contempt when we hear about God’s judgment for sin. For instance, we have found that lying is a useful tool to achieve our ends, but it’s also something of which God disapproves: Continue reading
One of the most tragic things in life is when a woman or a child dies during pregnancy or childbirth. Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point where the death rate from a pregnancy-related complication is extremely low. Less than 1% of pregnant women die from a pregnancy-related complication or in childbirth. 
In light of the millennia of the history of philosophy that we have behind us, it was only recently – setting the last few decades aside – that the moral argument slipped out of the mainstream. In the first half of the twentieth century C. S. Lewis could refer to the moral argument with some confidence, and it may well have been the most common of the major arguments for God’s existence at the time.
While today most Christians philosophers might look favourably on the moral argument (with the occasional noteworthy exception like Richard Swinburne), it has certainly fallen out of favour among the philosophical community – in spite of what I take to be its strength – bearing in mind of course that in the English speaking world the general population outside of academia was once much more Christian than today. Where did it go? Why, in the mid twentieth century, did the moral argument slip out of sight? Continue reading
As I have previously shown, abortions because of fetal disability or deformity cannot be morally justified. But now we’ll look at another hard case, the cases of rape and incest.