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Posted inEthics and Morality

When living kids become organ donors

Reading Time: 4 minutes The passage below, quoting “Anna,” the traumatized child protagonist in Jodi Picoult’s disquieting novel, My Sister’s Keeper, sets the messy table for this essay: My parents tried to make things normal, but that’s a relative term. The truth is, I was never really a kid. To be honest, neither were Kate and Jesse. I guess maybe […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

Soccer unveils the white card, and I’m conflicted

Reading Time: 4 minutes I wanted to like it. I really did. But I just can’t.

Soccer’s first white card was given during a game in Portugal’s professional league this past weekend. To compliment—or, maybe, counterbalance—soccer’s punitive yellow and red cards, the white card aims to reward good behavior and “improve ethical values in sport.”

I’ve taught Ethics for 23 years, and I use sport to illustrate key concepts. And for me, the white card draws a red card.

Posted inEthics and Morality

‘Spare’: Prince Harry’s ‘todger’ a distraction in memoir of betrayal

Reading Time: 5 minutes Among many juicy tidbits in British royal Prince Harry’s newly released tell-all memoir, Spare, is his recollection of treating his frost-bit penis, suffered during a 2011 Antarctic expedition, using cream his late mother used on her lips. Wrote Daily Beast senior editor David Fallon in a rollicking, light-hearted essay on the salacious if peripheral revelation: […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

One Flew Over The Cuckoo Test

Reading Time: 4 minutes At some point during our merry journey through secularism, we all encounter some benighted religious people who make arguments that only seem to work if you already accept their conclusions. Whenever Christians send messages about creationism to my atheism blog, they tend to be religious, faith-based arguments. I try to use scientific, evidence-based arguments in […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

And I said nothing: Teaching in rural schools

Reading Time: 7 minutes “See that man?” said the principal during our lunch interview, pointing a few tables down. “He is a good man, a man I admire, because he is a man of God first, a family man second, and one heck of an athlete. Do you understand what I am saying?” I didn’t know at the time that it’s illegal to ask someone their religion in a job interview. This was his way of trying to ensure that I understood what was important to him, and by extension, the school. I needed a job, so I said nothing.

Posted inEthics and Morality

The United States has an atonement problem

Reading Time: 6 minutes Throughout our history, but particularly since 2016, when Donald Trump first rode down that ill-fated escalator at Trump Tower to announce his presidential candidacy, it has grown ever clearer that Americans have a serious problem with atonement. We tend to run hellbent away from public accountability. It’s not just Trump, who is still trying mightily […]

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