Posted inEthics

“Kicked upstairs” and killing the fight against poverty – Vatican for “punishment for paedophiles”…

Reading Time: 8 minutes Beth, over at SIN’s Incongruous Elements, recently posted on the Vatican approach to sex abuse (that being cover it up or sweep it under the carpet):

Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement, including keeping them out of California to avoid prosecution, according to internal Catholic church records released Monday.

The archdiocese’s failure to purge pedophile clergy and reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement has previously been known.

Posted inEthics, Science

Found: Altruism Brain Cells

Reading Time: 3 minutes Brain cells that fire only when monkeys act unselfishly may provide clues to the neural basis of altruism, according to a new study. In the study, the cells fire in rhesus monkeys when they gave juice away, but not when they received it. The findings, published Dec. 23 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, may shed light on why many animals (including humans) exhibit kind, unselfish behavior that doesn’t directly benefit them.

Posted inEthics

God is a consequentialist

Reading Time: 23 minutes So here is an essay that I wrote earlier this year. I am posting it to see what you think, but also because I am writing a post on a connected idea based on a  paper by Stephen Maitzen on how morality presupposes atheism. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, comments below please. Morality is one of the […]

Posted inEthics

Does Morality Depend on God?

Reading Time: 15 minutes This is one of my favourite essays on the subject of morality and God. It is by P. Wesley Edwards and can be found variously online, such as here. JohnM was espousing the idea in his comments here that under an atheistic worldview, there is no moral foundation. Moreover, as the argument goes, only God can provide a sound underpinning for morality. In this essay, Edwards shows how this tack is circular and thus incoherent. As ever, let me know what you think.

Posted inEthics

On the kindness of an atheist

Reading Time: 2 minutes Recently, in a post on evolution, reviewing the book “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin, there was some talk about what the best book to get out of Shubin’s, Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” and Prothero’s “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters”. I was asking which would be the best one […]