Question about Ethics, Religion - Stephen Maitzen responds

I have a question about atheism and semantics, although I'm not sure I can phrase it properly, as it also includes the concept of "belief" separate from "doctrine." Here goes: atheists claim that
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I have a question about atheism and semantics, although I'm not sure I can phrase it properly, as it also includes the concept of "belief" separate from "doctrine." Here goes: atheists claim that they do not believe in "God" while they do believe in ethics, morality, a concept of right and wrong. It seems to me that anyone who says they believe in right and wrong also implicitly believes that there is something more important than one's own personal ego gratification (in other words, everyone "should" curtail their own gratification to the extent that such gratification harms other people). To me, that seems semantically equivalent to a belief in God, except that the concept of "God" also includes an association in most people's minds with a particular doctrine. It sounds to me that atheists are merely rejecting all the doctrinal beliefs that accompany organized religion, while at the very root or core of the situation, do accept that they need to defer their own gratification to. . .

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News source: AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

Goodbye, Kant!: What Still Stands of the Critique of Pure Reason

2014.07.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Maurizio Ferraris, Goodbye, Kant!: What Still Stands of the Critique of Pure Reason, Richard Davies (tr.), SUNY Press, 2013,
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2014.07.20 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Maurizio Ferraris, Goodbye, Kant!: What Still Stands of the Critique of Pure Reason, Richard Davies (tr.), SUNY Press, 2013, 136pp., $23.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781438448084. Reviewed by Riccardo Pozzo, National Research Council of Italy This short book provides an accessible account of a very difficult one, the Critique of Pure Reason, by far the most influential of Kant's works, for it was the first of the three Critiques and made most fully explicit the Copernican revolution, which is the main subject of Ferraris's book. After a first chapter on Kant's revolution of eighteenth-century metaphysics, Ferraris isolates Kant's most fundamental claims in chapter two, and then, in chapter three, he shows what Kant inherits from tradition, in chapter four, what he invents, and in chapter five what goes wrong. Chapters six to eight set out the fundamental claims in detail, without comparing them with alternative. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Against cult of spontaneity

Think slow, not fast. Society has become a cult of spontaneity – one that, with forethought, must be resisted…
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Think slow, not fast. Society has become a cult of spontaneity – one that, with forethought, must be resisted… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Science Is Not About Certainty

Has science forsaken philosophy? Moving beyond data and certainty, ancient scientists like Anaximander built a vision of the world…
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Has science forsaken philosophy? Moving beyond data and certainty, ancient scientists like Anaximander built a vision of the world… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

What is the Great American Novel?

Marketing device, self-criticism, or something else entirely? What does it mean to stamp a book “Great American Novel”?…
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Marketing device, self-criticism, or something else entirely? What does it mean to stamp a book “Great American Novel”?… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Science of Right in Leibniz's Moral and Political Philosophy

2014.07.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Christopher Johns, The Science of Right in Leibniz's Moral and Political Philosophy, Bloomsbury, 2013, 193pp., $120.00 (hbk),
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2014.07.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Christopher Johns, The Science of Right in Leibniz's Moral and Political Philosophy, Bloomsbury, 2013, 193pp., $120.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781780936734. Reviewed by Donald Rutherford, University of California, San Diego This short study is a useful addition to the English-language literature on Leibniz's moral philosophy. Among its strengths are its careful attention to neglected primary texts, particularly the early New Method for Learning and Teaching Jurisprudence (of which a new partial translation is included as an appendix), and its defense of a provocative thesis about the underlying character of Leibniz's moral philosophy. Against those who have understood Leibniz's ethics to be broadly consequentialist in form, centered on the maximization of perfection or happiness (with human ends mirroring God's ends in creation), Christopher Johns argues that Leibniz's position is fundamentally deontic in outlook,. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Conventionality of Simultaneity

[Revised entry by Allen Janis on July 16, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] In his first paper on the special theory of relativity, Einstein indicated that the question of whether or not
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[Revised entry by Allen Janis on July 16, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] In his first paper on the special theory of relativity, Einstein indicated that the question of whether or not two spatially separated events were simultaneous did not necessarily have a definite answer, but instead depended on the adoption of a convention for its...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Checking ‘Check Your Privilege”

As a philosopher, I became familiar with the notion of the modern political concept of privilege as a graduate student—sometimes in classes, but sometimes in being lectured by other students about
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Privilege (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As a philosopher, I became familiar with the notion of the modern political concept of privilege as a graduate student—sometimes in classes, but sometimes in being lectured by other students about the matter. Lest anyone think I was engaged in flaunting my privileges, the lectures were always about my general maleness and my general appearance of whiteness (I am actually only mostly white) as opposed to any specific misdeed I had committed as a white-appearing male. I was generally sympathetic to most criticisms of privilege, but I was not particularly happy when people endeavored to use a person’s membership in a privileged class as grounds for rejecting the person’s claims out of hand. Back then, there was no handy phrase to check a member of a privileged class. Fortunately (or unfortunately) such a phrase has emerged, namely “check your privilege!” The original intent of the phrase is, apparently, to remind a person making a claim on a. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Going Underground

What do English professors and rock musicians on Vespas have in common? More than you might think…
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What do English professors and rock musicians on Vespas have in common? More than you might think… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Theories of laughter

The mystery of laughter. It has confounded philosophers, neurologists, and historians. Mary Beard is on the case…
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The mystery of laughter. It has confounded philosophers, neurologists, and historians. Mary Beard is on the case… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily