Freedom of speech does not end at the First Amendment

Someone said or did something controversial. Then, private companies decided not to let the person use their platforms anymore. (Or they deleted a few posts or whatever.) Not too long after, the person (or their followers) make an appeal to freedom of speech. Something like “[Company] is violating [person]’s free speech!” with “and that’s bad” implicit at the end. In response, people who don’t like … Continue reading Freedom of speech does not end at the First Amendment

Another attempt to bring out the two most critical points in the abortion debate

A month or two ago Ireland made a stride towards legal abortion, and the US made a stride in the opposite direction. Abortion is always on the political table though. I imagine a perfect pregnancy-prevention mechanism would cool the flames quite a bit, but even then, people can change their minds, and the question will emerge of whether that should be allowed. But as usual, … Continue reading Another attempt to bring out the two most critical points in the abortion debate

Even if the Bible is not the law, it is the document a lot of Americans look to for values

In the US, a lot of people are Christian. Christianity is a big enough force in the country that the “Religious Right” is a thing. While not all Republicans are concerned with religion, it’s at least a staple of the party, and any conservative politician will at least pay lip service to it. The Trump administration is no exception, and it has indeed tried to … Continue reading Even if the Bible is not the law, it is the document a lot of Americans look to for values

“People can still kill without guns” is a stupid argument against gun control

Some people argue against gun control on the basis of other methods to kill existing. To put their argument in a valid form: We should control guns only if no other methods to kill people exist. Other methods to kill people exist. So, we should not control guns. They state 2, which is obviously true. The problem is that 1 is obviously false. The generalization, … Continue reading “People can still kill without guns” is a stupid argument against gun control

What does it say that people have no idea how to argue for caring about other people?

Certain debates prompt a certain article from the Huffington Post to make the rounds again. Sometimes it’s gun control; sometimes it’s health care. At this point people have mostly given up on linking to the article, preferring to state the headline and move on: Usually this comes from liberal spheres. On the occasion a leftist voice can be heard, sometimes a leftist will deal with … Continue reading What does it say that people have no idea how to argue for caring about other people?

The successes of the walking out protests

Some students walked out of school today in response to the latest shooting. Some people, primarily non-students, are very upset about this. A run-down of the bad arguments I’ve seen levied against the walkout, and why each one is ridiculous. Put together, they reveal the opposition is people digging their heels into the ground for entirely selfish reasons. Bad argument #1: The kids are just … Continue reading The successes of the walking out protests

An inverted values argument for the importance of whether skeptical hypotheses matter

Skeptical hypothesis are nice philosophical quandries. Do we have reason to believe the world we perceive is real? Maybe we’re brains in vats or under the spell of an evil demon.  (What is this “we”, anyway? How do I know there’s any experiences besides my own?) I spend a fair bit of my thinking time on these problems. Berkeley wrote a substantial amount on why … Continue reading An inverted values argument for the importance of whether skeptical hypotheses matter

Contradiction: Democracy and business

Another contradiction I noticed (five years ago, forgot, and was reminded of today): Some people say we should run the government like a business. They often say voting for a certain person for political office is good because the person has experience in business. At the same time, many of these people will express adoration for democracy. And, no, they are not suggesting business ought … Continue reading Contradiction: Democracy and business

When did freezing people become okay?

Sometimes people create and freeze embryos. Often these people are married. Sometimes they divorce after the creation but without bringing them to term. Then sometimes one partner wants to bring them to term and the other wants them destroyed. Courts get involved. The arguments made for leaning towards the one favoring keeping them alive invoke the personhood of the embryo. This strikes me as rather … Continue reading When did freezing people become okay?