How sure you need to be depends on what you’re doing (Or: As usual I think social media discussions are missing a more fundamental disagreement, this time about a SCOTUS nominee)

Brett Kavanaugh is being considered for a position on the Supreme Court of the United States. He’s also been accused of sexual assault. This information has been all over social media lately, and there seems to be, as there often is, a fundamental disagreement behind the arguments. On the surface, we see basic support versus opposition of the man. There are some straightforward statements of … Continue reading How sure you need to be depends on what you’re doing (Or: As usual I think social media discussions are missing a more fundamental disagreement, this time about a SCOTUS nominee)

A better-or-worse ethical space

Often when I see ethical categories they fall into a rather neat binary of good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral, or some other duo. (I’ll just use “good” and “bad” from here on out for simplicity.) Sometimes the binary will be complicated by expanding into obligatory, permissible, forbidden, and superogatory. (That is, stuff you must do, stuff you can do, stuff you … Continue reading A better-or-worse ethical space

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

A new answer to the trolley problem, plus follow-up on likely outcomes

The problem: A train is going down some tracks, as trains do. I am standing many yards away. I can see the train, but I cannot get any nearer to it. The track the train is on will soon have it run over and kill five people, because they are tied to the tracks. But! I have a lever that will make the train go … Continue reading A new answer to the trolley problem, plus follow-up on likely outcomes

Annoying Social Media Spam: The logic-impaired

I haven’t posted one of these here yet, so I’ll explain: Sometimes I see a post floating around social media. More often than I’d like. If the post is stupid and I have an idea to edit it, I sometimes do so. This one originally had an unborn child inside the character on the left with the arrow and text on the right pointing to … Continue reading Annoying Social Media Spam: The logic-impaired

A new (metaphysical)-political compass

Usually when I get into political discussions, these two (or three) questions tend to come up the most. So I made a new political compass since I think the common one really only works within a pretty limited domain, anyway. Some on the left like to say I’m on the right because I think people are ultimately responsible (descriptively) for their own actions. (You may … Continue reading A new (metaphysical)-political compass