Friday, September 30, 2022

How do people get rich?


This cartoon was clearly not created by a conservative. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

What if you can't decide about God?


What if you think about theism and atheism, and just can't decide which one is true based on the evidence? You can
a) Not decide. But then if you have to make decisions which are based on whether or not you believe in God, what do you do? Sleep in on Sunday, or go to church? (Or maybe you try a synagogue, mosque, or church on even weeks, and stay away on odd ones).
b) Disbelieve. Believe only what you can prove. (Can I prove that I am not a brain in a vat being given my experiences by aliens?)
c) Believe. Theism has higher payoffs, so if you can't decide, bet on God. (This is Pascal's solution.)

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Brain death, brain birth, and abortion

 Pro-choicers believe that even though a human fetus is species member, it lacks those characteristic that endow it with a right to life. One argument is that fetuses do not have functional brains until very late on, and therefore have not experienced anything. You can either see life as the career of a biological entity--that begins at conception. Or you can see it as a series of experiences or mental occurrences, and that doesn't begin until late in pregnancy. At the end of life we think of a person as dead (and therefore lacking a right to life), once the brain has died, even if there is some biological function still going on. So, at the beginning of life, when there is some biological functioning going on it's life has started even though it doesn't have a functioning brain? (If I only had a........) Mind you this may not be the last word on the abortion issue. But it does make it difficult to see how the same level of heinousness attaches to abortions (at least before brain development) that attaches to infanticide. In my view the lack of a developed brain is a morally relevant difference even if you believe, as I do, that abortion inflicts a significant loss and requires a high standard of justification.