I'm an atheist trying to take the question of secular morality in society seriously. In debates about whether a secular society is better than a religious one, theists often allude to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc -- the mass murders of the 20th century who were motivated by secular beliefs. Are theists right that atheists killed more people in the 20th century than religious leaders did? What notable examples of this exist, besides the three mentioned above? [more inside]
My friend is currently studying at university, and she asked me to help her out with one of her assignments. I refused, saying I considered what she was asking me to do to be wrong. She became upset, and now I feel lousy, like I've let her down. I would like to gauge others' perspectives here: if you were in my shoes, how would you have reacted? [more inside]
Please help me decide how to ethically consume books now that I'm the owner of a brand shiny new Kindle. [more inside]
Many people I know who aren't global warming skeptics are still planning to procreate. Though I might like to have a kid someday, the thought of their future quality of life strikes me as a potentially decisive ethical objection to it. While I've seen plenty of arguments against procreation that deal with the ethics of creating more consumers, that issue is distinct from the ethics of creating new sufferers. Can you point me to any well-reasoned arguments--whether yours or something you've seen, on either side of the issue--that deal with the ethics of choosing to bring children into a hotter world? [more inside]
I'm trying to find an old webcomic I read years ago, possibly linked from metafilter. I remember that it was a really text heavy comic (large walls of text in speech bubbles). It made an analogy between committing immoral acts and climbing stairs. You don't just do evil things outright, you bend what is acceptable to you a little bit at a time, like climbing stairs one step at a time. I also think the webcomic overall had a feminist theme.
How do religious folk who practice food storage as part of preparedness beliefs and customs deal with actual instances of widespread food shortages? [more inside]
What is a good argument for the immorality of terribly sadistic but ultimately consensual sex, from a secular perspective? [more inside]
How can I morally justify spending money on luxuries while others lack necessities? Many reputable charities offer ways to save or vastly improve the lives of people in extreme poverty for small donations. What type of person am I if I spend $10 on a movie ticket, for example, that could be spent on mosquito netting to protect a poor child from malaria or to vaccinate dozens of children against measles? I don't see how giving a fixed percentage of my income, such as tithing, absolves me of further moral responsibility.
What are some definitive scholarly sources on the ethics of alcohol? [more inside]
[ethicsfilter] two of my friends are getting it on. one of them has herpes. should I tell the other?
[ethicsfilter] two of my friends are getting it on. one of them has herpes. should I tell the other? [more inside]
I have an ethical or logical quandary that I'm trying to puzzle out. [more inside]
Video clips that demonstrate the difference between rules and morals/ethics? [more inside]
You're a single mother, with no living relatives except your twin daughters, who are both dying of kidney failure. You have one kidney to donate. Is there a moral/ethical philosophy that deals with such rock/hard place dilemmas? [more inside]
Atheists and agnostics: From whence do you derive your moral code? [more inside]
Please help me better align my values with my career. [more inside]
Philosophical question regarding opposition: When is it appropriate to leave or boycott an organization when one disagrees with its policies, as opposed to actively working with or within the organization to change its policies to your liking? Recent posts regarding gay ministers and Boy Scouts make me wonder whether boycotting organizations is the best approach, or whether one should remain within an organization in an effort to reform it?
EthicsFilter: Do you support making what you feel is an unjust law or policy more equitable? [MI] [more inside]