Tag Archives: philosophy

pop philosophy talk

Alright, what do I have to do to summon a skeptic or whatever they’re called on short notice?  We’re talking Brené Brown at the church I’ve been visiting lately and her “”discoveries”” have been driving me up the wall.

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the bedroom is a social construct

I saw something again — not linking on purpose because of context — mentioning, secondhand, a claim paraphrased as “if your kink bleeds into your everyday life outside of the bedroom, it’s bad for you.”

And like the responder I found, I take issue with that entire premise.

As far as I can tell, it’s basically a slight rewording of the common kink apologetics catchphrase — that XYZ earn their acceptability by being “only in the bedroom,” i.e. sure XYZ could be a bad thing, but not if it happens “only in the bedroom,”  …which is a line of argument that has multiple, multiple problems, some of them more significant than others.  They’re all so interrelated, though, I don’t know where to start.

So I’ll start here: Why does the locale of “the bedroom” grant some kind of moral/harm-metric exemption status?  As best I can figure, it’s because “in the bedroom” (aka “during sex”) refers to some of the most private moments of the most private room of a private dwelling — supposedly far removed from the “public sphere” and “everyday life.”  And therefore, it doesn’t affect anyone.  And therefore, it doesn’t affect you.

What?

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late night religion adventures

Haven’t had a contentious conversation with an atheist like this in… a while.  Probably because I tend to just get casually ostracized first, which usually preempts this sort of thing.

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more fragments on pleasure and behavioral direction

The copilot asked me to write more about this.

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Happiness as a Basis of Evaluation

[cw: very conservative Christian rhetoric, quoted anti-atheist talk, incidental gross url, + some kink ethics debate metatalk]

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The platonic and the Platonic

A post about not telling people what identity labels to use, and also classic philosophy.

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What exactly is “faith in humanity”?

Because I’m pretty sure I don’t have it.

And that’s not to say that I’m a pessimist who thinks no good is possible and everything is doomed — that would be defining the potential of humanity according to a status-oriented model of morality, which is a framework I don’t use.  So, no, I’m not that cynical, but I do have a lot of confusion and skepticism around this term and how it’s employed.

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Models of Conceptualizing Morality

Whenever moral evaluations take place, the two models I’ve frequently seen employed in discussion are these:

  • a status-oriented, “being”-centered morality of personal characteristics and fixed natures (that which takes for granted the existence of “bad people”, as a division from the rest of the population, which commentators then use to sort people on the basis of whether or not they go in that category)
  • and, less frequently, an adaption of the former that emphasizes “shades of gray” and that “everyone has some good and bad in them” (which always devolves into a rather frustrating and defeatist brand of moral relativism that, in attempting to acknowledge complexity, prevents acknowledgement of anything by undermining any productive discourse, deeming the whole discussion a pointless exercise and thinking itself enlightened for it).

Neither of these models jive with my understanding of reality and human nature, and out of frustration with their ubiquity, I want to share with y’all an alternate model that I find far more useful in practice.

This post was brought to you in part by the encouraging comments on this post and in part by sheer bitterness.  Enjoy.

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Why I Dislike the Term “People of Faith”

The context in which I first encountered this phrase was a 101-level Anthropology class, during a unit of the curriculum that focused on faith and religion.  I was not looking forward to that part of the course.  What springs to mind as soon as I say that, of course, is the presumption that any hesitance to hear an anthropology professor lecture on religion must no doubt stem from an unwillingness to see theology being examined under the lens of dispassionate logic and no, actually.  I do that all the time.  But now’s not the time get into that.

In an anthropology course, you’re not actually supposed to debate the merits of any given religion or evaluate it on a qualitative level in any way.  You’re just supposed to look at it as some abstract Thing and take notes about its role in culture.  The professor stressed to the class that, for anthropologists, it’s beside the point whether any given religion is “true” or not, and those issues are not what anthropology is meant to look at.  Fair enough.  Doesn’t make it less awkward, though.

Anyway, in her lectures, the professor referred to the category of people under study here as “people of faith”*, a term that earned my animosity at once.  Implicitly, this does not include atheists who consider themselves nonreligious, or so we were meant to infer.  Certainly a term for such a grouping could be useful.  But since I’m a theist who doesn’t really identify with the moniker on a gut-reaction kind of level (and as one who considers the merits of “faith” as a virtue dubious at best), I’ve put some further thought into this model’s failings.

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