Philosophers and political theorists holding a wide variety of philosophical views use the terms ‘public reason’ and ‘public justification’ to describe a broad framework for a discussion in which everyone in a community can take part. Supporters of the idea of public justification see democratic politics not so much as a battle for power, settled by elections, but rather as a kind of public conversation about issues of common concern, with a decision-procedure for reaching temporary closure on these issues when the time for action has come. When we take part in this conversation, we seek to justify our views to others, and in so doing we should acknowledge the fact of political and religious pluralism. Continue reading “Why religious arguments do not belong in public debate”
More notes from Peter Singer’s The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush (pp. 45-53)
Is an embryo human life and therefore something precious to be protected?
Yes, an embryo formed from the sperm and egg of human beings is certainly human life. It is of the species Homo Sapiens and not of any other species.
But, does it necessarily follow that “therefore” an embryo is “something precious to be protected”? Continue reading “Is an embryo human life and therefore something precious to be protected?”
Notes from Peter Singer’s The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush (pp. 114-119)
What are we to think, ethically, of someone who bases his or her life on unquestioning faith, of someone for whom religious belief is “an unquestioned foundation that will not shift”? Continue reading “The ethics of belief”