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It’s all in Plato – Genocide, Morality and the Euthyphro Dilemma

It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at those schools!

C.S.Lewis, The Last Battle

A lot of the Christians I know love this quote, spoken by Digory Kirke in Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. I can see why – it’s often used to illustrate a claim that Christian theology wasn’t invented from scratch in the 1st Century, but can be seen as a logical progression from some well-worn Platonic ideas developed centuries earlier.

That’s true in some cases, but Plato’s just one philosopher, and he said a lot of things that are rather a long way from Christian ideals. For example, he also thought infanticide was not just acceptable, but an advisable state policy. And he developed a line of discussion, known as the Euthyphro Dilemma, which continues to cause serious moral difficulties for religious beliefs of all stripes. Read More…

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Posthumous Honesty – Poll Results

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve had a lot going on in real life, which will probably make for interesting blog material before long, but for the time being, I really ought to deal with the poll I set up some time ago.

The scenario that I set up specified that you knew you would die tomorrow, and had the opportunity to leave messages for others, if you wanted, to tell them exactly what you dislike about them. My reason for setting the poll up was that when I considered the possibility of being able to do such a thing, I couldn’t work out how I felt about it. I didn’t think I’d do it, but I couldn’t say why, as there didn’t seem to be any good reason not to. I wondered if it might be that I thought it would reflect badly on me in some way, which was why I specified that you would suffer no negative consequences. Read More…

A chance to be honest

I’m currently away on holiday for a while, so if you can bear with me, I’d like to try out a little experiment.

A while back, I read a very interesting book called “Do You Think What You Think You Think?” which takes the reader through a number of questions and scenarios to discover whether your moral and philosophical beliefs are consistent and coherent. As it happens, mine pretty much are, barring a couple of minor points.

One exercise which rather caught my imagination revolved around what makes us who we are, and attempted to give some insight by asking the reader to choose between some rather Sci-Fi options. I like this idea, and I’d like to see if I can use a similar concept in the hope of discovering something interesting. Read More…

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