To me it seems Christ offered a general ethical system of universal benevolence grounded in Divine exemplarism (God loves everyone, God is an ideal moral agent, hence etc) and also lots of specifics: no violence, preferential concern for the poor and downtrodden, be forgiving...
... So when St.Augustine glossed the overall message of the Bible as "love your God and love your neighbour" that seems exactly right, I see how one gets that from the gospels plus the background commitment that all the canonical books are leading up to Christ and His mission....
... I think this ethical system stands up very well indeed compared to lots of supposedly more sophisticated secular alternatives. (Though I think Mohism actually has some of the same vibes albeit with a more political focus, but of course it is avowedly not a secular system.)...
... anyway just reflecting on professional philosophy. I think we're largely outperformed by a 1st century peasant. Now if that peasant preacher was the Son of God then I suppose that is not so bad - that's steep competition. But if that is not what you believe ought be worrying.

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More from @lastpositivist

24 Nov
Ok keeping tabs on where the woke are correct vs where the anti-woke are correct. I think the antis called: DEI consultancy is a sham industry, not getting fired for your political opinions is a labour rights issue, YA Twitter is silly, and I remain a citation justice sceptic…
…the woke crowd are right that: speech really can do harm, that “chilling effects” of people being condemnatory or mean do not count as violations of free speech, that a lot of our culture is as such due to racism, and that the anti-trans cause is just rehashed homophobia…
…I think to break the tie there should be a Squid Game rules tug of war between the top anti vs woke pundits. Whoever is left at the end gets cultural hegemony.
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov
Ok all jokes aside I genuinely think I am one of the more consistent Free Speech people on here. You never see me calling for people to lose their job over BadSpeech, and in fact I have publicly stated opposition to cases wherein I ideologically am very opposed to those involved.
E.g. I thought and still think Noah Carl is a two-bit racist who does no-mark "ooooo here's a correlation oooohh" work that gives social science a bad name. And yet I still think, and said, and say again, that Cambridge did not have good cause to reverse their hiring decision.
I also don't have the IDW vice of thinking that somehow rowdy students shouldn't have free speech rights, so don't end up in bizarre "speech for me but not for thee" situations where someone my upsetting you is free speech whereas you upsetting me is silencing
Read 6 tweets
22 Sep
So this document (…) is causing a bit of a fuss. The first pic is the controversial claims they make about research methodology, and the next three pics are the remedies they propose for their issues. My thoughts thereon in a thread...
... I'm struck by three things here. First, the objections to objectivity and rigour just elide the difference between taken-for and actual objectivity/rigour. So it is a bit hard to tell which is being objected to, and how plausible the claims are depends a lot on that...
... To illustrate, the claim that objective inquiry can never challenge established belief systems is just *intensely* implausible if by that it is meant any moderately disinterested researcher using intersubjectively checkable methods will always affirm majority belief...
Read 9 tweets
21 Sep
This from @jehsmith was very interesting! I don't agree with him re where we should be going, but I do think he's responding honestly to something that most humanists wont squarely face up to. We don't have a clear purpose if not as elite taste makers...…
...I do share Smith's worries about purportedly left-liberal intelligentsia credulously rallying around massive expansions of state surveillance. I agree it seems to be thoughtless extension of habitual culture war stances. I wrote a bit about it here...…
... But, despite some Herderian sympathies myself, I don't really share the kinda romantic sensibility he evinces. I've something of the gradgrind within me too, if I am honest with myself. But it's not like I am optimistic about my own style either! ...…
Read 4 tweets
27 Aug
Ok so I now have the following picture of how race came to be: the European intelligentsia of the 15th-16th centuries were absorbed in a series of distinct but overlapping debates: how the hell are there people in the Americas and does this mean there were multiple creations?…
…Why is it that, in general, people differ in custom and appearance in various parts of the world? Are the people of the new world all Aristotlean natural slaves? If not them, how about Africans? Where are the boundaries of the human, how different are great apes from us?…
…Piety dictated there can have been no separate creation since we’re all children of Adam and Eve, humanity is sharply distinguished by presence of a rational soul with physiological differences irrelevant, and everyone must be converted and Christians should not be slaves…
Read 10 tweets
7 Jun
I've genuinely worked hard today, I deserve a reward. Gonna break out the big guns, time to watch James Lindsay discuss Kant and Hegel.
So what's up with the alchemy thing?
Just had Lindsay saying Hegel's dialectical engine is Thesis-Anthesis-Synthesis (which Hegel nerds will deny but he's right about) and O'Fallon draws out the conclusion from this that our ethnicities prevent us from learning absolute truth. Lindsay corrects him tho!
Read 9 tweets

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