Category Archives: Uncategorized

Justifying and distinguishing between censure and censorship

A phrase I’ve been using a lot lately in response to accusations of censorship is “censure, not censorship”. It was going to be the title of this post, actually – until somebody saw it in a different context and offered some defense of censorship. I’m not sure that I can continue to use this phrase without first establishing the correct context now, or whether I ought to use it at all, since censorship can arguably be justified and may differ from censure in degree rather than in kind.
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Labor as a source of value, and its problems.

Bertrand Russell’s “In Praise of Idleness” argues that modern societies ought to rely less on the labor of the individuals which compose them. Put simply, specialization of roles in which humans work and the assistance of industrial processes have reduced the human labor required for a given level of productivity. This amplifies certain problems with labor as a source of value in such societies.
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Of what is religious experience evidence?

A very common argument for the truth of religion is religous experience. This can be in the form of personal revelation, less specific feelings of a divine presence or presences, experiences of the afterlife or the living world while near death and other various experiences that are claimed by some as evidence of the truth of their religion. What weight should such experience be assigned as evidence, and what is it evidence of?
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Why we disagree…

In a heated argument, I can find it very easy to think that my opponent is simply being unreasonable. This may actually be the case, as we humans are not perfectly rational beings even on our best days. But if the topic of discussion is a matter of fact rather than opinion, then it can hardly be reasonable to agree to disagree. In fact, Aumann’s agreement theorem demands this, for rational persons under certain restrictions. It’s not practically applicable in everyday life, but its conditions suggest other sources of disagreement.
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