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Taxonomy (Or Why Modern Biological Categories are Wrong)

Aristotle was the first to systematically lay out various living things in the world. According to him, they could be divided into three categories: plants, animals and rational beings (humans). Insofar as biology is concerned, human beings are animals. Therefore, there were two biological categories: plants and animals. Carl Linnaeus extended this knowledge to cover many new kinds of plants and a...

Coercion and Rights

In the two previous posts I have shown that a common anarchist argument against taxes fails and that the community may morally obtain your property, even if you must be coerced to do so. So it is simple to show that coercion is sometimes permissible in the case of property rights. Governments also claim the right to (under some circumstances) confine someone forcibly, kill them, and regulate behav...

Community Assistance

In a previous post, I explained that a common anarchist argument against taxes fails. But that does not mean that taxes are moral. It just means that one argument against taxes fails. This is my positive argument for taxes (or something like them). I will say upfront that this argument does not justify the taking of any tax whatsoever. Nor does it mean that taxes ought to be paid in all circumstan...

Free Speech vs Hate Speech

In my last post I described some of the motives and underlying assumptions of hate speech regulations. I indicated some of the problems that hate speech laws have and suggested that alternatives are necessary. Hate speech laws divide society, increase hatreds, promote ignorance and punish questions. The solution to the problems of hate speech laws and hate speech is free speech. If hate speech reg...

Sentences and Reasoning

I have shown that all self-evident sentences are true. But some sentences are not self-evident, even though they are true. These sentences are found by reasoning from self-evident sentences. Such reasoning can be either deductive or inductive. We determine whether or not a sentence is true by asking why that sentence is true. For self-evident sentences, the justification comes from the senses, ref...

Self Evident Truths are Certain

In my last post, I undercut the idea the mere skepticism could ever cause reasonable doubt against self evident truths. But we can take this argument much further. It is simply not possible for any kind of skepticism against self-evident truths to be reasonable. Any such criticism would beg the question against self-evident truths, be self-refuting in practice and ultimately be undeniable. The fir...

Happiness, Society and Moral Perfection

In my last post on happiness, I claimed that perfect happiness was not compatible with past wrongdoing unless there was supernatural help available to correct the problems that wrongdoing creates. Assuming that moral perfection could be obtained, would this automatically give the recipient perfect happiness? I think not. Perfect happiness would require a perfect world as well. Suppose that someone...

Lying is Immoral

In my last two posts, I discussed two ways of deceiving others and pointed out that both were acceptable at some time or other. But neither form involved the highest form of deception – claiming something to be true when we believe that it is false. Lying is never morally permissible. The first reason why lying is wrong is that it is contrary to the natural purpose of speech. Through speech, we ma...

Knowledge of Appearances

In my last post, I proved that the mind is active and seeks out relevant information. But further progress on the nature of the mind required investigating the knowledge of appearances. There is no real distinction between knowledge of appearances and theories of the world because some appearances are also theories of the world. Appearances cannot neatly be separated from our knowledge of the worl...

Active Sciences

In my previous post, I delved into the details of the productive sciences. Remember that the productive sciences are those sciences that exist for the purpose of making something. The active sciences exist for the purpose of doing something and the theoretical sciences exist for the purpose of knowing something. The active sciences are potentially infinite in number, lack a method of definition an...