Can I Oppose Waterboarding If I’ve Never Been Waterboarded?
June 30, 2020 by

I have never been waterboarded; yet, despite my undeniable lack of direct experience, I oppose it as a form of torture. The same can be said for Barack Obama, who issued an executive order banning waterboarding along with other coercive interrogation practices. The same can be said for the overwhelming majority of those who oppose …

Christopher Dorner, Eyewitness Testimony, and Mental Illness
June 18, 2020 by

Spree killer and ex-police officer Christopher Dorner was recently mentioned in a standup comedy piece by Dave Chapelle. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because Dorner killed four people and wounded three others in mid-February 2013, his victims including police and civilians in the Los Angeles area. The manhunt for Dorner over the course …

Seriously: Can He Do That?
June 2, 2020 by

That’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past three and a half years, and never more often than the last 12 hours or so. And it’s an understandable question—we’re a constitutional republic. There are rules and they are written down. All we need to do is check the rules and see if …

Categories, Gender Identity, and Women’s Sports
September 4, 2019 by

We categorize things, using general terms to classify a group of objects. Some things are chairs, others tables, and still other things are fish, fruits, or flowers, and so on. We employ categories for a host of practical reasons, including, of course, to facilitate communication and accomplish various objectives efficiently. Categorizing things makes eminent good …

A Natural Mistake
July 10, 2019 by

“That some persons are free and others slaves by nature … and that for these slavery is both advantageous and just, is evident.” So said Aristotle, one of the first advocates of the “natural law” approach to ethics. (See his Politics, Book I, ch. 5.) The State Department has just established a Commission on Unalienable …

‘Bring Back Our Girls’ At 5: Boko Haram’s Forgotten Captives
July 3, 2019 by

It was a bold and brash attack on innocent girls that outraged the world and spawned unprecedented online activism: Boko Haram, an extremist Muslim group in Nigeria, abducted about 276 schoolgirls from a rural secondary school in the town of Chibok on April 14, 2014. Since that time about half have been recovered, and over …

Good Friday for Atheists
April 19, 2019 by

Just because I don’t share religious beliefs with someone doesn’t mean I think that they should be harmed in any way. Quite to the contrary. If you feel the need to kill people because of a difference of opinion, you’ve lost the argument. Validity of beliefs should rest on the merits of the arguments, not the size of the spear.

Do 60% of People Misgender Trans People to Insult Them?
March 21, 2019 by

Recent news reports claimed that most people intentionally disrespect transgendered individuals by calling them by something other than their preferred gender pronoun. For example one piece began: “Three in five people internationally report that they would intentionally misgender a transgender person, according to a recent survey. Ipsos found that only two out of five people …

Why Roe Matters (It’s Not Just Abortion Rights)
February 5, 2019 by

The “right to privacy … is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” So wrote Justice Harry Blackmun in 1973 in his seminal opinion in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). By that opinion, 7 men (with 2 men opposing) determined that the federal Constitution prevented states …

Obergefell Looks Safe in Kavanaugh Era, But LGBTQ Rights Outlook is Bleak
January 28, 2019 by

With the election of Trump, and the following changes to the Supreme Court, one of the most common questions I was asked by people outside of the secular movement was what this would mean for marriage equality. After all, the decision in Obergefell came down less than 4 years ago, and was a 5-4 ruling, …