Image credit: Chris Bjerre

We all know every time you tick a terms & conditions checkbox without reading it, you sign away a bit of your soul. Or less metaphorically, whenever you sign up to use a service (especially free ones) you can be near certain your usage data will be aggregated, mined and sold to make you more docile to advertisers.

The problem of course is you can’t beat the price of free. Usually signing up to these soul-sucking services is super easy and convenient while more ethical approaches require effort, planning, and sometimes financing. …

Image credit: Renato Stockler

One line of reasoning theists sometimes use to argue for God’s existence is to claim that he is the source of morality, and since people are moral, he must exist. To counter one could point to the existence of moral atheists — people that live with a sense of morality without needing a god to tell them how to live. In this article I want to explore how it is that moral atheists exist, and what exactly the difference is between a moral atheist and a moral theist.

Where our values come from

I want to start off analysing what’s familiar to me — the…

Image credit: Timo Kuilder

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like recently there’s been more and more miscommunication, alternative news and straight up lies. Not only in the media with mythomaniacs like Fox, Breitbart and the likes, but also in person with arbitrary presentations, interactions with strangers, and even in conversation with friends. Here’s my theory about where truth really comes from in today’s world.

Take for instance this description a friend gave of someone she met at a party:

In the first few hours, he was the life of the party — dancing, playing games, and telling jokes that…

Image credit: Yulong Lli

Anyone that’s ever tried this thing called life can attest to how difficult it often gets. Not only do you have to literally survive —unfortunately still a struggle for many even after 6 thousand years of civilisation — you also have to deal with this sticky yet elusive goop called morality.

The question of how we should live is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, yet there’s no agreement as to its answer. Perhaps you should do what god tells you, but then which god do you pick? Perhaps you should chase money and power, but then what about…

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People often get so stuck up on the differences between them, we forget the values we share. I mean this not in a naive instagram quote kind of way — I mean it philosophically. Even though we all speak different languages with their own quirks, idioms and words that don’t translate, we actually aren’t that different.

There are many conceptual, pre-linguistic beliefs that every single person holds. Beliefs so bare-bones and fundamental, most don’t ever consciously consider them. …

A core assumption of normative ethics is that people can act freely, and that one can only be obligated to do something if it is within their power to do so. E.g. one is only responsible for running over a pedestrian if it was within one’s power to swerve out of the way in time. Otherwise, it is considered a mere accident. This idea is conveniently packaged in the maxim, ought implies can.

Psychological egoism is a theory that claims that all people, regardless of their will, always act to the benefit of their self-interest. E.g. When you attend a…

People tend to hold morality as the ultimate way of life, arbiter of right and wrong, and guide for the psyche. Of course, with so many different views on the same matter, it is difficult to console and understand what morality really is. In a world where multiple standards exist, how ought one to act? I argue that the problem of morality is intrinsically unsolvable and we should stop trying.

There are many many different views on what constitutes morality. Plato says it is harmony in the soul, Aristotle says it’s living a good character, Kant says it is serving…

Image credit: mclelun

Over the last few years, technology and especially AI have been advancing drastically, to the point where many start to think we are close to the technological singularity — when hyper-intelligent AI will essentially grow so rapidly, it will take over human civilisation as we know it. I however would like to argue that even if AI can be more intelligent than humans in some specific aspects, it will never be able to achieve something core to the great thinkers of our species — philosophy.

What is it to philosophise?

To ask what philosophy is, is famously a philosophical question in and of itself. Broadly…

So what is it like to be a person? You look down and see your hands, your legs and torso. “Well, I’m a body that I can move it to do whatever I want.” Okay cool, but is that really all you are? Do you not perhaps extend with your social media presence? If someone sees a photo of you on Instagram and forms their own perception of you, is that idea you? If it isn’t, who is it? Here’s my theory on what exactly people feel they are and why.

Being in a vessel

So here’s some hard truth for you. The absolute…

After recently being exposed to Kant’s Copernican revolution in my philosophy class, I was utterly taken aback. I’ve always had a sense that people can be wrong about things, but I was not expecting it when Kant gave a rock-solid argument that we fundamentally misunderstand the nature of reality. And I’m not talking about some half-baked Platonic Theory of Forms. Kant’s work in metaphysics was so groundbreaking to me it triggered a tsunami of philosophical reconsideration, which lead me to conceive the following theory of mind.

Kant’s revolution

Kant’s Transcendental Exposition is a notoriously complicated piece of philosophy. In it, he discusses…

George Rautenbach

Computer Science and Philosophy double-major student. Interested in getting to grips with the problems of the universe.

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