moralhealth.com

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Laurence Thomas has a blog, moralhealth.com. I worked for Laurence as a TA for three and a half years, three as his head TA for a 400-450 student ethics class with a team of six TAs (plus the occasional undergrad TA or three). I also helped edit his portion of his book with Michael Levin on sexual orientation and human rights, and he actually heeded to some of my comments, though not all. That book more than anything else helped shape the current form of my views on those issues from what it had been previously. I would say that he's also influenced my thinking on abortion, euthanasia, race, affirmative action, and a number of other applied ethical issues, but I think more fundamentally he helped shape my thinking on more basic foundational issues, such as the moral implications of the state of evil in the world that Christians call the fall, which he describes under Martha Nussbaum's term 'the fragility of goodness'. His work on the value of showing moral deference to those whose moral framework we can't understand due to their own experiences is outstanding. He also awakened in me a desire that I haven't always honored to give thought in an ethical theory to oft-ignored considerations like the value of modesty, gratitude, and forgiveness, and I think he convinced me more than anyone else how deep a role parental love plays in the moral development of a child.

I really enjoyed working with him and think he offers a lot of insight into the kinds of moral questions that most people want to stay away from, either because the questions are too hard or because they won't like the conclusions they'll draw. It helps that I have tremendous sympathies for some of his underlying convictions on moral issues, but sometimes even when I disagree with his conclusions I'll really appreciate what he has to say to get there. There's a lot more that I could say about him, and when I get a chance to read through his posts perhaps I'll flag some of them.

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