Author Archives: Skeptical Stingray

On Class Reductionism

Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was one of the greatest Indian intellectuals of the 20th Century. He was social and political reformer and played a crucial role in drafting independent India’s constitution. Born in 1891 to a Dalit (outcaste / untouchable) family, … Continue reading

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Famines and Free Markets

From 1876 to 1902, anywhere between 12 and 30 million Indians died in a series of famines. Although these deaths are often seen as effects of natural causes, nothing could be further from the truth. They were engineered by very … Continue reading

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Atheism, Materialism and Anti-Clericalism in Ancient and Medieval India: Part Two

Read Part I here. This post examines the teachings of the most famous school of materialism in Indian thought, the Charvaka school. Epistemology  The Charvakas were strict empiricists. They held that observation and sense-perception were the only real sources of knowledge. Several religious commentators claim … Continue reading

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Atheism, Materialism and Anti-Clericalism in Ancient and Medieval India: Part One

The different religious and philosophical schools of thought that prevailed in the Indian subcontinent in ancient and medieval times can be divided into two broad categories. The orthodox schools were those that accepted the Vedas as being scripturally authoritative. Much of what … Continue reading

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Animals and Liberty

In his paper Do Animals Have an Interest in Liberty, Alasdair Cochrane draws a distinction between two different kinds of interests. A being has an instrumental interest in liberty if their interest is “dependent on its facilitation of other goods, such as the … Continue reading

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Veganism and Species Extinction

Some critics of veganism and animal rights advocacy claim that if we stopped eating meat, many species of farm animals would go extinct. The extinction of a species is seen as a bad thing, and so it is argued that we ought … Continue reading

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Leslie Cannold on Veganism and Animal Rights

This Guardian article by Leslie Cannold has been getting a lot of attention. Although Cannold is sympathetic to animal welfare, she believes that ethical carnivorism is possible – that there are ethical or humane ways of killing animals for food. … Continue reading

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