Larry Sanger

Online knowledge organizer. Co-founder of Wikipedia, Ph.D. Philosophy.

On the “God of the Gaps”

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo If God exists, he knows all the physical explanations of all the phenomena. From his point of view, there is no "God of the gaps." Hence our inability to explain something about the world is no reason to infer that God makes human-style arbitrary choices.…

On the Burning of an LGBTQ Flag

Last summer, Adolfo Martinez, 30, of Ames, Iowa, stole the LGBTQ pride flag hung above the entrance to the Ames United Church of Christ, and burned it in front of the nearby Dangerous Curves Gentleman's Club. He pled guilty to the crime—for which he was sentenced to 16 years in the state…

A Response to Jack Dorsey on Decentralizing Social Media

Jack, Let me begin by telling you (and my blog readers) a personal history of decentralizing social media and content generally. Decentralizing social media It began in January when I decided to lock down my cyber-life. Among the items on my "to do" list was: "Quit social media, or at least…

Why Pedophilia Is Evil

However it is defined, pedophilia is wrong; but beyond that, it is evil. In a deeply disturbing trend in the last few decades, pedophilia apologists have tried to soft-pedal the condemnation of this horrible crime and criminal ideation. They are very wrong. Here is why. Prefatory notes, July 13,…

A Celebration of Winsor McCay

My favorite illustrator ever, Winsor McCay (1869-1934), worked for decades as a newspaper political cartoonist, illustrator, and animator. I learned about McCay while browsing through books in the 1990s, I think it was, in a shop in Seattle's Fish Market, and I just stumbled upon a collection of…

Against Anti-Natalism

The anti-natalist's bête noir. Anti-natalism is the view that that human beings should not have children, because it is unethical to do so. Different reasons can be offered for this startling position, but the position I discuss in this essay specifies that life has negative value for those…

A Theory of Evil

First posted Aug. 16, 2019. Revised and reposted Nov. 4. Good to read alongside "Why Be Moral." For a long time, the nature of evil eluded me. But dark contemplation of the Jeffrey Epstein case and of the very existence of pedophile rings has clarified the nature of evil for me. Here, then,…

A Civilizational Creed

DRAFT UNDER REVISION I propose this creed as neither specifically ethical, nor religious, nor yet political; it is what I will call a civilizational creed. Religious creeds define religions; ethical creeds define theories of right and wrong; political creeds define ideologies or parties. But…

Introducing the Encyclosphere

This is the text of a speech I gave yesterday (October 17, 2019) at TheNextWeb's Hard Fork Summit in Amsterdam. For now, you can go to Encyclosphere.org to sign up for news of the project. We'll also give you opportunities to get involved within the next week or two. Update: I've added a video…

Want to help build an open encyclopedia network—an “Encyclosphere”?

We are fed up. After ten years of domination by big social media—which might finally be in decline—we are tired of giant Silicon Valley corporations using us contemptuously. We still remember an Internet in which we charted our own destiny. It’s not just social media. It’s Wikipedia,…