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Philosophy

Mortality and Self-Awareness

When my son Jordon was about three or four I remember pontificating about humankind’s ability to be aware of of our own mortality and also about the human tendency to repress such thoughts.  I then wondered if my son was in fact too young for such thoughts ever to have ocurred to him so I […]

The Logical Conclusion

I’m always surprised at how much the fields of politics, philosophy, and psychology interconnect. In order to assert a proper political structure for human beings, it is first necessary to understand the human mind. The ethics of gorillas, if they were smart enough to communicate them verbally, would presumably be quite different from ours (as […]

In-Group Morality

I’ve recently read a document written by John Harting entitled “Love Thy Neighbor, the Evolution of In-Group Morality”. In this document Mr. Harting argues that the Judeo-Christian ethics expounded in the Old and New Testaments such as love thy neighbor and thou shalt not kill were never intended to be extended to society at large […]

The Mother Theresa: Altruist or Showboater?

I have debated many times and with various people whether pure altruism can really exist among humans. The classic example that people toss at me is the life of Mother Theresa, who dedicated the last couple hundred years of her life ministering to the poorest of the poor and the dying in Calcutta. My standard […]

The Root Cause of Homophobia

I would like to begin by stating that my remarks on this subject are a comment on the the sociological and psychological factors at work in homophobia. None of this is to be construed as a judgment against homosexuality itself as I do not regard it as a sin, a crime, or any other type […]

Religious Speech and Public Schools

A high school teacher in New Jersey is in hot water for telling his students that the Bible is more fact-based than evolution and saying that people who don’t believe Jesus died for their sins belong in hell. He also allegedly told his class that the Bible has been proven to be true and that […]

Unhuman Nature

Human nature opposes the drive toward uniformity. Aldous Huxley, in “A Brave New World Revisited”, stated that human beings are more like wolves than like ants or termites. We identify our place in human relations by setting ourselves apart moreso than by blending in. Witness the high school lunchrooms where students sit according to groups: […]

The Harvard Religion Debate

Finally a subject of some substance. There is currently some debate going on at Harvard regarding the proposed doing away with the requirement that students take core religion classes. This is not an endorsement of a particular religion or that the students must be theists, it is simply designed to ensure that Harvard graduates have […]

Human Nature

The English philosopher John Locke held that, absent corrupting influences, human beings are inherently good and as such our ideal state is freedom where people will naturally choose actions which are morally right. Thomas Jefferson borrowed heavily from this line of thinking and from this sprang the great Western ideals of freedom, limited government and […]

Nurture Assumption Bias

These women at my job were discussing the “problems” a co-worker is having with the grandson she is raising. It sounded like it was something terrible but I came in on the tail end of the conversation so I asked what the problem was. “Jimmy”, it seems, is 13 and has decided that he doesn’t […]