Tag Archives: existentialism

A Reminder of Life’s Fleeting Nature

This is in the New York Times this morning: There they were, [two clowns] seeking to amuse the packed rows of onlookers at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, ambling along amid the bobbing Hello Kitty and The Elf … Continue reading

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A Bit of Life Perspective from Woody Allen (and Owen Wilson)

In the below video, Woody Allen offers some unsettling and thought-provoking responses to some questions. Owen Wilson is also interesting. _________ Allen’s resigned and melancholy answers remind me that the winter holiday season is here and that my favorite Christmas … Continue reading

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Petraeus’s Replacement at CIA: Waldo?

Existentially unsettling.

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What Would It Mean To Live For Eternity?

When you think about it, all you ever really have is the present, which the poet William Blake called “the moving image of eternity.” You recall the past in present memory and you model and anticipate the future in present … Continue reading

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Cloud Atlas: a Paradox, a Deepity, or an Oxymoron?

The buzz around Cloud Atlas is pretty intense (it received a ten minute standing ovation at a recent film festival screening), and here are the film’s three directors–three!–doing a promo: __________ I’m certainly curious to see the film, but I … Continue reading

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Eternal Life: Kenneth Hayworth Verses Jesus

Want to live forever? It may be that, rather than following Jesus, you should be following the work of the neuroscientist Kenneth Hayworth. Before the end of his career, he aspires to figure out how, exactly, to preserve his own connectome (the … Continue reading

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Jerry Coyne: Free Will Is Also A Delusion

It’s not just God that’s a delusion. Free will is also. And our language should change to reflect it. That, at any rate, is University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne’s opinion. Here’s his recommendation, from his blog today, of what … Continue reading

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Life Perspective

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Today’s Nervy Nuclear Iran Quote

The following comes from Raymond Learsy at PoHuff, summarizing part of a report in the New York Times from Nov 5, 2011: [T]he International Atomic Energy Agency Report . . . is expected to spell out that Iran has conducted tests … Continue reading

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Is God Belief Unhelpful?

Well, I suppose that depends on what you mean by “unhelpful.” If you think it’s plausible that the universe has an ultimate (good) meaning grounded in a Great Mind that preceded matter, then it becomes an existential question whether or not it … Continue reading

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The Empty Box: The Problem with a Personal God

I don’t dismiss the idea that God is a person. I dismiss the idea that you or I, under normal circumstances, can ever know whether or not God is a person and actually is relating to us, at any given … Continue reading

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Sisyphus Hound: What a Dog Can Teach Us about God Belief and Existentialism

There’s a lot to ponder philosophically in this very short video of a dog, Sisyphus-like, having difficulty keeping a rock in place:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            . Albert Camus once wrote that we must imagine Sisyphus happy, and, indeed, the dog appears happy … Continue reading

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Checkmate: Death and Determinism are the Two Absolute Truths of Atheism

It’s sometimes asserted that atheism admits of no ultimate or absolute truths, but in the “D Girl” episode of the Sopranos (Season 2) is a rather nice exchange between Tony Soprano and his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Malfi, that suggests otherwise. The exchange concerns … Continue reading

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Japan’s earthquake and tsunami: there was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise.

The most heart-breaking and arresting sentence (or, rather, portion of a larger sentence) I’ve encountered on the Japan earthquake and tsunami was penned at Salon this morning by Matt Zoller Seitz: [W]omen and children walking and in some cases swimming through … Continue reading

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Chance v. Conspiracy Theory Watch: Ezra Klein’s Contingency Observations v. Matt Damon’s “The Adjustment Bureau”

At the Washington Post’s website, Ezra Klein shares why he can’t bring himself to sit through the conspiracy-themed Matt Damon film, The Adjustment Bureau: I can’t believe in guys in suits with the ability to plan things. And why can’t he believe … Continue reading

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That’s a Huge Weltanschauung You’ve Got There, Thomas Jefferson! Does It Ever Get in Your Way?

What’s your Weltanschauung—your worldview? In other words, what do you think you know about the world (your metaphysics)? How do you think you know it (your epistemology)? What ought you be doing and valuing as an individual (your ethical and … Continue reading

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Andre Glucksmann One More Time

I think this is a great quote. It comes from the French philosopher, Andre Glucksmann: Socrates’s uncertainty revealed a rupture that gave birth to philosophy. The divine word is a mystery; it can mean everything or nothing. Zeus neither speaks nor … Continue reading

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What’s the Right Rhythm for the Weekend, for Life?

If you think that life is worth living, are you? And what’s it worth living for, anyway? Maybe the hint is in this video. Or maybe not. What do you think?

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A Gorgeous View of the Thames from the Tate Modern

An English professor colleague (and friend) sent me a gorgeous image that he took this afternoon from the Members’ Lounge of the Tate Modern. He’s teaching a semester in London:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               . The English professor’s name is Charles Hood and he … Continue reading

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In a word, I hate all the gods?

In introducing his new book, To Set Prometheus Free, philosopher A C Grayling explains his choice of title by referring to Aeschylus’s play, Prometheus Bound, and quoting from it: As so often, the Greeks themselves understood with a preternatural clarity … Continue reading

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