Monthly Archives: May 2010

Would Friedrich Nietzsche have admired Ayn Rand?

Nietzsche scholar Brian Leiter has a rather strong opinion about this: This typically idiotic remark in a recent NY Times book review caught my attention: “Rand’s inclusion of businessmen in the ranks of the Übermenschen helps to explain her appeal to free-marketeers … Continue reading

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A Great Arthur Schopenhauer Quote

This Arthur Schopenhauer quote is in Susan Neiman’s exceptionally interesting book, Evil in Modern Thought  (Princeton 2002, p. 203): [T]he astonishment that urges us to philosophize obviously springs from the sight of the evil and wickedness in the world. If … Continue reading

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The Gospel of Jessica Christ: The Incarnation (John 1:14)

Playing off the language of the NT (in the KJV), I’ve taken certain passages from the four gospels and put them into gender reversal (just to see what happens). I’ve also inserted a word firecracker here and there to add some … Continue reading

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The Gospel of Jessica Christ: Prologue (Mark 1:1; John 1:1-5)

Playing off the language of the NT (in the KJV), I’ve taken certain passages from the four gospels and put them into gender reversal (just to see what happens). I’ve also inserted a word firecracker here and there to add some … Continue reading

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This religious epidural is brought to you by Francisco Ayala

Geneticist Francisco Ayala, introduced with some soothing piano and string music, takes on the manner of a family physician, assuring his jittery audience of nonexperts that everything is just fine; there is no conflict between science and religion (and we can … Continue reading

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Nietzsche’s checkmate: does atheism lead to totalitarianism?

A.C. Grayling, an atheist author that I tend to otherwise love, calls the idea that atheism gave birth to communism and fascism a theist “canard.” But, as an agnostic who has been doing a good deal of Nietzsche reading lately, I’m not … Continue reading

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Should community college professors watch what they say?

If community college professors are any indication, United States citizens, who normally pride themselves on their freedom of speech, are not quite as free to speak their minds as they might like to believe. Academe Online says community college professors are … Continue reading

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Clothing police in Muslim Indonesia: for women, no jeans or short skirts

Indonesia is a country with 200 million Muslims, some of them relatively moderate in their religious practices, some conservative. And in a district within Aceh province, some are really, really  conservative, instituting aspects of Shariah law (such as stoning for adultery). … Continue reading

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Evil, Nietzsche’s “amor fati,” Prometheus, and Thomas Edison

What is evil? If we call evil whatever outrages a human imagination’s ordering will and vitality; that is, if we define evil in its relation to us, then we quickly notice that evil comes in three forms: There are natural evils that … Continue reading

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Feels like vacation

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Question of the Day

Would legalizing marijuana in a large state like California reduce narco-violence and smuggling on the border between the United States and Mexico? I don’t know the answer to this question, I’m just asking. It seems to me that if you legalize … Continue reading

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Mental Health Break

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Existential Flungness in a Twilight Zone Episode

The first ten minutes of this Twilight Zone episode is Rod Serling channeling Beckett, Kafka, and Sartre. It’s very cool. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode is not on YouTube. I know the ending, though, and will tell you what it … Continue reading

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234-194

The House of Representatives voted 234-194 yesterday to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And how many Republicans voted for the repeal? Just 5. Five. Pathetic. One of them was Ron Paul.

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Are atheism and secular liberalism ideologies in decline?

John Gray, reviewing the book God is Back (by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge), predicts, for the rest of the 21st century, the decline of Western secular ideologies (like atheism and liberalism):  [A]s energy and power flows eastwards, the secular ideologies that … Continue reading

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Countries that ban gays in the military

The United States is about to be removed from this ignominious group. Thank goodness Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008.

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Have you seen “The Shelter”?

It’s a Twilight Zone  episode that is philosophically interesting. I think of Rod Serling’s “The Shelter” as a profound meditation on Nietzschean v. Christian ethics, Darwinian survival of the fittest, zero-sum games, and living in a world where the civic culture … Continue reading

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Even if the God of Christianity existed, would he be worthy of worship?

Friedrich Nietzsche, in his book The Antichrist, says no: What sets us apart is not that we recognize no God, either in history or in nature or behind nature—but that we find that which has been reverenced as God not ‘godlike’ … Continue reading

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Equal time alongside global warming: biblical armageddon theory comes to the classroom

Teach the controversy? I love the science-and-religion-in-harmony diorama at the 1:20 mark. Did you catch it? It has two smiling scientists and a priest glibly declaring—“We can all agree”—as a meteor hurdles toward Earth.

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Is Christopher Hitchens’s rhetorical combativeness a form of compensation for having never served in the military? And is this compensation leading him to overstate the threat posed to the West by Islamic fundamentalism?

A recent Guardian profile/interview with Christopher Hitchens elicited a curious line of armchair psychoanalysis that I found interesting: In 2006, Hitchens’ wife, the American writer Carol Blue, told the New Yorker her husband was one of “those men who were never … Continue reading

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