Search Results for: gandhi

With Regard to the Internet, What Would Gandhi Do?

I found this Gandhi quote several years back while perusing an undated letter of his that I found in volume 49 of his Collected Works. At least that’s what I wrote down. My local branch library in Lancaster, Ca. just happened to … Continue reading

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A Mini-Course In Rhetoric For Writers. Concept 2.8: Selection And Editing

I’ve decided to attempt the first draft of a college-level textbook, writing it directly into my blog, bit by bit. Feedback and recommendations in the thread comments are welcome, either encouraging or critical. The first chapter is a mini-course in … Continue reading

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Why Gay Marriage Is Really Winning

Ed Feser’s Thesis. On gay marriage’s advance to date, the Thomist philosopher Ed Feser writes the following: “How have we descended into such Orwellian insanity?…Part of it has to do with the fact that what is at issue here concerns … Continue reading

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What is Information? A Three Word Definition

The three word definition. The physicist Brian Greene, in his book The Hidden Reality (Knopf 2011), gives the best definition of information I’ve ever encountered: So, you start to ponder. What actually is information, and what does it do? Your … Continue reading

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Who Is Your Neighbor?

Sharing with a stranger–one of the better angels of our nature–is on display in this YouTube: __________ The video is moving, but why is it moving? Why don’t we have similar responses, say, to adult alcoholics who are homeless, cold, … Continue reading

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Which Religion is Best? The Admirable Superhero Criterion

There are five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. They can be judged by any number of criteria. Which one has the most admirable superhero? There are certainly compelling characters in four of the five: Jesus is awesome … Continue reading

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Evolution Outside of the Science Classroom

If you’re a college instructor, and the subject of evolution comes up in a class, and you are not a scientist yourself, what should you say about it to your students? Here are some things that might help you think … Continue reading

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Richard Dawkins and Memes

For being an early and vigorous defender of the theory of evolution by natural selection against its critics, 19th century biologist Julian Huxley became known as “Darwin’s bulldog.” In the late 20th and early 21st century, the sinewy and quick-witted … Continue reading

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The New Hitler Youth of India

With India’s rise on the global stage, it would seem valuable to know the attitudes of its most elite educated teenagers, and Dilip D’Sousa at the Daily Beast reports that a not inconsiderable number of them harbor fascist sentiments: My … Continue reading

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What’s the Central Question in Nietzsche?

In interview with David Wolf, Nietzsche scholar Brian Leiter offers his view: [I]f there’s a central question in Nietzsche it’s the one he takes over from Schopenhauer – namely, how is it possible to justify life in the face of … Continue reading

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The Religious Crisis at the Heart of the Occupy Movement

Notice the religious dimension that was present in 1960s protests, but absent in the Occupy movement. Martin Luther King had Jesus to appeal to, a readily recognizable symbol in our culture of two key things: the receiving of suffering; and … Continue reading

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Humanism vs. Nihilism: Has the Occupy Movement Gotten Away from Chris Hedges’ Nonviolent Vision for It?

From its inception, Chris Hedges has been a key intellectual supporting the Occupy movement, and he sees its lineage in the nonviolent tradition of Tolstoy, Thoreau, Gandhi, and King: absorb blows without returning them. This (presumably) arouses the conscience of … Continue reading

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Mao Luther King?

I don’t like the look or feel of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. For one, he looks fat, and he wasn’t particularly fat. And there’s something weirdly Maoist about it—a throwback to 20th century communist … Continue reading

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Is Atheism the New Normal?

Recently perusing a back issue of The New Yorker (from May 21, 2007), I noticed an article by Anthony Gottlieb on post-9-11 atheism titled “Atheists with Attitude” (77-80), the conclusion of which I found arresting: [O]ne can venture conservative estimates … Continue reading

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The Seven Atheist Denials: God, the Self, the Soul, Immortality, Free Will, the Good, and You’re Never Really Alone

It’s often said that atheism is no more than the rejection of belief in gods, and, on a strict definition, this is true. But there are six other things that also tend to go with this rejection, and they ought to … Continue reading

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Talking about Love Some More

It seems to me that George Harrison’s song, “Within You, Without You,” says a lot of true things in a short space. Here are the lyrics: We were talking about the space between us all, and the people who hide … Continue reading

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What Is The Universe? And What Should We Be Doing In It?

My guess is that the universe may be the mind of God calculating—then presenting the sums, before the witness of consciousness, in four dimensions (height, width, depth, and time). The universe, as it were, is the ones and zeroes made flesh; God’s search … Continue reading

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Confidence Fail: The Four Confidences and Atheism

It occurs to me that life turns on four confidences, three of which atheists and agnostics simply do not possess. If one wonders why so few people are atheists and agnostics, a big part of the puzzle may lie hidden here. … Continue reading

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The Theist’s Hell vs. The Atheist’s Hell: Which is Worse for Children to Learn About?

Startling the mind of a child (or a vulnerable adult) with threats of hell is manipulative and, yes, even abusive. I see no sense in denying it. But there is a premise that underlies the condemnation of hell preaching that deserves scrutiny: … Continue reading

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What I Believe, and What Islam Teaches

On Wednesday, I’m scheduled to interview an American imam. But I’m a member of the doubting community, not any faith community, which means that I trace my intellectual lineage to people like these: Rene Descartes. Descartes made the first principle of his life, … Continue reading

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