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Tag Archives: meaning
God didn’t prevent the Holocaust, but we would have. And God didn’t prevent the 2004 Christmas tsunami that killed over 100,000 people, but we would have. And Nature doesn’t care if death is the engine of evolution, but we do. … Continue reading
Autonomy, mastery, and meaning are bigger motivators than money. Author Dan Pink explains:
Via the Daily Beast today: “It sucks. Mentally I’m young. But you cannot stop the body from aging. Someone like myself despises the thought of death. I have a real problem with that. And after you run up the stairs … Continue reading
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
Art, by my definition, is a report of what the lightning said. It’s bound up with the ontological mystery (the mystery of being itself); an artist’s attempt to represent to others an experience of that mystery (what it feels like … Continue reading
David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.” … Continue reading
The self-made soul? Do you make a soul as an author makes a novel, one moment of awareness at a time?
I’m not sure what, exactly, the soul is (“I am that I am?”), but I do think I’m closing in, at least for myself, on what the soul does. Here’s the theory I’m working with. Please help me refine it if you think I’m missing something … Continue reading
Below I offer what I would call “the thirteen missing explanatory links” in the atheist v. theist debate. To my mind they constitute the most intractable problems for anyone trying to arrive at some sort of worldview coherence (whether you … Continue reading
What is the proper response to this burning, bleeding, milk secreting, honey babbling world? It seems to me that the range of responses are pretty limited, and can be boiled down to six plausible options: acceptance and celebration (go with the flow) … Continue reading
Visually echoing Charles Darwin’s famous description of life as a great interconnected tree, below is the image of a trunk and branches in which an artist has carved animals. And beside it is a more traditional depiction of the Tree of Life, … Continue reading
In a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt, Christopher Hitchens contrasts dying in a heroic cause with dying from a terminal disease (which, via Hitchens’s esophageal cancer, he may be doing): But it [dying in a good cause] avoids the boring thought that one is … Continue reading
What is it, really, that separates the atheist from the agnostic? I would argue that the ultimate dividing line between the atheist and the agnostic is over the issue of mystery. For the atheist, the ontological mystery—the mystery of being—is merely an … Continue reading
Lama Surya Das says that the Buddha represents “the fullest actualized potential of human beings.” My six-year-old daughter’s response: “This is wrong!”
In an essay at the Huffington Post today, Buddhist author Lama Surya Das characterizes in this way what the meditating stone Buddha in your spring garden symbolizes: The Buddha is actually an archetype representing enlightenment, an icon symbolizing inner wisdom, a pointer … Continue reading
William Carlos Williams’s famous poetic motto was “no ideas but in things,” but as someone who loves philosophy as well as poetry, I like what Elisa Gabbert recently wrote: Here’s what I’d like to see more of in submissions: IDEAS. … Continue reading
In her essay “Greek Tragicomedy” (1964), I think that University of Colorado existentialist philosopher Hazel Barnes summed up human existence rather nicely in just a couple of sentences: [M]an’s imaginative reach transcends his actual capabilities. The goal he attains is never quite the … Continue reading
The New York Times today provides an interesting “history-in-a-nutshell” perspective on the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC): Particle colliders get their magic from Einstein’s equation of mass and energy. The more energy that these machines can pack into their little … Continue reading
What do we really know about clouds and rainbows, let alone love and free will? To speak of them, scientifically or otherwise (including poetically), is like using chopsticks to drink the ocean. Our instruments seem inadequate to the scale of our task, and somehow … Continue reading