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Tag Archives: nihilism
__________ Once you perceive that you are flung into a cosmos in which God is dead (or silent), and your ultimate questions are unlikely ever to be answered, it’s time to stop worrying about who or where you are really—what the truth is—and just, say, make lion-man totems … Continue reading
If you think about it, we respond to whatever arises into consciousness with desire, aversion, or neutrality. And the things that appear to consciousness are always in flux: they arise, they ripen, they decline from attention and disappear. Then others … Continue reading
Numerous parts of President Obama’s speech at Newtown on Sunday pricked me, but the following was especially jarring: Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? […] There’s only one thing we can be … Continue reading
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
After watching, dumbfounded, “When Mitt Romney Came to Town“—the 28 minute documentary on Mitt Romney’s shenanigans at Bain Capital (the one put out by Newt Gingrich’s wealthy friends), I think Romney’s campaign theme song should be Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let … Continue reading
The Islamist group that calls itself “Boko Haram”—northern Hausa language, meaning “Western learning is sinful”—and that blew up Catholics at a Christmas service yesterday, is described in the following manner by Reuters: The shadowy group from Nigeria’s Muslim north, blamed for … Continue reading
Just as Unitarianism is the featherbed for catching the falling Christian (Erasmus Darwin), humanism is the featherbed for catching the falling atheist. What humanism functions to conceal for the squeamish atheist and agnostic (and I am one of those squeamish agnostics) is … Continue reading
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
A “bump” in the data generated at Fermilab has the physics world buzzing. The following is in the New York Times today: “Nobody knows what this is,” said Christopher Hill, a theorist at Fermilab who was not part of the team. “If … Continue reading
R. Joseph Hoffmann, an atheist himself and the author or editor of numerous academic books—including Jesus in History and Myth (Prometheus Books 1986)—thinks so, writing at his blog recently the following: The mode of critique [by New Atheists] is lodged somewhere … Continue reading
Of all the ink spilled so far over Jared Loughner’s shooting in the head of a Jewish congresswoman, Gabriella Giffords, the Mother Jones interview with Loughner’s long time friend, Bryce Tierne, is, I think, most illuminating, particularly with regard to Loughner’s underlying obsessions: … Continue reading
It means that life didn’t have to be—it was an accident—and yet here we all are. Our existence is neither inherently necessary or meaningful. Welcome! Now, as human beings, what do we do? Well, we can try to take the incoherence of … Continue reading
Harper’s website has a fascinating interview with C. Bradley Thompson on neoconservatism and his new book (with Yaron Brook) about it. Although, in the interview, the phrase “Herderian nationalism” is not used for neoconservatism by Thompson, he strongly implies that this is exactly what … Continue reading
Below are a few excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Circles” (1841). In this essay he likens the creative artist’s framing imagination to something like the growing layers of an onion building themselves over the dark inner depths of the ontological mystery. Emerson’s thesis is in his … Continue reading
I think that Richard Rorty is right about this, but it’s a bit jarring to read it stated so directly and matter-of-factly. The quote comes from Rorty’s essay, “Kant vs. Dewey” (in the last collection of his papers, Philosophy as Cultural … Continue reading