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Tag Archives: Socrates
On hearing of Christopher Hitchens’s death this morning, my first thoughts went to something he had once said as a play on Socrates: The unlived life is not worth examining. Christopher Hitchens lived a life worth examining. May his future … Continue reading
A quote doesn’t get more profound than this, so I’ll post it twice (so that you’ll read it twice). It comes from the French philosopher, Andre Glucksmann: Socrates’s uncertainty revealed a rupture that gave birth to philosophy. The divine word is … Continue reading
At Commentary’s website this week, Peter Wehner appeals to his fellow conservatives to find, in themselves, a greater habit of civility, and resist the temptation to always confront one’s opposition in a spirit of relentless ridicule, dismissiveness, and ad hominem. What struck me in … Continue reading
At TruthDig last week, Chris Hedges reported on his interview with Noam Chomsky. Here’s what Chomsky told Hedges about the importance of critical thinking: “I try to encourage people to think for themselves, to question standard assumptions,” Chomsky said when … Continue reading
Rhetorical Honey v. Rhetorical Vinegar: Jerry Coyne in the Light of Thomas Paine and Martha Nussbaum
Rhetorical honey v. rhetorical vinegar? Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne thinks that atheists shouldn’t be shy about what they believe, guarding the feelings of religious believers. As an agnostic, do I think that he is he right? I think that he is. … Continue reading
Here’s my list of reasons for blogging: Contingency. Blogging is a rather pure way of embracing contingency (chance). Like dropping a marble down a pachinko machine, I put a random thought out into the world and see what associations it provokes in me and anyone … Continue reading
It’s hard to live in the world. Suffering happens. Then more suffering happens. Then you die. In the face of these facts, Albert Camus wrote that the first question of philosophy is suicide. But if you’re not going to do … Continue reading
I wouldn’t mind the atheist tag—if that is what I was. Atheism has a more than respectable intellectual pedigree and it has brought enormous levels of freedom and intellectual intelligence into the world. I wouldn’t want to be in a … Continue reading
If “God is dead,” the madman in Nietzsche’s The Joyful Wisdom (1882) asks this question: Do we not now wander through an endless nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come … Continue reading
“FAMILIES in crisis that are preyed upon by charlatans with faith magic and false solutions”: A Scary Scene from the Film “Poltergeist”—with an Ironic Admonition to Use CRITICAL THINKING
As we head into a recession (or worse) a lot of religious charlatans will be out preying upon people who are hitting bottom—and bamboozling them with thought magic, simplistic reasoning, and threats of hell. This scene (from the movie Poltergeist) has long … Continue reading
“And if I claim to be a wise man, well, it surely means that I don’t know”: Socratic Skepticism in a Kansas Song (1976)
Rising above the noise and confusion of the herd—to other noises and other confusions?:
From Plato’s Apology (Socrates speaking): “I am wiser than this man: neither of us knows anything that is really worth knowing, but he thinks that he has knowledge when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think … Continue reading
The Significance of The “Gabriel Revelation” Tablet—Explained Through an Imaginary Dialogue Between Socrates and a Student
Student: Why, exactly, is the recently discovered “Gabriel Revelation” tablet supposedly so important to our understanding of Christian origins? If some people were already thinking, a generation before Jesus, about Isaiah 53 in messianic terms, why is this such a big … Continue reading
Here are the last fourteen lines of William Blake’s “The Everlasting Gospel”: The Vision of Christ that thou dost see Is my Vision’s Greatest Enemy. Thine has a great hook nose like thine; Mine has a snub nose like to … Continue reading
The British actor Peter Ustinov, who died in 2004, made this rather astute observation: Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them. The quote is taken from Jack Huberman’s The Quotable Atheist, p.306. The way I read the quote is that … Continue reading