Category Archives: Philosophy

The Declaration’s Missing Word

Many recent social conflicts might have been avoided if the American Declaration of Independence had added one simple word. The Declaration’s second paragraph states the political ideals on which it was based: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that … Continue reading

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Utopia’s Biggest Problem

Blogger Marcus Ampe has written a thoughtful essay about utopianism. But he’s realistic about the impossibility of creating a perfect society. He wants, instead, to think about ways we can make society better. That’s a practical goal for which we … Continue reading

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Intimidation Is Not Argument

One aspect of civilized behavior is that we try to settle disputes by rational argument, not by violence and coercion. Sadly, many people don’t know how to make a rational argument. Their first choice is to use the “argumentum ad … Continue reading

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In Defense of Misguided People

Misguided people are all around us. Of course, which people we call misguided depends on how misguided we are, ourselves. So I want to say a few words in defense of misguided people. They might not know the facts I … Continue reading

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Why Beliefs Divide Us

Why do beliefs divide us? This will sound like a joke, but it’s the truth: Beliefs divide us because it’s part of their job. We usually think of beliefs simply as being about facts: Two plus two equals four. Flowers … Continue reading

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Why People Are Not Things

Is it ever justified to treat people unequally? Before you try to answer, notice something about the question: It’s not a factual question. It doesn’t ask what is, but what ought to be. We might include facts in our answer, but … Continue reading

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Two Beliefs That Don’t Conflict

Some beliefs are inconsistent with each other. If you hold one of the beliefs, then you can’t hold the other. For example: The number 5 is less than the number 10. The number 5 is not less than the number … Continue reading

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Is Cosplay the Same as Reality?

You might think it’s a joke, but I have a few serious questions. To me, the answers are obvious, but they’re obviously not obvious to everyone. “Cosplay” (costume play) means dressing up as a fictional character. Some people earn a … Continue reading

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Free Yourself and Live

“You have at least nine months. Perhaps as much as eighteen.” “The first doctor gave me from one to two years.” “I hope he’s right. What are you going to do?” “Well, I have no family. I haven’t taken a … Continue reading

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Ideas That Have Harmed Humanity

The British philosopher and Nobel laureate (for literature) Bertrand Russell once wrote an essay titled “Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind.” Of course, when he wrote the essay in 1931, nobody would have taken offense at the word “mankind.” But we … Continue reading

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