Category Archives: Philosophy

Grokking Our Disagreements

I finally got around to reading Robert Heinlein’s science fiction novel Starship Troopers. When I was growing up, I read two or three science fiction novels a week. How I missed Starship Troopers, I don’t know. And one of my … Continue reading

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The Lowered Expectations Dating Service

Utopian schemes try to create a perfect society. They usually cause more suffering than they cure. It’s a bad bargain. Moreover, people seldom agree on what a perfect society would be like. No matter how good it is or in … Continue reading

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You See What You Expect

Why do smart, sane, honest people sometimes disagree no matter how hard they try to find the truth? Name an issue: Abortion Feminism Immigration Islam President Trump Racism My friends and I often have stark disagreements about those issues. But … Continue reading

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History Bends Toward Chaos

Many people say that “the arc of history bends toward justice.” Pardon my French, but ce n’est pas vrai: It’s not true. It’s the opposite of the truth. If there is going to be justice in our world, we have … Continue reading

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Trick or Treat

Is it okay to “trick people” for their own good? That question comes up early in John Staddon’s book The New Behaviorism. I’ve just started reading it, and it’s a thought-provoking analysis. Behaviorism is a psychological approach that, true to … Continue reading

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Tolerance or Violence?

A friend and I recently had a rational debate about abortion. Yes, rational debate is possible, even about touchy subjects. Neither of us convinced the other, but we understand each other better. Perhaps even more important, we confirmed that disagreement … Continue reading

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What’s at Issue in the Abortion Debate

Abortion isn’t exactly a “third rail” of American politics, since people yell about it all the time. But it is a third rail of rational discussion. Many people have dogmatic beliefs about it and they react with blind rage to … Continue reading

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