Tag Archives: Philosophy

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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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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Making Peace with “the Passions”

“But what about the passions?” It was another philosophy class in college. We were discussing some abstruse intellectual topic. And my classmate Dave was interjecting — again — a lot of irrelevant chatter about “the passions.” The passions were a … Continue reading

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Morality is Choice

“You didn’t listen to me. You made a choice.” Continue reading

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You Can’t Prove God — and It Doesn’t Matter

“You can’t prove God’s existence. And it doesn’t matter.” Continue reading

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Truth in All Its Varieties

Is truth always the same thing, or are there different kinds of truth? Continue reading

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Turning Around Spinoza’s Challenge

By N.S. Palmer Spinoza meant it as a taunt. But it might hold one of the keys to Jewish survival. Depending on where you sit, Baruch de Spinoza is either the founder of modern Jewish philosophy or Judaism’s deadliest critic. … Continue reading

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Is It Reason or Revelation?

By N.S. Palmer Apart from goofy statements made by individual philosophers, philosophy has a pretty good reputation. It uses logic, cites evidence, and presents comprehensible arguments that you can accept or reject on their merits. On the other hand, religious revelation has … Continue reading

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Where You Stand Depends on Where You Start

By N.S. Palmer We like to think that we base our beliefs only on logic and evidence, but we don’t. Don’t worry. It’s not just you. Or me. Nobody does. If we start with different assumptions, we interpret evidence differently. Based on those different interpretations, … Continue reading

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You’re Doing It Backward

By N.S. Palmer You’re doing it backward. Well, maybe not you, but a lot of people. They’re doing it backward, according to Saadia Gaon (882 – 942 CE), the Jewish philosopher who updated Aristotle for the 10th century. Most people … Continue reading

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