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Tag Archives: Psychology
A Tool’s Got to Know Its Limitations
What do DNA, psychological questionnaires, and my new car have in common? DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule in which plants and animals encode the basic characteristics of their bodies. It’s what makes a rose a rose instead of a … Continue reading
Oh Say, Kin You See?
Football player Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the American national anthem. And people on all sides of the political spectrum went nuts. Why? The most obvious reason is that they either endorse or dispute his complaint: “I am not … Continue reading
Posted in Human Relations, Political Science, Psychology, Society Tagged American Flag, Evolution, In-Group, Kaepernick, Kin Selection, National Anthem, Psychology, Tribal behavior, Tribe Leave a comment
Can Truth and Niceness Coexist?
Suppose that Joe believes he’s a parakeet. Is that okay? It depends. If Joe goes to work, obeys the law, fulfills his responsibilities, and doesn’t drive people nuts by making bird noises, then I’d say it’s okay. The belief makes … Continue reading
Posted in Human Relations, Philosophy, Psychology Tagged Delusions, Mental Illness, Pragmatism, Psychology, Psychology of Belief 6 Comments
Respect the Other Person
When you disagree with someone, how can you keep the argument focused on the issues? You don’t want to get sidetracked, and you especially don’t want the discussion to turn into a screaming match. The previous blog post (“How to … Continue reading
God’s Silent Speech — and Ours
My latest blog post for The Jerusalem Post: What exactly is “the word of God?” And can it teach us about happiness and tolerance? Jewish Studies scholar Shaul Magid doesn’t address the second question in “The Word of God is … Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, Jewish Philosophy, Judaism, The Jerusalem Post Tagged Attitude, Bible, Coffee, Creation, Genesis, God speaks, Ontology, Positive attitude, Psychology, The Next Voice You Hear 1 Comment
Do You Want to Believe?
My latest blog post for The Jewish Journal: After a bitterly divisive election season, there’s one question on everyone’s mind: “How can people possibly believe that?” What “that” is depends on who’s doing the talking. It means one thing to … Continue reading
Posted in Judaism, Philosophy, The Jewish Journal Tagged Belief, Debate, Disagreement, Election, Jonathan Haidt, Politics, Psychology, Sociology of Belief, The Righteous Mind, WEIRD values 1 Comment
Morality Needs Both Logic and Feeling
My new blog post for The Jerusalem Post: As a child, I was a big “Star Trek” fan. I never wanted to be like Captain Kirk. The world was full of Kirk wannabes. My hero was Mr. Spock: stoic, brilliant, … Continue reading
Posted in Jewish Philosophy, Judaism, Philosophy, The Jerusalem Post Tagged Adam Smith, B.F. Skinner, Descartes' Error, Ethics, Feeling, Heschel, Hillel, Logic, Moral judgment, Morality, Mr. Spock, Psychology, Star Trek 1 Comment
The Weirdest Torah Theory You Never Heard
My latest blog post for The Jewish Journal: It’s a weird theory about the Torah. You’ve never heard of it. And it’s really a thing. Of course, you’ve heard of other theories. The documentary hypothesis says that ancient editors assembled … Continue reading
Spinoza on the Couch
My latest blog post for The Jerusalem Post: I’ve spent a lot of my life dealing with crazy people, including myself. “Crazy,” of course, has various definitions, though it’s not the topic of this blog post. My favorite definition was … Continue reading
How to Think About Transgenderism
My new blog post for The Jerusalem Post: In a scene from an old Monty Python movie, a mother has just given birth. She asks the doctor, “Is it a boy or a girl?” He replies, “I think it’s a … Continue reading