Tag Archives: Social Conflict

Don’t “Other” Other People

Most people aren’t familiar with the idea of “othering,” but they are familiar with what it is. They’ve seen it. They’ve done it to other people, and they’ve had it done to them. To “other” a group of people is … Continue reading

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Minding Our Own Business

I’m pretty sure that the Dalai Lama quote is fake, but it’s still true. “Not my effing problem” can be a path not only to inner peace, but also to social peace. Think for a moment about what it means … Continue reading

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Why Are People So Mean on the Internet?

(Originally written for The Jewish Journal, published on August 16, 2016.) Why are people so mean on the Internet? Political polarization is sad, but it’s not the problem. Every day, we encounter people who disagree with us, but we do … 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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The Costs of Forbidden Thoughts

“Truth has nothing to fear from open discussion and debate: in fact, they are its closest allies.” 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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The Hidden Cause of Our Disagreement

Note: This blog post explains one cause of society’s basic disagreements. It is not intended to denigrate anyone on either side of the argument. It’s obvious which side I favor, but I’ve done my best to be fair. There’s a … Continue reading

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How to Get a Healthy Society

In my previous blog post (“What’s Your Choice?”), I said that the main question of morality is not “what’s right or wrong” but “what kind of people we choose to be.” At first glance, that statement seems absurd, bordering on … Continue reading

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Bulletproof Happiness: What You Control

You can achieve bulletproof happiness. But you need to know something first: Bulletproof vests make you look fat. In other words, there are trade offs. And you need to know something else: Bulletproof vests don’t make you invulnerable. In other … Continue reading

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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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