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Keyword: philosophy

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  • Does the Arc of History Bend Towards Tyranny? An Excerpt from Michael Walsh’s New Book.

    08/19/2015 6:27:05 AM PDT · by fredericbastiat1 · 5 replies ^ | 2015-08-19 | Ben Weingarten
    Michael Walsh’s new book The Devil’s Pleasure Palace is pivotal in its explication of how poor and purely evil ideas have subverted America, and eaten away at the pillars of Western civilization. While we often hear the refrain “ideas have consequences,” too frequently we attribute the decline of the American system to politics or particular political figures, while giving the power of ideas short thrift. But as Walsh’s important work illustrates, ideas are everything, and if you lose the war of them you lose all of the other battles too. One such idea that has trumped to date deals with...
  • Unlawful Union: How “Gay Marriage” Has Conquered America

    07/19/2015 1:10:31 PM PDT · by markomalley · 13 replies
    Institute for Catholic Culture ^ | 7/16/15 | Robert Reilly
    Why are Americans being forced to consider homosexual acts as morally acceptable? Why has the US Supreme Court accepted the validity of same-sex “marriage,” which, until a decade ago, was unheard of in the history of Western or any other civilization? Where has the “gay rights” movement come from, and how has it so easily conquered America? This is a recording of two lectures given on 7/9 and 7/16 at St Mary of the Sorrows Catholic Church in Fairfax, VA. It examines, from an Aristotelean perspective, the philosophical shortcomings of the culture that led to the insanity of the Obergefell...
  • Random thoughts on July 3, 2015 (Vanity)

    07/03/2015 9:25:27 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    vanity | 7-3-15 | self
    Vanity: Random thoughts on July 3, 2015 What has happened to our society when a tiny minority of outspoken folks can mess with our language and redefine words at will? Furthermore, what will happen to the word of law? 1) First, there was the definition of "is”. Remember that? Depends upon what the meaning of is is. A convoluted excuse, if I ever heard one. 2) Even before that, there was the word “gay”, which (over a generation) morphed from a happy word with pleasant, cheerful connotations to one that means homosexual, with all the negatives associated. Gay used to...
  • Einstein vs Bergson, Science vs Philosophy and the Meaning of Time

    06/28/2015 3:47:07 AM PDT · by lbryce · 34 replies ^ | June 24, 2015 | Joe Gelonsi
    When Henri met Albert the stars didn’t quite align; nor did their clocks. Jimena Canales, historian of science, tells Joe Gelonesi about her discovery of an explosive 20th century debate that changed our view of time and destroyed a reputation.Physicists and philosophers have a curious relationship. They both need each other for the cosmic dance, but one partner sometimes refuses to join in. Star physicist Stephen Hawking even declared the end of philosophy in 2011. In some ways the pronouncement was to be expected; physics triumphalism dictates that at some point philosophy will exhaust itself and be unable to solve...
  • The Soul, Its Burdens, and the Path to Restoration (Part 5)PODCAST

    06/10/2015 8:22:09 PM PDT · by Making_Sense [Rob W. Case]
    Podcast Garden ^ | 6/10/2015 | Rob W. Case
    In this episode, we pick up where we last left off on the concept joy, and what it has done (promising you what it can do) for people who truly find it in the Lord. Then, we discuss how God provides restoration to the soul, showing us, through personal experience, how he accommodates, aides, and provides purpose, and companionship, satisfying (and completing) our soul’s overall longings and yearnings, as we have discussed throughout this series. (The program can be accessed by clicking on the "Source" link, or by clicking HERE.)
  • What's the Basis for Disbelief that there is a Human Nature?

    05/29/2015 5:08:28 PM PDT · by CharlesOConnell · 11 replies
    Freep | 5/29/2015 | Charles O'Connell
    What if I decided I'm tired of paying $3.50 a gallon for gas, I'm just going to fill up with the garden hose? I'm perfectly free to do that, but somehow the car's designer might not think that's such a great idea. How do we decide if there is a plan on which we're based? Disbelief in a human nature is usually accompanied by belief that we can alter our wiring just by pretending or believing that it's so. What a poor god I am, with the world in such a mess, it must just be my fault for not...
  • What's the Basis for Disbelief that there is a Human Nature?

    05/29/2015 6:25:22 AM PDT · by CharlesOConnell · 7 replies
    Freep | 5/29/2015 | Charles O'Connell
    What if I decided I'm tired of paying $3.50 a gallon for gas, I'm just going to fill up with the garden hose? I'm perfectly free to do that, but somehow the car's designer might not think that's such a great idea. How do we decide if there is a plan on which we're based? Disbelief in a human nature is usually accompanied by belief that we can alter our wiring just by pretending or believing that it's so. What a poor god I am, with the world in such a mess, it must just be my fault for not...
  • Physicists Are Philosophers, Too

    05/12/2015 6:16:56 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 12 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 5/8/15 | Victor J. Stenger, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian
    Physicists Are Philosophers, Too In his final essay the late physicist Victor Stenger argues for the validity of philosophy in the context of modern theoretical physics By Victor J. Stenger, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian | May 8, 2015 The ongoing feud between physicists and philosophers cuts to the heart of what science can tell us about the nature of reality. EditorÂ’s Note: Shortly before his death last August at the age of 79, the noted physicist and public intellectual Victor Stenger worked with two co-authors to pen an article for Scientific American. In it Stenger and co-authors address...
  • What Could Be More Appropriate on Easter? Jerry Coyne Challenges Francis Collins on Metaphysics

    04/06/2015 8:11:24 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 4 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | April 5, 2015 | Michael Egnor
    What Could Be More Appropriate on Easter? Jerry Coyne Challenges Francis Collins on Metaphysics Michael Egnor April 5, 2015 3:15 AM | Permalink National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, who is a devout Christian, did an interview recently with National Geographic about his faith and his science. Predictably, Jerry Coyne, an atheist biologist from the University of Chicago, took exception to some of Collins's answers about the compatibility of faith in God and science. Collins: [Question asked of Collins] Are science and religion compatible?I am privileged to be somebody who tries to understand nature using the tools of science....
  • Why I am Conservative, was never Leftist and am no longer Libertarian

    04/04/2015 10:59:53 AM PDT · by walford · 43 replies
    Facebook ^ | 04/05/2015 | walford
    Leftism [including all forms of collectivism] is a juvenile mentality in which the adherents want what they want and cannot be troubled with limitations and consequences. They think that their unworkable ideas will work if everyone believes in them. Given that it is essentially a belief system that is not amenable to logic, reason or evidence, it is necessarily dogmatic. Those who disagree are a threat; the mere existence of contrary thoughts cannot be tolerated and must be quashed at all costs. And, oddly enough, is a closely related cadre of religious dogmatists who, in their infantile mentality, blasphemously posits...
  • Dawkins Calls Evil Good and Good Evil

    03/30/2015 2:05:32 PM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 17 replies
    Apologetics Press ^ | Jeff Miller
    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). Turning right and wrong upside down is a human habit that goes back thousands of years. Modern times are no different. Famous evolutionary biologist and professor of Oxford University, Richard Dawkins, recently showed his hand in a twitter conversation that has gained media attention. The British Broadcasting Corporation, a public service broadcaster among many others in the United Kingdom, reported that a twitter user said to Dawkins, “I honestly don’t...
  • Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard: The Verdict after Fifty Years

    03/24/2015 8:25:29 AM PDT · by Nelson Hultberg · 28 replies
    Americans for a Free Republic ^ | March 12, 2015 | Nelson Hultberg
    Speech given to Freedom Fest, Las Vegas, NV Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. What I will be discussing in my talk today is the crucial role that the ideas of Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard have played in the defense of liberty and Western civilization. All Americans, well read in political affairs, know of these famous thinkers. They were two of the most powerful and revolutionary intellectuals in the 20th century, contributing many valuable insights to our knowledge of philosophy, politics, and economics. As with most intellectual rebels, their major ideas about freedom and government were highly controversial. What I...
  • Common Core Teaches a Big Fat Lie

    03/17/2015 2:25:43 PM PDT · by lifeofgrace · 21 replies
    Charting Course ^ | 3/17/15 | Steve Berman
    The Left has its own Da Vinci Code, a secret woven into the fabric of its power, shrouded by layers of intrigue, and defended to the death by secret societies pledged to its eternal preservation. Here it is, exposed: Science = TruthPhilosophy = Opinion And it’s as wrong today as it was in Plato’s day. If the fictional Robert Langdon stumbled onto the Church’s hidden legend in Dan Brown’s novel, then all-too-real associate professor of philosophy Justin McBrayer, has vitiated the Left’s Necronomicon in his New York Times piece, “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts.” As a...
  • The Ark of Freedom

    02/10/2015 8:28:34 PM PST · by Nelson Hultberg · 8 replies
    Americans for a Free Republic ^ | 02/09/2015 | Nelson Hultberg
    There is only one hope to stop the tyrannical rot of statism stealing over our country. We must challenge the Democrat-Republican monopoly of politics that foments the rot. Is this being redundant? Heard all this before? Perhaps, but our most defiant Founding Father, Samuel Adams, was very redundant in his pursuit of justice. He told his fellows repeatedly: “It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” Irate and tireless are what’s important here. We can save our country only if we patriots (who are...
  • What Mario Cuomo got wrong on abortion

    01/06/2015 3:30:45 PM PST · by presidio9 · 44 replies
    The Week ^ | January 5, 2015 | W. James Antle III
    Mario Cuomo was never the presidential candidate Democrats dreamed of. But the three-term New York governor was long an eloquent spokesman for American liberalism. "You campaign in poetry," he memorably told The New Republic. "You govern in prose." And you can be wrong in both. In 1984, the same year gave Cuomo gave a stirring keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, he delivered a speech at Notre Dame University in which he attempted to reconcile his Catholic faith with his support for legal — indeed, taxpayer-funded — abortion. The essence of Cuomo's argument was that abortion rights and religious...
  • What Does “Happy New Year” Even Really Mean? (Physics: is time real?)

    12/20/2014 7:58:27 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 27 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | January 2015 | Sean M. Carroll
    When Albert Einstein’s good friend Michele Besso died in 1955, just a few weeks before Einstein’s own death, Einstein wrote a letter to Besso’s family in which he put forward a scientist’s consolation: “This is not important. For us who are convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” The idea that time is an illusion is an old one, predating any Times Square ball drop or champagne celebrations. It reaches back to the days of Heraclitus and Parmenides, pre-Socratic thinkers who are staples of introductory philosophy courses. Heraclitus argued that the primary...
  • 2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past

    12/10/2014 3:59:19 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 22 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 12/8/14 | Lee Billings
    2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past New theories suggest the big bang was not the beginning, and that we may live in the past of a parallel universe December 8, 2014 |By Lee Billings In the evolution of cosmic structure, is entropy or gravity the more dominant force? The answer to this question has deep implications for the universe's future, as well as its past. Credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, University of California, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 TeamPhysicists have a problem with time.   Whether through Newton’s gravitation, Maxwell’s...
  • Marquette University's Anti-philosophical Philosophy Instructor

    11/25/2014 5:08:07 PM PST · by GreyFriar · 14 replies
    American Thinker ^ | November 25, 2014 | Arnold Cusmariu
    As a former academic, headlines describing what appear to be questionable policies or practices in institutions of higher learning usually get my attention. When the fine print implicates a philosophy department, a subject I used to teach, I take a close look. Now, suppose you are an undergraduate at a large, private Catholic university that is one of the 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. You decide to enroll in a course given by the philosophy department that will explore the intersection between ethical theories and contemporary controversies -- a course of the sort I...
  • CU-Boulder to pay philosophy professor Brad Monton $185K to resign

    11/22/2014 5:54:09 PM PST · by george76 · 12 replies
    Boulder Daily Camera ^ | 11/21/2014 | Sarah Kuta
    Prof under investigation for violating amorous relationship policy. The University of Colorado has agreed to pay philosophy professor Brad Monton $120,000 plus the rest of his salary for the academic year — about $65,000 — in exchange for his resignation. Monton's departure, which Chancellor Phil DiStefano termed "a business decision," comes during a year of turmoil for the Boulder campus' philosophy department, which has been accused of creating a culture that's perceived to be unfriendly to women. Monton had been under investigation for potentially violating the university's amorous relationship policy with students, CU officials confirmed. Both Monton and CU deny...
  • God Exists – I Can Prove It! Pt. 2

    11/15/2014 10:13:39 PM PST · by GonzoII · 6 replies
    Tim Staples' Blog ^ | September 18, 2014 | Tim Staples
    God Exists – I Can Prove It! Pt. 2 In my last blog post, we pretty much nailed the idea that the universe has a beginning. And if it has a beginning, it must have a Beginner who is omnipotent.In a recent discussion with an atheist, however, I got an interesting retort at this point:Just because there was a “beginning” of this universe of ours, does not mean there could not have been other universes before ours. Moreover, how do you know there are not parallel universes to ours and that ours came from one or more of them? Or,...
  • In a Multiverse, What Are the Odds?

    11/04/2014 1:05:26 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 31 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 11/3/14 | Natalie Wolchover and Peter Byrne
    If modern physics is to be believed, we shouldn’t be here. The meager dose of energy infusing empty space, which at higher levels would rip the cosmos apart, is a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times tinier than theory predicts. And the minuscule mass of the Higgs boson, whose relative smallness allows big structures such as galaxies and humans to form, falls roughly 100 quadrillion times short of expectations. Dialing up either of these constants even a little would render the universe unlivable. To account for our incredible luck, leading cosmologists like Alan Guth and...
  • Conservatives, Categorize Thyself: (chart)

    11/03/2014 5:29:30 AM PST · by Reaganite Republican · 30 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 03 November 2014 | Reaganite Republican
    Found this on twitter over the weekend, credited to some spam website I'm not going to link. However, I did find the graphic clarifying and amusing, while seemingly accurate in it's definitions... I -as with many of you, I'm sure- fall-in somewhere around  'modern conservatism' (purple line)... alas, by definition a 'modern' descriptive indicates how relentless the overall expansion of government has been over the long run... and how many times we've been forced back to a new, more defensible position. But has there ever been historical examples of purely 'Voluntarist' societies, even on a local level? Perhaps some Indian...
  • UKRAINE: "This war...perhaps the beginning of our recent human history" Anatoly Kalyuzhniy

    07/10/2014 6:19:24 AM PDT · by ^ | July 10, 2014, 10:54 | Tatiana MUHOMOROVA
    Anatoly Kalyuzhniy: "This war - it is not only the beginning of the end of Putin, and perhaps the beginning of our recent human history" Interviewed by Tatiana MUHOMOROVA Kaliuzhnyj.jpgPodiyi Square and risky negotiations with the government leaders of the Church have been left behind, giving way to an armed conflict in the East. However, the mission of the Church is only compounded, since religious organizations are trying to help the people during such hardships that have befallen the country. On the prospects of service on the current situation in Russia, the war in the east and on the spiritual...
  • Since When Does Federalism Contain an Exemption for Internet Gaming?

    03/26/2014 11:14:40 AM PDT · by 54fighting · 13 replies
    Human Events ^ | 3/26/14 | Neil McCabe
    As states like New Jersey, where it is now legal, and Massachusetts, where there is a move to legalize online gaming, Adelson is convinced that online gambling competes with his brick-and-mortar poker rooms. To this end, he is calling on the Congress, and specifically his Republican friends, to outlaw his competition. The ask has put Republicans in a precarious situation where they are forced to choose between philosophical principles, like federalism, and their opposition to crony capitalism against the obligation to hear out and support Adelson. Texas Gov. J. Richard “Rick” Perry, for instance, was once one of the leading...
  • Philosopher Who Gave the New Atheists Their Theoretical Foundations Became Convinced that God Exists

    01/24/2014 7:51:27 PM PST · by Enza Ferreri · 30 replies
    Enza Ferreri Blog ^ | 29 December 2013 | Enza Ferreri
    British professor Antony Flew wrote over thirty philosophical works which established the foundations for atheism for half a century. His 1950 paper "Theology and Falsification" was the most reprinted philosophical publication of the 20th century. In December 2004 Flew announced in a symposium and subsequent video that he had completely changed his view and now, based on scientific evidence, believed that God exists. In 2007 he wrote the book There Is a God (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , subtitled How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. This is the man without whose ideas the various Richard Dawkins,...
  • Barbara Branden, RIP

    12/12/2013 5:34:37 PM PST · by Raymann · 12 replies
    Reason ^ | Dec. 12, 2013 | Brian Doherty
    Barbara Branden, the first biographer of Ayn Rand with her penetrating and humanizing The Passion of Ayn Rand (1986), has died at age 84. Branden and her then-husband Nathaniel Branden were Rand's closest associates and friends during the years she finished writing Atlas Shrugged and the years when the Nathaniel Branden Institute began teaching the principles of Rand's Objectivism in lecture form to a wider world.
  • Edward T. Oakes, R.I.P. [Ecumenical]

    12/07/2013 6:37:44 AM PST · by sitetest · 5 replies
    First Things ^ | December 6, 2013 | David Mills
    Father Edward Oakes, S.J., distinguished theologian, gifted writer and teacher, generous ecumenist, and our friend, has died, of pancreatic cancer, at 8:00 this morning. The announcement from the Academy of Catholic Theology, of which Father Oakes was president, reports: Father Oakes entered the Society of Jesus in 1966, and was ordained a priest in 1979. He received his doctorate in theology from Union Theological Seminary in 1987. He taught at New York University, Regis University, and Mundelein Seminary, where he was deeply loved and valued by his colleagues, students, and indeed everyone on the staff as well.
  • Is Ought

    08/16/2013 4:21:12 PM PDT · by Enza Ferreri · 4 replies
    The is–ought problem or is-ought gap, also called "Hume's Law" and "Hume's Guillotine" after the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume who first fomulated it, simply states that from "is" we cannot logically deduce "ought", that is, from the knowledge of reality we cannot derive moral choices, from facts we cannot deduce values.Hume's Law is still undisputed today, and nobody has ever found a way to successfully challenge it.One of its major consequences is that from science we cannot deduce ethics.Science can only be used to put into practice desiderata that we have arrived at by other means, i.e. moral...
  • The Main criteria on which to judge a Culture ~ Vanity

    08/09/2013 11:28:11 AM PDT · by GraceG · 4 replies
    There is one main criteria on which to judge a culture and it is very simple: Any culture in which the older generation doesn't push the younger generation to better themselves intellectually and pushes them to suceeed more than themselves is by defintion a degenerate culture. That is all, simple effective and infuriating to all liberals and their PC bullshit crap.
  • Subhumanism: The West's New Philosophy

    07/23/2013 11:56:24 AM PDT · by Pyro7480 · 16 replies
    Aleteia ^ | July 2013 | Jason Jones and John Zmirak
    Here’s an ugly truth you can drop in the punchbowl at your next office party – most Western men and women, including many who consider themselves conventionally religious, treat human beings as subhuman. They accept without reflection theories of human life that reduce us to brainy animals, or let us play at being gods. These theories render suffering meaningless and train us to live as cowards; they teach us to despise the weak but train us in habits of laziness and avoidance; they speak the language of progress while in fact encouraging the lowest of human instincts; they claim to...
  • "Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith"

    07/22/2013 8:45:30 AM PDT · by kimtom · 79 replies ^ | 7/1/2013 | Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
    We openly grant that the accusation represented by the title of this article is true, at least for many individuals today. But not for all. “Blind Faith”—Many Have It What is “blind faith”? What is meant by the accusation? The idea behind “blind faith” is that a person chooses to believe in something or someone (namely, God) without any supporting evidence. The portrait painted in our minds is that of a person who puts on a blindfold and steps up to a ledge. He cannot see what is beyond the ledge. He has no idea how far down the drop...
  • It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Wendy Davis (contrast with woman who saved children in WWII)

    07/06/2013 4:40:08 AM PDT · by NYer · 13 replies
    American Spectator ^ | July 5, 2013 | MARTA H. MOSSBURG
    Wendy Davis is no Kim Kardashian. She is famous for something: standing up for a woman’s right to kill an unborn baby up to 24 weeks old at substandard medical clinics.For this the Democrat from Fort Worth who last week filibustered a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the Texas Senate is the hero of our times. Make that the “superhero” of our times according to Katha Pollitt at the Nation.Who could disagree? “Davis remained standing, unable to take a bathroom break, eat, drink, sit or even lean against a desk,” as Ms. Pollitt wrote. “She was...
  • Thoughts on the 4th of July by Calvin Coolidge

    07/04/2013 10:23:05 PM PDT · by donmeaker · 4 replies
    University of California, Santa Barbara ^ | July 5, 1926 | Calvin Coolidge
    About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from...
  • Reagan in Berlin, June 12, 1987: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

    06/12/2013 10:53:56 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 10 replies
    Multiple links in body of thread
    Twenty-six years ago today, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall.And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control. Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the...
  • Why Having More Christians Won't Necessarily Change Our Culture

    05/28/2013 6:58:35 AM PDT · by xzins · 132 replies
    Charisma News ^ | 5/27/2013 | Os Hillman
    For centuries, Christians thought culture would change if we just had a majority of Christians in the culture. That has proven to be a false assumption. Culture is defined by a relatively small number of change agents who operate at the top of cultural spheres or societal mountains. It takes less than 3-5 percent of those operating at the top of a cultural mountain to actually shift the values represented on that mountain.For example, this is exactly what advocates in the gay rights movement has done through the "mountains" of media and arts and entertainment. They have strategically used these...
  • Worshipping the State (How Liberalism Became our State Religion)

    05/01/2013 11:56:05 AM PDT · by NYer · 6 replies
    The Catholic Thing ^ | May 1, 2013 | George J. Marlin
    The prime objective of secularists in modern times has been to “free” us all from the influence (The burden, they’d say) of Christianity. Just how they have gone about destroying that influence on the course of human affairs is ably described in Dr. Benjamin Wiker’s new book Worshipping the State:  How Liberalism Became our State Religion.Wiker, who has taught at Franciscan University and Thomas Aquinas College, holds that the raison d’être of secular philosophers’ has been to reduce Christianity’s hold on Western culture, and either to subordinate the Church to the state or to establish a rival civic religion that...
  • I Need Help With Philosophy Class Questions, Part 2

    04/12/2013 10:59:53 AM PDT · by EaglesNestHome · 75 replies
    Homeschool Blogger--Eaglesnest ^ | 4/12/2013 | Eaglesnesthome
    Thank you, everyone in my previous post, who gave well thought out, articulate answers to these important questions of life ( )! Now, in philosophy class, we are exploring these questions in even more detail, and with an additional assignment of follow-up questions: What do you believe, regarding ultimate reality? God? Matter? Something else? Do you believe in God? If so, why? Why are you here on earth, and where are you going, for eternity? If you believe in God, what is the most convincing evidence, for you personally? Is there any possibility that you may be wrong about the...
  • Is capitalism moral?

    03/16/2013 6:26:19 AM PDT · by Sir Napsalot · 54 replies
    WaPo Opinions ^ | 3-15-2013 | Steven Pearlstein
    Careening from debt-ceiling crisis to sequestration to a looming government shutdown, the nation is caught up in a historic debate over the proper size and role of government. That’s certainly one way to think about it. Another is that we are caught up in a historic debate over free-market capitalism. After all, if markets were making most of us better off, regulating their own excesses, guaranteeing equal opportunity and fairly dividing the economic pie, then we wouldn’t need government to take on all the things it does. For most of the past 30 years, the world has been moving in...
  • Weekend Vanity: A Few Books I'm Hanging Onto

    03/02/2013 1:18:46 PM PST · by dagogo redux · 31 replies
    3/2/13 | dagogo redux
    I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and probably several thousand books have come and gone from my shelves over the decades. As with many other accumulated belongings, I’m getting to the age where the end is in sight, even if these perilous times pass, and society does get back on track. And so, last weekend I loaded many boxes of books into my pickup, and took them to sell for in-house credit at a local used book store. The money/credit was not that important to me - I mostly wanted to circulate the books back to people who might...
  • Bostrom: From Extinction to Transcendence (philosopher's take on the future of humanity)

    02/27/2013 12:39:15 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 2 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 2/27/13 | Paul Gilster
    Bostrom: From Extinction to Transcendence by Paul Gilster on February 27, 2013 At the top of my list of people IÂ’d someday like to have a long conversation with is Nick Bostrom, a philosopher and director of OxfordÂ’s Future of Humanity Institute. As Centauri Dreams readers will likely know, Bostrom has been thinking about the issue of human extinction for a long time, his ideas playing interestingly against questions not only about our own past but about our future possibilities if we can leave the Solar System. And as Ross Andersen demonstrates in Omens, a superb feature on BostromÂ’s...
  • Alexis de Tocqueville: How People Gain Liberty and Lose It (old article)

    01/22/2013 10:40:51 AM PST · by Sir Napsalot · 10 replies
    The Freeman ^ | JULY 01, 1996 | Jim Powell
    Alexis de Tocqueville was a gentleman-scholar who emerged as one of the world’s great prophets. More than a century and a half ago, when most people were ruled by kings, he declared that the future belonged to democracy. He explained what was needed for democracy to work and how it could help protect human liberty. At the same time, he warned that a welfare state could seduce people into servitude. He saw why socialism must lead to slavery. Tocqueville staked his life on liberty. “I have a passionate love for liberty, law, and respect for rights,” he wrote. “I am...
  • A Thought To Brighten Your Day~

    01/19/2013 3:49:31 AM PST · by Reaganite Republican · 5 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 19 January 2013 | Reaganite Republican
      When you are down in the dumps, all looks gray,  and you think you have real problems,  just  remember... Somewhere, out there in this world, there's  a poor bastard named MR. PELOSI BigHairyNews   h/t Speedunque
  • The Folly of Scientism

    12/12/2012 6:07:02 PM PST · by neverdem · 29 replies
    The New Atlantis ^ | Fall 2012 | Austin L. Hughes
    When I decided on a scientific career, one of the things that appealed to me about science was the modesty of its practitioners. The typical scientist seemed to be a person who knew one small corner of the natural world and knew it very well, better than most other human beings living and better even than most who had ever lived. But outside of their circumscribed areas of expertise, scientists would hesitate to express an authoritative opinion. This attitude was attractive precisely because it stood in sharp contrast to the arrogance of the philosophers of the positivist tradition, who claimed...
  • Hypocrites shriek 'Hypocrites!' over national concealed carry legislation

    12/08/2012 6:56:29 AM PST · by marktwain · 6 replies
    St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner ^ | 7 December, 2012 | Kurt Hofmann
    An editorial in the Scranton, Pennsylvania Times Tribune claims to be "Calling out states' rights hypocrites." The allegation of "hypocrisy" is centered on gun rights advocates' condemnation of Pennsylvania Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane's signature on a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to reject two national concealed carry reciprocity bills: There is one area in which the states' rights crowd applauds federal intervention, however - regarding to the right to bear arms. Two bills that have passed the House and await action in the Senate would make a mockery...
  • The Psychopathology of a Hoplophobe

    11/05/2012 4:47:39 AM PST · by marktwain · 8 replies
    The Truth About Guns ^ | 4 November, 2012 | Bruce W. Krafft
    When I read the October 27 Quote of the Day my first thought was “physician heal thyself” (right after “somebody call the guys in the white coats!”). Anyone who can equate the ownership of semi-automatic weapons with the abuse of children is obviously teetering on the edge. Little did I know just how out there the good doctor really is, though. The quote came from Ronald Pies’s, Why Psychiatrists Must Confront Gun-related Violence. And as I started reading the whole thing, it became obvious that Dr. Ron may have suffered what those in the head shrinking biz call a break...
  • Political Non-Science [ and why you're called Nazis]

    10/02/2012 4:24:34 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 34 replies
    The American Spectator ^ | October 2, 2912 | Lars Walker
    ...It's a tragedy of history that Karl Marx chose to dress his theories in the clothing of scientific analysis. Ever since his time, Marxists have built systems on his theories in the settled faith that their daring new policies must bear fruit,because they're based on "irrefutable science." And yet, time and again, those policies have failed. Science isn't supposed to work that way. So the Marxists are forced to ask, "What can explain such an anomaly? How can science be wrong?" The answer is always the same–"Wreckers have been at work. Saboteurs, ungrateful for the blessings of socialism, are conspiring...
  • Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense

    09/27/2012 3:22:08 AM PDT · by marktwain · 5 replies ^ | 25 September, 2012 | Herschel Smith
    Christians are redeemed, but they can be hypocritical and self serving. They aren’t perfect. Furthermore, while Christians can be (though they are not always) sweet and loving, they have always impressed me as perhaps the most pitiful, naive, stolid simpletons on the planet. Sheep is a perfect description. I can say those things because I am a Christian, and not in the sense of ”God is love let’s all hold hands and sing kumbaya while we sway and dance ourselves into ethereal bliss,” but in the orthodox sense (e.g., belief in the trinity, the vicarious atonement, the deity of Christ,...
  • Left Behind (Obama has turned his back on us liberals. So why aren't we screaming about it?)

    09/07/2012 11:03:09 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 5 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | SEPTEMBER 5, 2012 | Todd Gitlin
    In May 2009, Barack Obama delivered a speech in Prague about global threats that required, he said, "action coordinated across borders." This not-so-ringing phrase he intended to apply to "a global economy in crisis, a changing climate, the persistent dangers of old conflicts, new threats and the spread of catastrophic weapons." To address the global economy, he called for "investments to create new jobs ... [and] a change in our financial system, with new rules to prevent abuse and future crisis. "We must confront climate change," he said, "by ending the world's dependence on fossil fuels, by tapping the power...
  • Best Majors for GRE Scores: Still Physics and Philosophy

    08/25/2012 9:26:40 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    Best Majors for GRE Scores: Still Physics and Philosophy Monday, August 20, 2012 Fall is just around the corner, and that means many college seniors will soon face an enemy more daunting than senioritis itself: the Graduate Record Examinations. Many schools require GRE test scores for admission to their graduate programs, and the tests are supposed to be one of the most objective measures of prospective students. GRE scores can make or break a graduate school application, so how should students prepare? Although there are a plethora of study books and materials available, decisions made freshman year may determine...
  • John Paul II Identified the Source of Our Present Cultural Malaise

    08/08/2012 8:26:30 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 11 replies
    Crisis Magazine ^ | 8/8/12 | James Matthew Wilson
    Late in life, Pope John Paul II gave a series of interviews subsequently collected in the book Memory and Identity (2005). There, in response to a question about the pervasive ideologies that had swept Europe during the past couple of centuries, and which had resulted in the slaughter of millions, he contended that in order to explain all this, we have to go back to the period before the Enlightenment, especially to the revolution brought about by the philosophical thought of Descartes. The cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) radically changed the way of doing philosophy. In the...