What’s our political future?

My crystal ball rolled off the table and broke, so I’ll have to guess. I didn’t think Donald Trump would win the presidency in 2016, so I don’t have a good track record. But hey, no one’s perfect. Economist Arnold Kling wrote a book called The Three Languages of Politics, and it’s an intriguing idea.Continue reading “What’s our political future?”

Are human rights natural—or a social construct?

Either way, universal human rights are essential for human flourishing. The Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal”—“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”—because of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Trees exist whether human societies exist or not. But money doesn’t exist outside of human societies. Money is aContinue reading “Are human rights natural—or a social construct?”

Jordan Peterson, and straw men for everyone

First published in October 2018 Peterson should be met with critical, but intellectually honest, thought rather than adulation. People can’t stop talking about psychology professor and intellectual dark web thinker Jordan Peterson. Charismatic personalities are emotionally compelling, for better or for worse. But I have mixed feelings about him.  I agree with Jordan Peterson’s basic psychologicalContinue reading “Jordan Peterson, and straw men for everyone”

Outrage: Passion as a disease of the mind

What Stoicism says about resisting manipulation. Resisting cultural forces requires constant effort. The unending stream of media and entertainment is background noise that influences us more than we’re aware of or care to admit. And as Russ Roberts points out on his Econtalk podcast, the internet age enables us to customize our newsfeeds to amplifyContinue reading “Outrage: Passion as a disease of the mind”

Maybe we can’t get past our pain, but we can get past our tunnel vision

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona © Dave DuBay I just finished watching Ken Burns’ documentary series on the Roosevelts. Eleanor Roosevelt is known to history as a kindhearted person, a woman of character who treated others with human dignity. She was the primary mover behind the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And there’s Mr. Rogers who taughtContinue reading “Maybe we can’t get past our pain, but we can get past our tunnel vision”

MS-13 are animals. We all are.

President Donald Trump called MS-13 gang members “animals.” E.J. Dionne from the Washington Post disagreed, saying that “It’s never right to call other human beings ‘animals.’” And writing for the National Review, Dennis Prager responded that Dionne reveals “the moral sickness at the heart of leftism.” Dionne thinks his position is beyond debate: “No matterContinue reading “MS-13 are animals. We all are.”

Is faith essential – even if you don’t believe in the supernatural?

Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind covers an enormous range of topics in 400 plus pages. But one (of many) ideas that got me thinking is his claim that we all believe in things that aren’t objectively real. Money is a cultural myth. Take money. Why do we think a green piece of paperContinue reading “Is faith essential – even if you don’t believe in the supernatural?”

Go ahead & vote for a third party if you want to. Well, maybe.

People say that a vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson is really a vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and/or Trump, depending on which poll you believe, respectively. Well, no one I know has actually said that. They say a third party vote is really a vote for someone else. But that logicContinue reading “Go ahead & vote for a third party if you want to. Well, maybe.”

Baby Boomers and Millennials don’t exist

Some say Millennials are really two generations – younger Millennials had different experiences growing up. And P.J. O’Rourke claims Baby Boomers are made up of four classes. I know what he means. My father was born in 1946. His youngest brother was born in 1964. Both are Baby Boomers, but they’re not from the sameContinue reading “Baby Boomers and Millennials don’t exist”

Disagreement Isn’t Closed Minded

Years ago a coworker told me that she and her fiancé visited his Lutheran pastor because they were to be married in his church. The pastor asked her if she believed in Christ. She said no, she was raised Christian but is now a Unitarian-Universalist (most UUs believe in God but not the Trinity). TheContinue reading “Disagreement Isn’t Closed Minded”