This tag is associated with 12 posts

The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

“O Deep Thought computer,” he said, “the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us….” he paused, “The Answer.” “The Answer?” said Deep Thought. “The Answer to what?” “Life!” urged Fook. “The Universe!” said Lunkwill. “Everything!” they said in chorus. -(from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) How would … Continue reading

When Little Kids Tell You Their Secrets

Greetings! I hope your week is going well. 🙂 I’m feeling very privileged because my grandchildren like to pull me into their rooms, post a crayon-scrawled “Do not desterb” sign on their door and then tell me their secrets. I honestly did not know I was wonderful enough to be trusted with the secrets of … Continue reading

Morality: Lessons from the Loony Bin

Contrary to the popular belief that we should only learn from experts, I think you can learn something from any human being. For example, I learned a lot from the residents of a loony bin, where I worked as a program manager. I can hear the shrieks of the politically correct all the way down … Continue reading

On Morality: Immanuel Kant Hits it out of the ballpark

Immanuel Kant was a 19th century German philosopher who is widely considered to be of major significance, especially for his work on ethics. Ethics is far from being a quaint notion; moral responsibility is extremely important to us right now as any visit to Twitter can confirm. Most of the posts express moral outrage at … Continue reading

I am not a Number

A recent article “What’s a Human Being Worth?” gave me hope that we may finally be seeing that the basis of morality is the value we place on a human being. Our society has placed a low value on human beings, especially human beings who are unlike us in some way-skin color, perhaps, or different … Continue reading

Is it Fair? Does it Work? And work to do what exactly?

I suggest two minimal criteria must be applied to any given proposal: 1. Is it moral? 2. Does it work? I have written a lot about morality, by which I mean fairness and consideration for the dignity and value of all human life. Without an insistence on morality, or fairness, the proposal under consideration will … Continue reading

You’re only as sick as your secrets

“You’re only as sick as your secrets” is a phrase I have heard from recovering alcoholics. The idea behind this is that lying to cover up your wrongdoing keeps you sick. On the flip side, telling the truth about your wrongdoing will make you well, which is also the idea behind the Catholic confessional. If … Continue reading

Politics and Morality: John Rawls’ Awesome Theory of Social Justice

John Rawls (1921-2002) was an American professor and philosopher whose magnum opus, A Theory of Social Justice was one of the most important works on politics and morality to come along in a very long time. While Enlightenment philosophers started with God-given rights (Locke) or scientifically determined utility (Bentham) Rawls said forget all that and … Continue reading

Politics and Morality: John Stewart Mill

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was son of James Mill, who was a friend of Jeremy Bentham’s, and a true believer in utilitarianism. To achieve maximum utility, James was very concerned to provide his son the most efficient possible education. Tutors were brought to his home and in fact, John turned out to be a brilliant … Continue reading

Politics and Morality: John Locke

John Locke (1632-1704) was an early Enlightenment philosopher and physician who had a huge influence on Thomas Jefferson and by extension all Americans. The early Enlightenment sought certainty and answered the question: “How can you claim to really know a thing?” with the concept of maker’s knowledge. You can claim to know a thing if … Continue reading