December 2011

To Forgive and Forget

  This week’s episode is about “Forgetting and Forgiving.”   Frankly, though,  the ‘forgetting’ part is sort of throw-away.  You should never forget  the wrongs done to you.    Why would you want to?  Forgiving, though, is another thing entirely.  When somebody wrongs us, negative emotions can eat away at us.  If we let go of our anger and resentment, we experience healing and reconciliation.

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Nihilism and Meaning

'Nihilism’ is based on the Latin word for `nothing’: nihil.  Nihilism is used for a lot of positions in philosophy…  that there is nothing at all; that we know nothing at all; that there are no moral principles at all, and virtually any other position that could be framed with the word `nothing’.  But the most common use, and what we'll explore today, is nihilism as the view that nothing we do, nothing we create, nothing we love, has any meaning or value whatsoever.

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What would Jesus do?

  Millions of people believe that Jesus is the Lord, the Son of God, sent to earth to teach us how to live.  Many others, including some of the founding fathers like Jefferson, modern Unitarians, and a lot of people who don’t consider themselves Christians at all, aren’t convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, but think he was a great moral teacher.  When they confront an ethical decision, or a morally loaded issue of public policy, they may ask, ``What would Jesus Do?” 

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What’s to be done? A Blog for Christmas

Topoi provides an excellent expression of a view of philosophy that I share:

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Is it wrong to wreck the earth?

Suppose we frame it like this. Those currently alive will somehow collectively decide between two options: (i) Make minimal changes to the way we live, and leave future generations a very polluted, warm, earth. Or (ii) make substantial changes to the way we live, at great cost to our own comfort levels, and leave a much less polluted, and less warmed up world to future generations. There is a tradeoff; we live better, they live worse; they live better, we live worse. Why is it clear that it’s better for us to sacrifice and leave them better off?

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