ESSAYS

These essays represent my current understanding on a variety of topics that interest me. They are one outcome of thinking about the many books, articles and essays that I am constantly reading. Because I am constantly reading, my understanding of some topics changes with time, and in those instances either an existing essay will be updated or an new essay written.

The real roots of morality
What do we know about the roots of human morality? In evolutionary terms, what moral viewpoint, what ethical strategy, is likely to have the most adaptational value?

Moving past postmodernism
Re-conceptualizing the witch hunts of medieval Europe and colonial America through a feminist lens provides both fresh perspective and a new history. These are powerful, often exciting expansions of our critical and interpretive faculties. Unfortunately, the postmodernist wave doesn’t stop there.

Is reality unreal?
Are the theists and the postmodernists right, that human knowledge is always arbitrary, relative, approximate — that “truth” is not “real”? After all: “It is not possible to understand reality without having some model of reality, so we are really talking about models, not reality.”

Variations on the creation: how we invented God
Whatever reasonable impulses lead people to assert the divine comes not from God inspiring them but rather from their creating God.

Why science is not just another belief system
There is a kind of truth in the argument that the scientific method relies on a system of belief. But to extend that limited truth to the notion that the facts of science are just beliefs, or just a point of view, is — in a word — absurd.

A sense of self
“Who am I?” This is the most profound existential question most of us ever ask. But it may be the wrong question, or even no question at all. After all, if “I am the one asking the question” is the most reasonable answer, and it seems to me that it is, have I given an answer at all?  It may be that the only appropriate and answerable question in a purely material world is “What is ‘I’?”

 

Projected topics for upcoming essays:
free will vs. determinism
“New Atheism” vs. accommodation

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