Yearly Archives: 2000

Globalization and Social Darwinism

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the USA and many other countries got a whole lot richer, but at first the benefits went mainly to a privileged few, and much turmoil ensued. Now the whole world is going through a similar transition. Have we learned something, or must we repeat the same old mistakes? Continue reading

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Sex and the Republican Party

A roundabout way of commenting on the party platforms as revealed in the Presidential debates. At least it is moderately original. Continue reading

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Bizarre Bazaar

The press reports that a cyberstore is evaluating customers before deciding how much to charge. It brings me back to the days when I was bargaining in the Damascus bazaar. Continue reading

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Recognition

Humans have an uncanny ability to recognize other humans, starting with the distinction we draw between people we already know and strangers. It’s part of our human nature, an integral part of our equipment as social animals. But do we still need that instinctive “friend or foe” response when we meet outsiders? Continue reading

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Humanism vs. Atheism

People who believe in God can’t be atheists, but can they be humanists? I provide a rather nuanced answer. A belief in a divine power isn’t necessarily inconsistent with the humanist impulse. It’s how far you carry that belief that matters. Continue reading

Posted in Progressive Humanism | 36 Comments

Creationism

Even if you accept the creationist belief that the Bible accurately describes how the earth and its living creatures came about, there is a problem in reconciling divine omnipotence with divine benevolence. Continue reading

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Concerning Progress

People who say they don’t like progress are misusing the term.. We need a whole lot more of it, and soon, on global issues like the environment and avoiding nuclear war. Continue reading

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On Caps and Locks

We love our children so much we put safety caps on aspirin bottles. But we don’t love them enough to put safety locks on hand guns. Are we nuts? Continue reading

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Altruism Revisited

What is it that distinguishes humankind from other animals on our planet? I argue that it is the progressive enlargement of the society with which the individual identifies. The big transition occurred at the dawn of the Neolithic. This approach sheds light on many questions about the nature and future of our species, including the age-old issue of the meaning of life. Continue reading

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The Evolution of Natural Selection

Evolution operating on the principle of natural selection is the opposite of the second law of thermodynamics; together they constitute the yin and yang of our biosphere. But is the biosphere the only medium for this? And if the principle of natural selection applies in other contexts, can it be considered to be evolving in its own right? Continue reading

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Is War Inevitable?

I believe war has always been inevitable in the past, but is no longer. My thinking is based on what evolutionay biology says about human nature, and on the theory of natural selection as applied (cautiously!) to the evolution of ever more complex societies. Continue reading

Posted in Progressive Humanism | 9 Comments

Happy Morning After!

The millennium is here, and there has been no apocalypse, no major Y2K disaster. We believe any disappointment over the lack of excitement can be tempered with quiet pride. We saw trouble coming and we did the needful in a sufficiently timely fashion. Continue reading

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