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God as an Ontological Category Mistake

John Anderson's rejection of God is radical indeed. A. J. Baker writes: Anderson, of course, upholds atheism, though that is a rather narrow and negative way of describing his position given its sweep in rejecting all rationalist conceptions of essences...

Gun Control and Liberal-Left Irrationality

The quality of 'elite' publications such as The New Yorker leaves a lot to be desired these days. Adam Gopnik's recent outburst on Newtown is one more example of a downward trend: it is so breathtakingly bad that I am...

A 'Progressive' Paradox

Leftists like to call themselves 'progressives.' We can't begrudge them their self-appellation any more than we can begrudge the Randians their calling themselves 'objectivists.' Every person and every movement has the right to portray himself or itself favorably and self-servingly....

The Evolution of Private Property Anarchism

Although Adam Smith wants a limited government, it is clear that Smith thinks that the "system of natural liberty" does require some governmental activity to provide the military defense, the administration of justice, and the public goods that cannot be provided through private activity and free markets. Show More Summary

Rethinking and Second Thoughts

To rethink one's position is not necessarily to abandon, question, or revise it. One can rethink without having second thoughts.

The Left Unwittingly Supports Second Amendment Rights

I have some ideas on this subject, but for now I will just send you to 2014: A Banner Year for the Second Amendment. There is plenty more on this topic in Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Ernst Bloch on Law and the State (Revised))

This is a revision of an entry originally posted on 11 February 2010. Ernst Bloch, like Theodor Adorno, is a leftie worth reading. But here are two passages replete with grotesque exaggeration and plain falsehood. Later, perhaps, I will cite...

Remembering Albert Camus

Albert Camus, one of the luminaries of French existentialism, died on this day in 1960, in a car crash. Not tragically, but absurdly. He was 46, in the middle of the middle decade of middle age. Here is a review...

Wellman's Implicit Defense of Near-Open Borders

Kit Wellman's 'Immigration and Freedom of Assocation' begins with the following set-up:Without denying that those of us in wealthy societies may have extremely demanding duties of global distributive justice, I ultimately reach the stark...Show More Summary

Illusions for robots

Neural networks really seem to be going places recently. Last time I mentioned their use in sophisticated translation software, but they’re also steaming ahead with new successes in recognition of visual images. Recently there was a claim from MIT that the latest systems were catching up with primate brains at last. Also from MIT (also […]

Stoner

John Williams' 1965 novel Stoner with its overcast feel proved to be a good read for a deep and dark December. An underappreciated and unfortunately titled masterpiece, it is about one William Stoner, a professor of English at the University...

Do Communists Lie?

I just now found this at the CPUSA website: Communists are not against religion. We are against capitalism. A communist who is not against religion would be like a Catholic who is not against atheism or a teetotaler who is...

Bradley Bowen at The Secular Outpost on Loftus' definitions of faith

In this post on Secular Outpost, and this one, Bradley Bowen raises some criticisms concerning Loftus' use of the term "faith."In response, I said: I think you have put your finger on a serious problem with Loftus. The problem, and it...Show More Summary

Thomas Nagel on absurdity

Thomas Nagel is an atheist philosopher who is well known for developing an understanding of the world that is critically different from the usual varieties of philosophical naturalism and materialism which are more are less standard in secular philosophy. Show More Summary

Hypocrites in Reverse: Those Who Do Not Preach What They Practice

Hypocrites are those who will not practice what they preach. They espouse high standards of behavior -- which is of course good -- but they make little or no attempt to live in accordance with them. Hypocrisy is rightly considered.....

First Day of the Year, First Hike of the Year

I began the year right with a two-hour ramble right out my front door over the local hills. Very cold temps ramped up the usual saunter to a serious march. I always go light: short pants, T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, bandanna,...

For the New Year

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book Four, #276, tr. Kaufmann: For the new year. -- I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think. Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum. [....

Why Are Italians So Good at Personal Finance?

Why are Italians and Americans of Italian extraction 'over-represented' -- to use, sarcastically, an ambiguous word whose very ambiguity endears it to the politically correct -- among the fiscally responsible? Ten reasons. Sadly, two highly-valued male friends of mine, one...

New Year's Eve at the Oldies: 'Last' Songs for the Last Night of the Year

Last Night, 1961, The Mar-Keys. Last Date, 1960, Floyd Cramer. Save the Last Dance for Me, 1960, The Drifters. At Last, Etta James. Last Thing on My Mind, Doc Watson sings the Tom Paxton tune. A very fine version. Last...

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