By understanding the notion of human equality along a single axis (i.e. human rights), we have failed to appreciate the importance of properly identifying and accounting for functional differences. This has, among other things, led to an important problem posed by elements of the politically correct speech and
Having previously sketched out my perspective on the phenomenon of school shootings, this article delves into the proposed solutions by the generally two sides of the gun-control debate. It points out the problems with the many of the solutions proposed thus far, and makes a tentative proposal on a meaningful solution.
The way we think about school shootings (and mass shootings in general) may be flawed; and a flawed diagnosis results in the wrong treatment. In this intellectual sketch, I offer a different take on the diagnosis.
Even in this age of “unique” individuals, the problems noted back as far as 1500 BC (or earlier) continue to plague us as a society. Blind following necessitates the surrender of reason, and thus negates our humanity, as we try to fit into our surroundings.
Being able to differentiate between reaction and response in arguments is generally the difference between winning and losing.
Telling the truth is not only a matter of good manners, it is also the key to making communication and civilization possible. By understanding the role of truth-telling in communication, the problems of lying are revealed to be far deeper than they come across at first blush.
Actions have consequences. Military actions have very big, wide-ranging, and long-lasting consequences. However, military actions are ultimately within our control. Who we vote for, what we vote for, what we support and what we condemn, are all elements that directly shape our ideas of the military and its use. Understanding these issues is a necessary part of functional democratic participation, as well as an ethical engagement with the world.
The recent trend of “excommunicating” people from various groups, as a rejection of their behaviors, is a bad option for several reasons. Yes, the idea that ISIS members are Muslim sounds abhorrent to Muslims, and the idea that Myanmar’s genocidal government sounds abhorrent to Buddhists. But the attempt to simply call them non-Muslim or non-Buddhists creates far more problems than it solves.
Translations are a common part of our every-day experience, whether in terms of world news or texts we read. What we often fail to appreciate is the relative impossibility of translation, especially when complex ideas or texts are in question. To demonstrate this impossibility, the analysis relies on three languages (Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese), with two examples each.
Quite often, our arguments and discussions go nowhere, and all that effort is wasted. We may believe that the other side is irrational, or that they’re simply stubborn, hard-headed, or stupid, However, on closer examination, it turns out that the reason for this deadlock is the fact that we quite often miss the point of our own arguments.