Where Do Morals Come From?

Where Do Morals Come From?

“If you’ve picked up a newspaper lately, you might have noticed that moralizing is driving us all insane. When it comes to what’s morally right and wrong, our various political clans are not just talking past each other anymore — they are setting their hair on fire and becoming violent. This is not good.”

“One person who has certainly noticed this is Jonathan Haidt, one of the most interesting public intellectuals today. A social psychologist by training, his work focuses on the sources of morality. He’s well known for his so-called Moral Foundations Theory, which was created “to understand why morality varies so much across cultures yet still shows so many similarities and recurrent themes.””

#philosophy #morality


Philosophical Rave Parties

Philosophical Rave Parties

“Between Jan. 26 and Jan. 29, French consulates in 30 cities around the world will be hosting free, all-night intellectual rave parties to wrestle with today’s most pressing matters. The Night of Philosophy and Ideas (La Nuit des idées) is a festival of philosophical debate, film screenings, readings, and musical performances. From Dakar to Kiev to Brooklyn, attendees will dialogue with thinkers and artists on topics from language, politics, robots, and love.”

#philosophy #debate


Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

Great little cheatsheet with a list of questions to consider when faced with information or news that might be important to you, or you would like to share.

#philosophy #criticalthinking

Why Happiness?

Why Happiness?

“Everybody wants to be happy, right? Who doesn’t? Sure, you may not want to sacrifice everything for pleasure, but you certainly want to enjoy yourself. There are a slew of drugs on the market for solving the problems of depression, and the methods for achieving happiness are often sold and advertised as something you can get, and that which you desire above all else….The pursuit of happiness is so integral to our idea of the good life that it was declared to be an inalienable right by Thomas Jefferson.”

“Well, there is one philosopher who doesn’t think you want happiness in itself. Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche saw the mere pursuit of happiness, defined here as that which gives pleasure, as a dull waste of human life. “

#philosophy #happiness #nietzsche




Imagine you were told by a doctor that you had 24 hours to live. What would you do with that time?

These are the types of invaluable questions that force people to consider what is most important to them. Similar to the Bronnie Ware study in the UK (Top Regrets of the Dying), these questions (or studies) help us to live better lives and to put things into perspective well before we are forced to do so on our death beds – which is often too late.

I will hold off on sharing my own response to this one until others have given it some thought and offered their own.

So who wants to start the ball rolling?

Memento mori (remember, be mindful of, your death).

#philosophy #mortality #existence #death

Would You Kill Baby Hitler?

Would You Kill Baby Hitler?

“Why do cold-hearted psychopaths make good surgeons and world leaders? According to Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, psychopaths are well-equipped to deal with all kinds of nasty crises. Sending thousands of troops to war, for instance, is not something that many people can easily carry on their conscience, Dutton points out. Psychopaths tend to simply “be people who are able to get the job done, who are less morally squeamish.””

How might this apply to the moral dilemmas of life?

UPDATE: In order for this philosophical thought experiment on morality to work, you need to assume that there is nothing you can do to prevent baby Hitler from growing up into the grown man who kills millions of Jews. If baby Hitler lives, he will kill millions of Jews.

If your decision is to kill baby Hitler, can you explain how you came to this decision and how you overcame any moral conflicts.

#philosophy #morality #ethics


A Great Metaphysical Trend!

A Great Metaphysical Trend!

I just love this new trend in shows which attempt (some better than others) to broach a variety of complex or controversial technical topics like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, social media and various metaphysical topics like near death, psi-phenomenon, non-local consciousness and others. Reading reviews of some of these shows it appears that some of these topics provoke dismissive, even judgmental responses from some, particularly those who bow to the God of Logical Positivism (empiricism – strict materialist science where all knowledge is obtain through the sensory systems – if you cant see, touch or hear it, its not “real”).

However, those of us comfortable (or intimately familiar) with the idea of there being a transcended first principle, first philosophy, unseen underlying cause(s) or influences to the seen world (or consciousness), these shows are a welcome breath of fresh air (and thinking) in a world filled with mind-hobbling intellectual pablum for the masses. Anything that gets people talking and thinking about these topics is a good thing IMHO!

Keep them coming Netflix!

Refresher on Metaphysics

The word comes from the stack of 14 books given to students of Aristotle AFTER they read a stack of 8 on “physics” which covered the natural world and its properties. Literally the word means after physics but in fact it is BEFORE physics since those 14 books dealt with philosophical first principles dealing with the ultimate nature of reality, being, space, time, causality, things that don’t change and are the underlying cause of everything. Aristotle did not use the term “metaphysics”. He used the title “first philosophy” to describe this field of philosophy (along with ‘first science’, ‘wisdom’, and ‘theology’). The subject of metaphysics (broadly) deals with topics such as:

(1) The subject-matter of metaphysics is “being as such”

(2) The subject-matter of metaphysics is the first causes of things

(3) The subject-matter of metaphysics is that which does not change

#philosophy #metaphysics #aristotle #theoa #netflix