Category: Philosophy

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

In today's media landscape, you can throw a rock in any direction and hit something that's partisan and biased.

Whether you believe that "Trump Is Literally Hitler," or you call him "the god-emperor," or you're somewhere in between, there's a site for you.

But even biased partisans occasionally get things right. ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Does your life have meaning?

If so, how? The answer helps you appreciate your blessings and seize your opportunities.

Having a clear idea of the answer is in itself a blessing. Most people have no idea.

They trudge through life, day after day, not knowing why they do it. Sometimes they feel happy. Often they feel miserable. ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Can you go through life and never tell a lie?

Honesty is the best policy. But it's a policy -- not an unbreakable rule.1

If most of us weren't honest most of the time, social life would be impossible. Nobody would ever believe anyone else. We couldn't cooperate, have relationships, or depend on anyone for anything.

But ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Eavesdropping isn't exactly a sin, but it's certainly impolite.

And yet I couldn't help it. Much.

I was getting some coffee in the break room. Outside, in the hallway, God was having an argument with the Devil.

I tried not to listen. But God has that deep, booming voice that kind of commands your attention. If you doubt me, just ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Some people might get mad at me for saying this, but I'm against kicking puppies.

I'm also against being mean to children and old people.

I like democracy but I agree with Winston Churchill that "it's the worst form of government except for all the others."

I believe that good deeds should be rewarded and evil deeds ...

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I finally got around to reading Robert Heinlein's science fiction novel Starship Troopers.

When I was growing up, I read two or three science fiction novels a week. How I missed Starship Troopers, I don't know.

And one of my ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Who are you? What are you?

The answers define your identity and give you a sense of place in the universe.

The "who" question has a simple answer: your name.

But the "what" question has many answers. You are a son or daughter. You might be a lawyer, homemaker, software engineer, or painter. Some of the answers ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

On the American holiday of Thanksgiving, we give thanks for a lot of things.

In developed countries, we've got food. We've got shelter. Even the poorest among us have access to resources and luxuries that were unimaginable only a hundred years ago.

Regardless of material wealth, most of us also have what's more important: families, ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

We can improve ourselves and our lives by understanding two principles: control and perspective.

First, there are some things we can control and other things we can't control.

When we get upset, it's often because we mistake one kind of thing for the other.

Are you stuck in traffic? Frustrated? Getting frustrated has no effect ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

"To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways, and a Way.
And the High Soul climbs the High way,
And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way, and a Low.
And every man decideth
The Way his soul shall go."

   -- ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

In yesterday's blog post, I referred to "automatic pilot."

And as often happens when I write, I wondered if I needed to explain what it was.

Any readers who didn't know the meaning of "automatic pilot" would have missed my point.

Suppose that I refer to the sufferings of Job. Probably half of the people reading ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

We spend a lot of our lives on automatic pilot. We act out of habit, without thinking about what we're doing.

That's not always a bad thing. If we had to think our way through everything we did, we couldn't get most of it done.

Suppose that you're driving to work and another car abruptly cuts in front of you. You don't have time to ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

We should try to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

It sounds like a pretty good idea.

And it is. But it's not the whole answer.

The problem is that like lower animals, humans distinguish between their own group and other groups. They value members of their own group more than members of other ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

You can't understand anything in terms of nothing.

That much is obvious. What's less obvious is that it's a barrier to communication and understanding.

Each of us has a foundational viewpoint that biases how we see the world. It includes things like:

  • Our basic concepts, such as time (day, hour, minute, second), animal, ...
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