Each one of us is blessed with 24 hours in every day. But what we do with those 24 hours varies enormously. Continue reading
Posted in Life
Tagged Blogging, Creativity, Democracy, Economic growth, Equality, Feminism, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Human rights, Philosophy, Politics, Poverty, Technology, Wealth, Work
God gave the Israelites some pretty clear rules for how to live their lives. “Thou shalt not kill,” comes in at number six, and seems pretty clear cut. “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” is also very straightforward, and is at number seven. Yet Leviticus states, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
So what’s going on here? Is morality not as clear as we first thought? And if so, why not? Continue reading
Morality, it is sometimes said, represents the way that people would like the world to work. And Aesthetics could be said to represent the way people would like the world to look.
Ethics and Aesthetics can be grouped together in philosophy under Value Theory, the implication being that the two principles derive from the same fundamental instinct; from the same part of the human mind.
As Wittgenstein put it: “Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.” (Thanks to Michelle Joelle for this.)
Now a moral world where no one suffered would be a beautiful thing for sure, but there’s a strong negative aspect to this correlation between ethics and aesthetics too. Continue reading
Five years ago we spent a couple of weeks travelling around Belgium and Germany with the kids. It was an exciting family holiday, staying in youth hostels, visiting the picturesque Rhine and Moselle valleys of Germany, and spending a night in the cosmopolitan city of Brussels. Unwittingly, we chose the now notorious Schaerbeek district of Brussels to stay, as it was cheap, convenient for the centre, and we had no idea that it was a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. Continue reading
Anyone interested in politics should take a good look at the Political Compass website. Here you can read about Left vs Right (economics) and Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism (social attitudes) and see how you fit into the big picture. There’s a relatively simple test to take, and here are my results, shown with the positions of the various UK political parties in the 2015 general election. It seems like I’m a political outsider, although not an extremist. Continue reading
The weather in Glasgow in November may be terrible, but the plane-load of Syrian refugees arriving there this afternoon probably weren’t too dismayed. Continue reading
There are lots of reasons to distrust and dislike Vladimir Putin. I won’t bother to list them all here. But I have a grudging respect for him. Putin gets things done. Not necessarily the right things, but not necessarily the wrong things either. Continue reading
Three items of news have caught my attention recently. The first is the decision by America’s Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage. Such a decision may have seemed impossible a couple of decades ago, and yet with hindsight it seems incredible that it took so long.
I know that not all readers of my blog will be in favour of this move, but we can all surely be thankful that we live in democratic countries where such decisions are made transparently and peacefully, according to the rule of law, and where open debate about them is possible. Continue reading
A lot has been written about the recent murder of 12 journalists and cartoonists at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. It’s a good sign that so much has been said – freedom of expression is alive and well – at least in the West. In many Muslim countries, by contrast, saying what you think can get you flogged or executed. Continue reading
To kick off 2015, I’ve compiled a list of 10 good facts you probably won’t hear on the news. Continue reading
Posted in Life
Tagged Belief, Democracy, Economic growth, Environment, Equality, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Human rights, Longevity, Politics, Poverty