Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Ice Storm Blues

Just a quick housekeeping note to let you know that an ice storm has my electricity flickering on and off. We just went back on after a 2-hour outage, but I have little faith this is gonna hold. If I … Continue reading

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In Search of the Altruism Gene

A new study from the University of Bonn finds evidence of an altruism gene: While researchers have had evidence for years that altruistic behavior is at least partly influenced by genetics, that evidence has come mainly from studies of twins … Continue reading

Posted in neuroscience | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Trajectory of Moral Progress

The thought for the day is from my recent interview with Duke Professor Ruth Grant: (W)e have ambivalence about whether we are on a trajectory of moral progress or a trajectory of moral corruption. We have some sense that things … Continue reading

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JFK, Tucson and Fear

In the wake of the Tucson shootings and liberal concerns about political rhetoric, our honorable opposition on the right has taken to yelling, “FOUL!” Right-wing commentators claim that progressives’ concerns about rhetoric aren’t real concerns; they’re politics. This scream has … Continue reading

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Posted in Politics, Practicing Goodness | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Coming Attractions

Finally, I’m finishing up the long-promised post about the Tucson shootings. The post is called “JFK, Tucson and Fear,” and I’ll publish it tomorrow.

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No Man’s Land

Keith adds an intriguing comment to an old post about Sam Harris: The specific answer as to why people get angry about such issues is, I think, that the topic of morality seems to sit in a no man’s land … Continue reading

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Pain May Ease Guilt

Morality, goodness and guilt appear to me to be mixed together. Regular run-of-the-mill guilt might help regulate our actions and make us more ethical. Over-sized guilt might lead us to act out against ourselves or others. So, is this University … Continue reading

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Days 184 – 222: The Log

I haven’t fallen off the edge of the Earth, although it might look like it. I’ve been contemplating and working since I posted that I was Taking Time To Think about Tucson. Thus, my time has been made up of … Continue reading

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Taking Time To Think

My immediate reaction to the Tucson shootings was to post the instant I heard, except that the only thing I wanted to do was to howl with fury and point fingers. I was spitting fire, and I could think of … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

From John Bradshaw, Reclaiming Virtue: How We Can Develop the Moral Intelligence to Do the Right Thing at the Right Time for the Right Reason: Goodness, as a moral absolute, is dangerous because it does not own its own shadow, … Continue reading

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Metaphor as Reality

Hmmm. Don’t know what I think about this, but I guess anything that helps us be better people can’t be bad. New research shows that thinking elevating thoughts or moving up — even through an act as mundane as riding … Continue reading

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Pema Chodron Explains Basic Goodness

Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron discusses goodness and the trap of getting caught up in ourselves. She says we get so twisted around that we “can’t see others because of our own pain.”

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