What separates the conservative political agenda from the liberal? A host of issues, almost all of which can be traced back to a pivotal divergence occurring during the last century. More than any single policy disagreement, what best characterizes the rift between Right and Left is their incompatible theories of knowledge, the conflict between their beliefs about what constitutes genuine sources of understanding.
As I enter middle age, this question recurs more insistently than ever: what is worth doing? How ought I invest my time, precious as it is? What achievements, pursuits and aims are deserving of my ambition? The last twenty years have passed with breathtaking swiftness, and it’s natural to begin assessing one’s legacy – not … Continue reading What is worth doing?
On this, my 38th birthday, I reflect briefly on the nature of tragedy through a consideration of Schopenhauer’s pessimism and its compatibility with Christianity.
Our ethical commitments, aesthetic ambitions, and devotion to civil ideals lose their logical force and allure when subjected to the constraints of materialism, and if Secular Humanists wish to live authentically and with intellectual integrity they must recognize the limitations their uncompromising view imposes upon our activity.
Four poems about loss and one about writing.
Amidst the merriment of holiday celebrations, we may find ourselves reflecting on the absence of romantic partners who no longer participate in our lives. The intimacy of family gatherings and the fellowship of seasonal festivities throw into painful relief the ghostly contours of those who once toiled alongside us in the victories and disappointments of … Continue reading Solitude
There are few disappointments more troubling than encountering situations that demand more of us than we can give. Whether in the execution of our professional obligations or in the pursuit of some personal aspiration, when our abilities fail us we feel dejected and inadequate.
June 20th marks six months since I underwent a craniotomy to remove an egg-sized benign meningioma from the left side of my brain. The elapsed time has brought about improvement of some of my bothersome symptoms and the onset of others. Despite new disruptions and setbacks, a pattern of life has gradually emerged. I am … Continue reading Six Months
Would a defender of transgenderism ever submit as a candidate for a scientific theory of gender an empirical data point on the authority of which she would deny a person’s right to a gender transition? I cannot imagine she would. And if not, then transgenderism as a scientific enterprise is doomed.
Last week provided occasions for both relief and renewed anxiety. With surgery now almost a month behind me, I am beginning to absorb the long-term repercussions of the procedure. My surgery followed so quickly after my diagnosis that it left me little time to process what was happening. Now, with a better appreciation of the … Continue reading Celebrations and frustrations