Reflections on Conversion and a Trip to Israel I CAME of age in the United States during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Although I certainly never put my life on the line as some did in those struggles, as a university student I participated in them, especially the anti-war movement, and they contributed to my core values and political … More Reflections on Conversion and a Trip to Israel

Stoicism As Therapy

I have taken up Stoicism as a practical life philosophy. My main source of information about Stoicism is Massimo Pigliucci’s blog “How to Be a Stoic,” which I highly recommend. I find Stoicism therapeutic, and in fact various modern cognitive therapies such as Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy have consciously drawn on the insights of the … More Stoicism As Therapy

The War on Christmas

} It’s as though the city is under siege. We have seen more than one would-be Xmas tree vendor hauled of in handcuffs. Happy Holiday goons forced a local store to take down a window display that slightly resembled a manger. Traditional Christmas drinks like eggnog are banned for the month of December, but our … More The War on Christmas

Fairy Tales

Money can’t buy happiness. This is fairy tale that we tell ourselves to feel less envious of the rich and that the rich promote in order to feel safer. It’s true, of course, that happiness isn’t a commodity you can buy on Amazon. And it’s also true that rich can be quite miserable. But having … More Fairy Tales

God vs The Evil Eye

In their attacks on religion, the so-called New Atheists—Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens (RIP), and Sam Harris—go after low-hanging fruit. They pretend that the most primitive, science-denying fundamentalists are representative of religious believers. But not all religious people believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that global warming doesn’t matter because Jesus will … More God vs The Evil Eye

The Imitation Game

I was next in line at the check-out counter at my local supermarket. The young man checking the groceries was going through the motions with the usual check-out patter: “How are you today?” “Did you find everything you wanted?” “Do you want the meat wrapped in plastic?” “Do you want help out with that?” “Have … More The Imitation Game