Category Archives: Philosophy

Things I Worry About: How Alternative Fact Worldviews Enable Fascism

George Santayana, in Reason in Religion, makes the argument that religion serves the same sort of purposes that poetry does and that, while not literally true,* is nonetheless elevating. William James, in Varieties of Religious Experience, makes a pragmatic argument … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Trump (Don the Con) | 4 Comments

A Middle Way: Socialism, Capitalism, and Social Democracy 

NB: This is very rough. Something I threw together for a young friend. But I thought I would share it anyway. It’s valuable, when staking out a position, to play the Devil’s Advocate—to take the opposing point of view and … Continue reading

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Education Reform as Religious Cultism

Numerology is pseudoscience involving numbers. Lots of Americans, for example, believe in what they call angel numbers—what you see when look at a clock and it reads 1:11 or 2:22 or 3:33, etc. Each of these repeated sequences of the … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Epistemology | 2 Comments

On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity [1] | Bob Shepherd

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” –John 10:34 John,2 for all your skill, O master maker–singer, rhetor, builder, baker–you could not know, though multiply blest,that, choosing this name, you simply guessed,well, from … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Poetry, Religion | 1 Comment

The EZ Guide to Becoming a Cult Leader

I hope that these guidelines will help people to recognize the insidious, manipulative means by which the evil scam artists who run cults operate. Just about all cults rely on these means of manipulation. DON’T FALL FOR THEM! Make a … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Science and Ethics

Why Ethical Statements Are Not Merely Matters of Opinion Ideas matter. Over time, some spread virally and have consequences far beyond their place of origin. In our time, in which philosophy has become, alas, an academic discipline far removed from … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy | 4 Comments

A Brief Explanation of Everything. You’re Welcome.

NB: The following is a story. It is not fact. It is based in facts, yes, but it is entirely speculative. This was an exercise I set myself to create a myth that is completely consistent with current scientific understandings. … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Existentialism, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Religion, Short Stories | 3 Comments

Robert’s Rule

ROBERT’S RULE: If you are wondering whether a new policy, procedure, technology, law, regulation, or system is a good idea, just think of the worst person at the worst time in the future wielding its power. –Robert D. Shepherd Bob’s … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Existentialism, Technology, Trump (Don the Con) | 2 Comments

Why Science Fiction Is Impossible: A Science Fiction Writer’s Confession

When I was still a child, I fell in love with Sci Fi. I stayed up nights devouring stories and then novels by Asimov and Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Frederick … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Short Stories, Teaching Literature and Writing | 2 Comments

The Writer Puts Words in Their Place

I’ve seen it argued that animals (by which the authors meant nonhuman animals, for we are animals too) can’t be self-aware because they don’t have language. Yikes. The notion here is that in order for a creature to have a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Teaching Literature and Writing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment