It is obvious that there are a number of fundamental differences between humans and other animals on this planet. Humans have a language whose complexity goes far beyond ways in which animals communicate. We have writing. We use very sophisticated tools. We live in large groups made out of individuals with very different personalities. It … Continue reading To Be Human, To Be Animal
Given that there does not appear to be a way open to us to determine what the purpose of life is, and therefore no way to know what is ultimately good and bad, it is only natural that there is some disagreement among us what it means to live a virtuous life. However, there seem … Continue reading The Survival of Humankind: Should We Be Working Towards It?
I am currently reading the book 'Happiness' by Matthieu Ricard and a small exercise is presented at the end of the first chapter. The exercise is to think about what gives us pleasure and happiness. This question got me contemplating for quite a while. It appears I am not thinking very often about whether I … Continue reading What Makes Me Happy?
I've recently completed the book Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt. It was quite an entertaining read but also quite unsatisfactory, since I feel it didn't even come close to giving an answer to the question posed. At most, it provided some interesting examples of philosophical gymnastics such as … Continue reading Why Does Anything Exist
Today I listened to a podcast from the show Waking up with Sam Harris. The topic of the podcast was consciousness and the self the guest was a Anil K. Seth. I haven't finished the podcast yet (it is over three hours long) but even in the beginning I couldn't stop wondering why it would … Continue reading Consciousness: What is all the Fuss About?
We all know how it feels to be angry. We can be angry in the small, maybe about something we forgot and for which only we ourselves are to blame. We can be angry in the big, as a people who feel that others are taking advantage of us. It is unfortunately true that to … Continue reading Anger
When we think of the mind, we often first think about our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and decisions. When our mind wanders, our thoughts jump from one topic to another. When we change our mind, we have decided to think of something in a different way than we used to or decided to do things in … Continue reading Mind, Body and Soul
Today I came across an article by Steve Biddulph and one paragraph therein really struck a chord with me: There is something happening, in the new century, to the way we live, which again is harming our basic humanity. Every economy tends to enslave, and ours is the most effective of all, since the chains … Continue reading Velvety Chains: Social Values That Bind
Look within; within is the fountain of all good. Marcus Aurelius We often go about our lives in a robot-like way. We do what is prescribed by our biological, social and cultural programming; seek social confirmation, seek good-looking mates, seek power, seek wealth, and we do so without thinking about it. Sometimes this leads us … Continue reading Look Within
Ornaments are an important part of nature. Flowers use them to attract bees. Birds use them to attract mates. Frogs use them as protection from predators. It is therefore not very surprising that jewellery, face painting, tattoos and other ornamental devices are one of the many things which are shared by all know human cultures. … Continue reading Jewellery