Tag Archives: philosophy

The Power of Apology

Whether or not you are a Christian, this author’s view makes ethical sense to me. I’ve become upset many times by the views of people parroting the old propaganda about how killing those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki “saved more American lives”, “shortened the war” etc. We don’t know that. We can’t know that. Some believe it to be true. Some don’t.

Killing innocent people is not justified, and can’t be (in my view) by unprovable hypotheses about the positive effect the killers ASSUME the killings will have (or did have) upon future events. There were tens of thousands of children under age five killed in the two atomic bombings. There were hospitals in both cities that were obliterated. Even if you subscribe to the idea that Japan had ordered “every man, woman and child to fight to the death”, it seems insane to assume infants, toddlers and hospital patients could ever have been a threat.

Historians are on both sides of this issue. Some say the documentary evidence makes it crystal clear that once Russia declared war on Japan between the two bombings, Japanese high command sued for peace, believing they would get better terms from the Americans – thus making the bombing of Nagasaki completely unnecessary (i.e. mass murder). Other historians downplay the influence of Russia’s military actions on the outcome of the war with Japan.

I’m not a historical expert. I’m examining the question from a philosophical position of pacifism, one that rejects the theory of “just wars”.

The Workshop

I have admit, I haven’t followed American news much at all since being here.  It’s pretty much what shows up on my MSN homepage and Facebook feed.  But something, other than the horror that is the presidential campaigns for both parties, caught my eye the last few days.  Not from a lot of people, not the headline by far, but just enough to sadden me once again at the state of the American Church.

obama apologyA few of my friends have posted at how appalled they are that President Obama dared to apologize to the people of Japan for dropping the atomic bomb on them in WWII.  They point to how it saved hundreds if not thousands of lives which would have been lost in battle.  They argue that Japan deserved it after attacking Pearl Harbor.  They shout that in war, you do what you have to do and make no…

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Filed under Ethics and Morality, forgiveness, politics

Depression, suicide, and hope

This person found a way of viewing today’s sad news through the hopeful eyes of the character and show Doctor WHO.

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Filed under Emotions, Television, Thinking about thinking

Quality Vs. Favoritism

I have a tendency to sort the world in two simultaneous ways.  There are things I term “good” merely because I enjoy them, and things that I identify as “good” because they achieve their intent in an undeniably superior way.  It’s very important to me to be able to tell the difference between these two.  I’m obsessed with being aware of the difference. Continue reading

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Filed under Metaphysics, Thinking about thinking

Full Steam Ahead

Steam-powered zero carbon water taxi

Having always been an odd boy, at different ages I sought identity among the punk enclaves where I lived. Continue reading

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Filed under Cinema, photos, Technology, Thinking about thinking

Are You In or Out?

There are two ways to attune your attitude toward the natural environment.  You can generally view it as an outside “thing” to be tamed, shaped, mastered and utilized for resources.  Or you can look at the whole as being an ecosystem, which you are a part of, not an outside agent to. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Ethics and Morality, symbolism, Technology

“If You’re So Smart…

…why aren’t you rich?”

That’s what they used to say to me back in the Midwest, in response to my being an insufferable know-it-all.  I am a more sufferable know-it-all these days, so I am rarely asked this question, which is disappointing since I now have many good answers for it. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics and Morality, humor, Money, Self-Esteem

Sisyphus and Me

One of my favorite authors I have not written about in this space is Albert Camus (1913-1960), a Nobel laureate (1957) who was both a superb novelist and an influential philosophic essayist.  In Camus’ view, life is an unsolvable situation which we (being what we are) will nonetheless die trying to solve.  This is not a condition which must lead to despair. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics and Morality, Literature, Metaphysics, symbolism