Philosophy & Critical Thinking

Philosophy & Critical Thinking


Animal Rights: Zoos, Hunting, Circuses, & Meat

a question of animal rights April 19th, 2017

Animal rights is an issue that sometimes comes to the fore based on some significant event that the media picks up. Often it is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doing something dubious (e.g., in regard to wearing fur or vivisection or something). Today is a momentous day, though, because the Ringling Brothers Circus, after nearly 150 years, is calling it quits. I for one am a tad bit sad to see that unique piece of Americana go, but mostly relieved that finally those animals who are – let’s face it – slaves, will get to retire. So, almost everyone feels something about animal rights – experimentation, circuses, zoos, shelters euthanizing unwanted dogs and cats, or eating animals, but what are the moral issues involved? How should we probably be deciding about this thorny ethical issue? What rights do animals have that ought to be respected?

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Is Atlas Still “With Us?”

Dog March 17th, 2017

I was speaking with my wife yesterday about our dog, as it was the 1-year anniversary of his death. I noted that I was having trouble feeling acceptance, finding meaning, and being “okay” with his passing. It feels to me to be a loss — and very little consolation comes with that. It hurts. I feel like I used to have a great dog, but no more. She feels quite differently…

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Civil Liberties Dialogue: A Response

lady justice February 24th, 2017

I shared the post from February 22nd with a friend who is an economist, and tends to see things in ways that is similar to, but different from, me. He had some interesting commentary that focused on justice, truth, and progress. I thought I would just paste his response here. His name is Robert L. Lloyd. Read the original blog first. We are discussing civil liberties, social justice, truth, and America’s social problems. 

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Social Justice and Civil Liberties: Case in Point

social justice and civil liberties February 22nd, 2017

I get that being a cop is difficult, for all kinds of reasons. One is that we don’t pay them, select them, or supervise them all that well. Also, the culture of many law enforcement agencies has some problems that new recruits have to adjust to – the blue code of silence or whatever it’s called. Clearly, there are a lot of trashy people in a country of over 300,000,000, and cops are on the front lines in dealing with them. So, I do think we should have police, but like most agencies – from schools to government to courts – the institution should be improved, amended, and altered. Social justice and civil liberties are two aspirational goals America was founded on (well, that is arguable).

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