Virtue & Character

Virtue & Character


Christian Capitalism and American Ignorance

Christian December 5th, 2017

Did you know that 55% of Americans believe that Christianity was written into the Constitution and that the founding fathers wanted One Nation Under Jesus (which includes 75% of Republicans and Evangelicals) (USA Today)? It is true that Puritan pilgrims came here seeking religious freedom, and that today we are one of the most religious of industrialized nations. But the fact that the vast majority of Americans think we are and are supposed to be “a Christian nation” is disconcerting, for two reasons. One, we certainly are not; America has slowly come to accept that religious pluralism and toleration and separation of church and state are ideals worth striving for. Some of the founding fathers were deistic and not particularly religious. But perhaps even more so, how can we be considered a Christian nation when we have this level of political chicanery, poverty, militarism, materialism, and greed? Those counter-ideals are literally antithetical to the message we believe Jesus was trying to convey during his brief time on Earth. This is a blog about the ignorance many Americans have, and even court.

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An Exploration of Wisdom: An Interview

an exploration of wisdom December 2nd, 2017

Wisdom is the heart of the enterprise Values of the Wise, so I look forward to today’s discussion here on the radio show, Values and Ethics: from Living Room to Boardroom. Wisdom is an apparently simple, yet surprisingly elusive matter, so I’m geared up to interview two capable and conversant individuals who can speak with me and help us all understand wisdom a bit better. First I have Wes Nisker on the program; he goes by “Scoop.” Usually I call the guest by their first name, with permission, of course; however, today I will see if I can call Wes, Scoop! He is an author of a best-selling book called The Essential Crazy Wisdom, an underground classic.

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Simple Ways of Helping People at Home and Abroad

helping people at home December 1st, 2017

Trying to be a better citizen can be an intimidating and overwhelming idea. Here are some simple, effective ways of helping people at home and abroad. 
Republished from an original article by Guest Blogger John Hawthorne.

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“Great Spirits”

great spirits December 1st, 2017

“Great spirits” are individuals who exemplify magnanimity and other virtues. This poem attempts to capture a bit of that beauty.

Great spirits exemplify numerous virtues
They view the world in vibrant hues
She personifies the loftiest human values
He knows many elusive and profound truths.

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“Will Star Trek Forever Remain Fiction?”

Star Trek November 29th, 2017

A big fan of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, this poem asks if we will ever reach the level of development as a planet that humans do in the 23rd century. Here is a stanza:

How can we engender a bright future as a global society,
When millions of children are hungry, sick, and poor?
We are swimming in greed, intolerance, bigotry, and anxiety;
Must
Star Trek forever remain nothing but lore?

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Siddhartha Gautama, Founder of Buddhism

Buddhism November 28th, 2017

Siddhartha in the ancient language of Magadhi means “one who has accomplished a goal.” This is a very fitting name for a very influential historical figure that is still shrouded in myth and legend — Siddhartha Gautama, also known as The Buddha. While we do know he existed, there is still a lot that we don’t know about him (and will never know). It has been over 2,500 years since The Buddha’s death, and to this day his insightful and inspirational message influences and motivates hundreds of millions of people every day. This is what living a life of value is all about: pursuing a path for oneself that is functional and fulfilling, while at the same time helping, loving, and guiding others the be the best possible versions of themselves. Let me share a bit more about Siddhartha Gautama, and then I will present some very interesting quotes by the man who literally invented Buddhism.

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“The Truly Noble Man”

the truly noble man November 27th, 2017

The truest and best conceptions of masculinity are measured in this poem. Here is an example:

Despite popular conceptions, the ideal measure of a man
Is not gauged by braggadocio and aggressive displays;
Neither by number of toys or lovers he managed to collect,
Though many try in vain to be manly in these ways…

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The Multifaceted Self: Ethics, Politics & Psychology

the multifaceted self November 27th, 2017

I want to examine characteristics, demarcations, and aspects of the self vis-à-vis various groups and divisions within society. Hopefully doing so will shed some light on internal values and virtues, and the idea of a “values divide” between political ideologies, groups, states, philosophical orientations, religions, and so on. As well: wise as opposed to conventional (or, dare I say, wise as opposed to ignorant)! I have two guests I am eager to speak with about this intriguing topic. First, Alan Abramowitz, Ph.D., professor of political science at Emory University, and then Earle F. Zeigler, Ph.D. a very interesting polymath and wise old man who wrote many books, including A Way Out of Ethical Confusion: Untangling the Values Fiasco. I have many questions about the multifaceted self in society, but I want to be sure to take the opportunity to ask my guests questions about the philosophy of a good life I call “living a life of value.” 

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A Survey of Philosophy and Ethics

A Survey of Philosophy and Ethics November 27th, 2017

What is an “ethical theory”? What does it mean to have an ethical sense? How does a rational and responsible person go about making moral decisions? To help me understand such critical but esoteric questions, I am happy to speak with philosopher Jonathan Dolhenty, founder of The Radical Academy. Jon also favors a broad, or should I say liberal, education. He has been interested in philosophy since he was 14, but also studied political science and education, and has worked as a quantitative analyst, teacher, school administrator, editor, publisher, and corporate executive. As a person who studied social science rather than philosophy, I share a little bit of the intimidation and lack of interest that characterizes most people’s view of philosophy! Jon is here to clarify the topic a bit. Let’s get radical!

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Georges: Takei, Will, Orwell, Bush, & Santayana

George Takei Quotes November 24th, 2017

I happened to look up the commentator and author George Will to demonstrate to a friend that his use of the word “bathetic” was neat but counterproductive, because it is simply too esoteric. It apparently means “insincere, intense emotional display.” I indicated that it was of limited utility in communication because it was so rare that it was obscure, myopic. It reminded me of George Will. I began to look up Will quotes I imagine for the first time, and wow, he said some interesting things! Much was politically-right, but still, neat stuff. It led me to Star Trek pioneer and social activist, George Takei. I then added George Bush, deep thinker George Orwell, and philosopher extraordinaire George Santayana quotes. Voila! — a blog! I present to you quotes from the five George’s: George Will quotes, George W. Bush quotes, George Takei quotes, George Orwell quotes, and George Santayana quotes. They will make you laugh; they will make you sad. But they certainly will make you think.

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