Thoughts At The End Of January, 2023
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
5d ago
I have previously written about the difference between how the world is and how we imagine it could be. Today I was thinking about the problem from the microcosmic point of view—the difference between what I am and what I wish I could be. Why is so much of our potential never actualized? In response, I immediately think of Aristotle’s distinction between act and potency. Roughly speaking Aristotle thought that everything is a composite of form and matter. The form is the pattern or structure of a thing and the matter is what makes something an individual thing. Everything you see around you i ..read more
Visit website
Why Do People Believe Crazy Things?
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1w ago
(Akim Reinhardt’s superb essay about the proliferation of online conspiracy theories was published at 3 Quarks Daily on MONDAY, AUG 16, 2021. Reprinted with permission.) As an undergraduate History major, I reluctantly dug up a halfway natural science class to fulfill my college’s general education requirement. It was called Psychology as a Natural Science. However, the massive textbook assigned to us turned out to be chock full of interesting tidbits ranging from optical illusions to odd tales. One of the oddest was the story of Leon, Joseph, and Clyde: three men who each fervently believed ..read more
Visit website
Sean Carroll: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
2w ago
I have just finished Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time—so carefully and conscientiously crafted. Carroll brings his considerable erudition, unusual even for a scholar, to bear on a number of salient philosophical topics including:the essence of his poetic naturalism; the non-existence of gods; why the universe exists; the mind-body problem; the extraordinary philosophical implications of quantum field theory; why death is the end; the evolution of consciousness; why we aren’t ..read more
Visit website
Can Science Make Us Immortal?
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
3w ago
Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white) If death is inevitable, then all we can do is die and hope for the best. But perhaps we don’t have to die. Many respectable scientists now believe that humans can overcome death and achieve immortality through the use of future technologies. But how will we do this? The first way we might achieve physical immortality is by conquering our biological limitations—we age, become diseased, and suffer trauma. Aging research, while woefully underfunded, has yielded positive results. Average life expectancies have tripled since ancient tim ..read more
Visit website
Grant Wahl’s Death: Why Lying Is So Harmful
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
3w ago
Grant Wall (1973-2022) This morning I was moved by reading Dr. Celine Grounder’s brief New York Times opinion piece about the death of her young husband and all the cruelty it has elicited and the ignorance it has revealed. I highly recommend reading the tribute to her deceased husband. While Dr. Grounder rightfully focuses on the extraordinary ignorance that connects covid vaccination to every death—there is no connection between the two whatsoever—I would also like to consider those who are NOT ignorant of the truth about the extraordinary efficacy of covid vaccines, but who nonetheless LIE ..read more
Visit website
Dan Fogelberg – River of Souls
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
Peoria Riverfront Park Dan Fogelberg Memorial Site “To every man the mystery Sings a different song He fills his page of history Dreams his dreams and is gone.” Below is a music video of the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard about death, one that appeals to me in my occasional mystical moments. The words, music, and vocals are by the American musician Dan Fogelberg (1951 – 2007), who is best known for his hit songs  such as: “Longer,” “The Leader of the Band,” and “Same Old Lang Syne.” (The story of each of these songs is itself fascinating, just follow the links.) The song about d ..read more
Visit website
A Skeptic’s View of the Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
I received a correspondence from a reader who wonders about “the triumph of judgment over spontaneity as we emerge from childhood into adulthood and the consequent obstacle it poses for living in psychic comfort.” In other words, she worries about how to reconcile “a naturally felt purposefulness and zest for life against an intellectual sense of life’s essential pointlessness and its indifference to human concerns that give rise to the recognition of absurdity.” The only consolation she experiences is with her grandchildren “as they go about engaging the world with perfect unmediated wo ..read more
Visit website
Economists – The USA Desperately Needs More Immigrants
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
  My previous speculations that the USA desperately needs to increase immigration have been confirmed by major economists as reported in “Trump’s Immigrant Crackdown Left A Critical Shortage Of Workers In U.S. Economy.” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has estimated that the economy is short an astonishing 3.5 million workers, and economists estimate half of those workers would typically be migrants allowed into the country, The Washington Post reported Thursday. “There is no question: We need more immigration,” Adam Ozimek, chief economist at the Econom ..read more
Visit website
Susan Wolf on Happiness and Meaning
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
Susan R. Wolf (1952 – ) is a moral philosopher who has written extensively on meaning in human life. She is currently the Edna J. Koury Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She addressed the topic of the meaning of life, among other places, in her essay: “Happiness and Meaning: Two Aspects of the Good Life.” Wolf begins by asking: “In what does self-interest consist?” Now the concept of self-interest is straightforward: “Self interest is interest in one’s own good. To act self-interestedly is to act on the motive of advancing one’s own good.”  But t ..read more
Visit website
A Great Blog—The Attic
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
2M ago
I wanted to remind my readers of a wonderful and uplifting blog called the attic. (I wrote about it just over a year ago.) Here is a brief description from the blog’s author, Sick of the news? Come rummage in The Attic to find a kinder, cooler America.  Here you’ll find common ground, not minefields. Updated weekly, The Attic features short profiles of American artists, writers, dreamers, inventors, visionaries, and more … Time was when magazines I wrote for, Smithsonian and American Heritage, explored this space. But screens have silenced kinder, cooler Americans.  The result ..read more
Visit website

Follow The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly on Feedspot

Continue with Google
OR