Is Philosophy Good For You?
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
2d ago
I had a recent conversation with someone who is reading my book Short Essays on Life, Death, Meaning, and the Far Future. He told me that he was now enthusiastic about reading more philosophy. But this got me thinking. How much should you philosophize? Is philosophy dangerous? Does philosophizing make your life go better? If I had to do it all over would I have spent so much of my life thinking about life? I have previously written an essay “The Relevance of Philosophy” and shared the views of two of my intellectual heroes on the topic: “Will Durant: The Value of Philosophy” and “Bertrand Rus ..read more
Visit website
Best Foods To Help Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1w ago
I’ve read extensively about the relationship between diet and ASD. (I have a grandchild with mild autism.) The bottom line is that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is beneficial for autistic children (as it is for all of us). The most important foods are cruciferous vegetables with sulforaphane (broccoli, cabbage, collard green, kale, and cauliflower) with broccoli sprouts probably the single best food for children with autism. Here is a brief video that summarizes the research. Another key idea I’ve found is that the evidence strongly suggests that kids on with ASD who ha ..read more
Visit website
My First Semester Teaching
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1w ago
In the fall of 1987 I taught my first college classes—two sections of ethics at a major midwestern university. I admit to being scared of speaking in front of 40 students who weren’t much younger than me. What would I talk about for an hour three times a week? What was I going to say for 16 weeks? Could I really do what so many professors I idealize seem to do with such ease? Well, I found out quickly that I could talk for an hour easily:) In fact, I enjoyed it thourougly. It took time to become comfortable; not until my second year did it seem natural. Still, even after many years of teachin ..read more
Visit website
How The Past Pervades The Present
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
2w ago
Responding to a recent post, Chris Crawford offered a beautiful image of how our lives might be meaningful despite our deaths. He writes, … the meaning of one’s life resides in the story that one creates by living. When we die, those who knew us tell others the story we forged by coping with the vicissitudes of life. That story is condensed down to its essence and becomes part of the culture. Think of our culture as a massive crowd of the ghosts of our ancestors and their lives. Then de-anthropormorphize that crowd, leaving just the stories behind. Our contribution to that crowd is the m ..read more
Visit website
On Dying, Grieving, and Judgment
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
3w ago
by Marie Snyder (Reprinted with author’s permission.) My dad passed away this week. He was older than the hills: 93 and a half years old. I’m not sad about his passing; he lived a long and fulfilling life. But I am troubled by how he went, and our expectations around grief. At his 90th birthday party, he was jovially talking with old friends and extended family. He lived a quiet life with his wife in a beautiful care facility. I once likened him to a cat, sleeping much of the day, and happy just to watch the world out his window. We don’t need to be doing things to be content. But the past fe ..read more
Visit website
Should I Choose To Live Forever? A Debate
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
I have just been made aware of a new book, Should I Choose To Live Forever? A Debate The book is a debate between the philosophers Stephen Case–who answers the question in the negative, and John Martin Fischer—who answers in the affirmative. The book also includes a Foreword by Lord Martin Rees, the current Astronomer Royal of the United Kingdom. While I have only read excerpts from the book I am familiar with the writing on this topic by both of these philosophers. And, as my readers might also know, I am firmly on the side of those who argue for having the choice to live forever—as I wrote ..read more
Visit website
Should we be grateful for death?
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
by John Danaher Most people think death is bad. They approach it with a degree of trepidation, possibly even denial. The prospect is particularly acute for someone who does not believe in an afterlife. Could such a person ever view death as a gift, something for which they should be grateful? That’s the intriguing question asked by Mikel Burley in his article “Atheism and the Gift of Death”. I want to take a look at his answer in this post.I’ll start by dismissing a relatively trivial sense in which a non-believer can view death as a gift. They can view it as a gift when the life they are l ..read more
Visit website
The ethics of human extinction
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
I recently finished reading Emile Torres‘ essay in Aeon magazine, “The ethics of human extinction,” a topic I have thought and written about much over the years. Torres doesn’t come to a definitive conclusion noting “that human extinction would be a mixed bag.” Nonetheless, Torres argues that “the horrors of Going Extinct in a global catastrophe are so enormous that we… should do everything in our power to reduce the likelihood of this happening.” Yet this results in the predicament that those who agree … are left anticipatorily mourning all the suffering and sorrow, terrors and torments that ..read more
Visit website
More On “Is The World Better Than Ever?”
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
By Anton Alterman [Note. This is a follow-up essay to my many recent posts about human progress.] Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times publishes a column at the end of every year with the same idea as Pinker’s book … and a lot of the same data points.  It always seems spurious to me. I appreciate having someone take a crack at saying just what’s wrong with it, but there is much more to be said. For example, progress in income levels and education in China and India alone may account for a good deal of the perceived progress, and though they really do constitute progress, it may obscure other ..read more
Visit website
A Final Note On The Existence of Free Will
The Meaning of Life By John G. Messerly
by John Messerly
1M ago
Over the past few weeks, I’ve read quite a bit about free will in the hope of expanding on the position I elucidated in a previous post. What I’ve discovered along the way is a stronger commitment to compatibilism. In the first place, compatibilism is the view of a large majority of philosophers (60% compatibilism; 19% libertarianism; 11% no free will.)[224]  Furthermore among evolutionary biologists, 80% said that they believe in free will while only 14 percent chose no free will, and 7 percent did not answer the question.[225] (Obviously this depends on the definition free will offered ..read more
Visit website

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

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR