meaning

Moral-ity

Jonathan Haidt 06This blog is all about “morality”. To seek Good is to aspire for the attainment of some standard of thought and behavior defined as positive in some manner. As such, a construction such as Moral Foundations Theory represents a paramount interest of this blog (and, presumably those who read it). Likewise, the trustworthiness of such a construction becomes crucial regarding its usefulness. So how useful is this theory—Jonathan Haidt’s MFT, a theoretical, research-based notion about rubrics of our moral perspective?

(more…)

Truth as a Common Good

A democratic society becomes very fragile
when
[Truth] the central common good is assailed…
directly and repeatedly”

~ Robert Reich

Robert ReichWhat are the most fundamental components of any democracy?  Robert Reich, speaking on the theme of his book The Common Good, suggests that “truth” (which he defines as a “common good”) represents one of the most significant foundations of any democratic endeavor. Regardless of sociopolitical persuasion, preservation of high standards for truth should be paramount in our thinking. Democratic governance depends on such a perspective. However, according to Mr. Reich and many others, the manner in which certain government officials portray the concept of truth represents a clear and present danger to the very foundations of democratic institutions.

In this 40 minute video, Mr. Reich presents his case around three general categories: (1) how did “this” happen (2) the central problem we face and (3) what are we going to do?

(more…)

Meaning is a Verb

A Life Worth Living?

children playing- smaller

Amid the swirl of thoughts that reverberate throughout life experience, once in a while an interesting idea settles onto Quora, a question and answer website (registration required).  As often as not, users post answers which are more interesting than the questions themselves.  A few weeks ago, just such a response appeared in reply to the question ‘What makes life worth living?’

Many of us ponder this or similar questions, most often with little expectation of receiving a reasonable answer.  In this instance, a responder we will simply call “Jimmy”, a self-defined entrepreneur and ”a Wall Street investor” stated the following:

“Nothing makes life worth living. The fact that this is even a question underlines the lack of life itself to provide a natural answer.”

The phrase “the lack of life” presents a curiously pointed accusation—an accusation directed at reality itself. Jimmy seems to think life owes us something, that life is somehow deficient, leaving us to pick up the pieces so to speak. He continues “Most of life is a sentence [did he mean “sequence”?] of failures and pains, punctuated with only the briefest of moments of happiness.”  What’s wrong with this picture?  (more…)