Of Self-Made Men and Women

  The problem with right-wing conservatives is their exaggeration of the accomplishments of the wealthy, as if their successes, their achievements, their acquirements were their own attainments.  And these conservatives claim to be...

Of Fear and Courage

  “If it is fear that drives us into the clutches of religion, then it is courage that can set us free.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Religious Claims

  “For many people, certain religious claims are simply among the things that their parents taught them and are accepted on that basis.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Religion

  “Fear drives people to religion.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Religion

  “Religion was spawned by fear.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Moral Obligation

  “If God is dead, we have not been divinely commanded to help our fellow human beings.  Nevertheless, we have such an obligation, though it is derived from a different source.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe,...

Of Ethical Character

  “There is a heart of darkness inside each of us.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Faith and Personal Tragedy

  “The atheist may feel particular irritation toward the theist whose faith wobbles only after a personaltragedy.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Philosophy

  “To Philosophize is to Learn to Die.” —Michel de Montaigne  

Of Marxian Essentialism

  “Karl Marx was an essentialist.” —Scott Meikle, Essentialism in the Thought of Karl Marx, 1985  

Of Marxian Essentialism

  “The sort of essentialism held by Karl Marx is invulnerable to the familiar forms of attack made upon essentialism, and far from being a weakness in Marx’s thought, essentialism is its greatest strength and the powerhouse if his explanatory...

Of Marxian Science

  Karl Marx’s conception of science, his basic categories and forms of explanation, are essentialist, and therefore radically different in their nature from what they are taken to be in much contemporary Marxist thought.” —Scott Meikle,...

Of the Fear of Nature

  “It is fear of nature that gives rise to religion.” —Bertrand Arthur William Russell  

Of Ethical Consciousness

  “If 10 percent of the population were to take a consciously ethical outlook on life and act accordingly, the resulting change would be more significant than any change of government.” —Pete Singer  

Of Working

  “Some people love working, and some hate it.” —Gerald Allan Cohen, Why Not Socialism?, 2009  

Of Opportunity and Preferences

  “Under socialist equality of opportunity income differences obtain when they reflect nothing but different individual preferences, including income/leisure preferences.  People differ in their tastes, not only across consumer items, but also...

Of Equality of Opportunity

  “Promoting equality of opportunity is not only an equalizing, but also a redistributing, policy.” —Gerald Allan Cohen, Why Not Socialism?, 2009  

Of Capitalism, Oligarchy, and Freedom

  How do I characterize freedom in the context of modern capitalism and oligarchic statism?  Imagine a prisoner in his prison cell.  The prisoner may walk around his prison, but he may not leave it.  

Of Alt-Right and Antifa

  There should be no restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, but citizens must express their opposition to hate speech and racist propaganda.  There should be public opposition expressed through demonstrations and protests, but the...

Of Alt-Right

  The alt-right seems to take great pleasure in threatening a race war, in bluff, and in the fear of a civil war.  

Of Property

  A socialist can agree with there being a right to personal property for consumption, or for personal utility.  But a socialist cannot agree with there being a right to private property for large-scale industrial or agricultural production which...

Of the Lockean Proviso

  John Locke claimed that a private property right only arises if nonowners are left with enough and as good in common.  This is called “the Lockean proviso”.  The proviso requires that there be unowned property left for others to appropriate.