The theme of this essay occurred to me while reading a new history of the Second World War entitled “Blood and Ruins, The Last Imperial War.”
VICTOR NUOVO 13th in a series I concluded last week’s essay with a question: whether human history has any meaning. And I suggested that an answer might be found in the writings of Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), in particular, in a book published in 1949 e … (read more)
I write in response to Kris Diehl’s letter in your April 21 issue. He raises a good point.
Shakespeare’s “Tragedy of Macbeth” is about a man who would be King; who, motivated by envy and ambition, achieved his life’s goal by committing murder, only to be defeated in the end.
I didn’t want to write this letter without time to more clearly spell out my feelings. But I also don’t want my displeasure to go un-noted, because I am sure other readers feel as I do. So forgive this brief note.
The theme of my last four essays has been Good and Evil, but so far I have failed to define these words.
The philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz believed that God was the ultimate cause of existence, that God created the world from nothing.
What is the problem of evil? The fact that there is evil, that bad things happen, is undeniable. But this doesn’t constitute a single problem; rather it presents a host of problems, and in some cases, although not always, solutions.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed the divine prohibition and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they couldn’t have known that they were doing anything evil, for, until then, they didn’t possess such knowledge.
It is impossible to reach an understanding of the meaning of life without a knowledge of good and evil, for lacking it we would not be able to decide how to act, what goals to pursue, how to direct the course of our lives.
There is no doubt that Vladimir Putin has succeeded in achieving one of his life purposes. He has become a world-historical figure.
Plato was not only a profound philosopher, but also a consummate artist, and reading his works is not only interesting and intellectually challenging, but an aesthetic delight.
Socrates imagined that death is one of two things: Either it is extinction, or the release of the soul from the body and its migration to another place.
It is a curious fact that the two greatest moral teachers of the Western intellectual tradition — Socrates of Athens (470–399 BCE) and Jesus of Nazareth (4 BCE–30 CE) — wrote nothing.
In my last essay I wrote that Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), who was surely a great philosopher, believed that God is the reason for everything, which leads to another question: Is there a reason for God?