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Star Trek’s Prime Directive – A lofty idea with a few wrinkles

In the fictional world of Star Trek, the Prime Directive is a core regulation of Starfleet. To understand what the Prime Directive means, we have to know how Star Trek depicts its moral universe. Star Fleet officers usually see themselves … Continue reading


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The Pyramids – Afterlife portals or symbols of worldly power?

Pyramids are really just a big billboard that says “the richest guy in Egypt is buried here” – Quora In the 1976 playoffs the Toronto Maple Leafs made it to the semi-finals against the Philadelphia Flyers. This was pretty rare … Continue reading


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Possession – Another spiritual idea largely ignored by consumer culture

The idea of spiritual possession is found in many different cultures. Some see it as entirely involuntary, unwanted and evil. Others take a less extreme view. Depending on the cultural context in which it is found, possession may be considered … Continue reading


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Poststructuralism – Another label to be avoided?

Poststructuralism could be defined as an approach to knowledge that appeared in the social sciences during the 1960s to 70s as a reaction to or outgrowth of structuralism. The term poststructuralism was chic within academic circles during the mid-1980s to … Continue reading


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Quiddity – What is?

Embed from Getty Images Quiddity (Latin: quidditas = whatness) is a medieval scholastic term referring a thing’s essence (primary substance) in contrast to its observable form (secondary substance). This kind of distinction goes back to Plato and plays an important … Continue reading


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The Rosary – Aid or distraction?

Embed from Getty Images The word rosary refers to any planned prayer recited on a string of beads. Rosaries in this sense have been prayed all over the world in different religious traditions for centuries. Before the introduction of beads, … Continue reading


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David Ricardo – With Trump’s pending inauguration, suddenly the old giants become relevant again

David Ricardo (1772-1823) was an English economist, influenced by Thomas Robert Malthus, and often credited along with Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill as a founder of the so-called classical school of economics. Ricardo had learned the art of stockbroking … Continue reading


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Reductio ad absurdum – An old school way of saying “take the flipside” or “take it to the limit”

Reductio ad absurdum [Latin: “reduce to the absurd”] is a method of argumentation said to prove a statement to be true by demonstrating the contradiction, absurdity and therefore impossibility that would result if it were untrue or prove a statement to … Continue reading


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Ram Dass – Bridging East and West

Ram Dass (1931 – ) Richard Alpert, now Ram Dass, was born into a wealthy, educated Jewish American family. After receiving his Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford he grew increasingly dissatisfied with conventional approaches to understanding the psyche. So he became a full-fledged … Continue reading