Category Archives: book review

The Squirrel and the Ant

I often ask questions as part of a blog post, but I’m not sure if they’re the right ones. My point in asking them is to invite the reader to think and, I’ll be perfectly honest about it, to inspire … Continue reading

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The rhythm of life

“In Western societies, the arts tend to occupy a special niche of their own, as if they might be a luxury rather than a vital part of human life. This has made it possible for the unenlightened to argue that … Continue reading

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Bottom-up morality

Many christians still argue that we can’t be good without god, even though there is a variety of secular moral frameworks. Primatologist De Waal turns this debate on its head by saying we invented god to help us live the … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, book review, science | Tagged , , , , , | 63 Comments

What are you thinking?

I’ve read about a scientist who went upstairs to change for a dinner party. When the guests arrived, his wife went looking for him and found fast asleep. He said: “I found myself upstairs, with my tie in my right … Continue reading

Posted in book review, sceptic, science, zen | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Doing nothing

Wei wu wei It’s a taoist concept, translated as the action of nonaction. Lao Tzu describes it: “Thus, the wise man deals with things through wu-wei and teaches through no-words. The ten thousand things flourish without interruption. They grow by … Continue reading

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What’s good?

I’m reading excerpts from the diary of Maura O’Halloran, an Irish woman who lived in a zen monastery in Japan in the eighties. “Respect life,” she says. “Not because it’s right or good or moral but because it is.” This … Continue reading

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Hardcore romantic

I was sixteen. In our philosophy class, our teacher had just told us the Hindu story of a woman who found the heads of her husband and his best friend had been switched. He left us to ponder the question … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, book review, sceptic | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments