Category: Morality

Practical Zen: An Approach to Secular Ethics

[This is a talk more or less as I gave it at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture on October 23, 2016. It is based on a chapter in Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and

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Winks

You might have heard about the juvenile frat boys who were disciplined by Old Dominion University for this: Freshman women at Old Dominion University were given a very special welcome last week when they arrived on campus: Large banners that

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Stuck in the Void

[This post originally appeared on About.com Buddhism on September 30, 2013. It sort of goes with the last post, on “Dark Nights and Dukkha Nanas.”] I’ve written a review of  Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans, a new

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What We Don’t See

Of all the conceits common to humankind possibly the most insidious is that any of us are entirely rational. And often the most irrational people are those who brag about how rational they are. Even if a person’s basic reasoning

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Deluded About Enlightenment

This is a follow up to the post before last, about the death of Joshu Sasaki. The New York Times published an article about it, and apparently not all of the Roshi’s former students acknowledge that what he did was

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How Evil Happens

William Saletan at Slate (yeah, I know, it’s William Saletan, but it’s a good article) and Ben Hubbard/Jodi Rudoren at the New York Times write that Israel simply isn’t concerning itself with whether their shells are hitting UN schools where

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Why Law Shouldn’t Be Based on Morality

There’s a common argument that law ought to be based on morality, but I disagree. While there is a huge amount of overlap, law and morality operate on slightly different planes. I wrote about this in Rethinking Religion, but I

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The Basis of Morality

One chapter in Rethinking Religion is devoted to rethinking morality. Many religious people insist — absurdly, to my mind — that there can be no morality without religion. Secularists have taken up this challenge and have devised various non-religious moral

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