I loathe Ayn Rand. I bought this book because I'm optimistic and I wanted to see if the words "Ethics", "Ayn Rand", and "Virtuous" could somehow all bI loathe Ayn Rand. I bought this book because I'm optimistic and I wanted to see if the words "Ethics", "Ayn Rand", and "Virtuous" could somehow all be reconciled within the text. Long story short? No - I was not convinced that Ayn Rand the person nor Ayn Rand the (quote/unquote) philosopher was worthwhile in any utilitarian sense of the word: I am just as convinced as ever that the best thing she ever did for philosophy or for humanity was, well, she died.
Rest in peace, Rand. You were enough a fan of yourself that it matters not that I think you were a total waste of space and talent.
Hauerwas is to theology what a bottle of four hundred dollar version of Pinot Noir is to someone who rarely drinks wine. It isn't for everyone, and moHauerwas is to theology what a bottle of four hundred dollar version of Pinot Noir is to someone who rarely drinks wine. It isn't for everyone, and more people than not simply don't have the palate for him at first than do.
He speaks hard truths, and he does not speak them as nicely as many outside of the theological realm think that someone who "does theology" for their living think one should. What many don't realize is that he can and does speak tersely because his intended audience is to those inside of the church.
If you can get past the tone and timbre of his writing (which I actually enjoy and see not as a handicap but as a feature) then I encourage you to do so - he has many insights which those within and without the church would do well to hear and to process. ...more
I spent the entirety of a Saturday with this book, and have no regrets. Though it's been out for a few years now I found it highly relevant. Putnam'sI spent the entirety of a Saturday with this book, and have no regrets. Though it's been out for a few years now I found it highly relevant. Putnam's writing style was both stylized enough to appreciate but not too ornate to slow one down.
This book relies upon parallel reasoning from Singer, using one of his older and oft-cited examples of walking by a person drowning that you could orThis book relies upon parallel reasoning from Singer, using one of his older and oft-cited examples of walking by a person drowning that you could or could not save. Other than getting wet, a mild inconvenience, it would not cost you anything to save said person, so to not do it would be unethical.
Likewise, Singer sets up his thesis for the rest of the book: (1)[Just as death by drowning is bad, so too is death by lack of basic essentials:] Death due to lack of food, basic medical care and shelter is bad. (2)The premise for both the drowning example and the poverty example are the same, exactly: "If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so." 3.) "By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care, without sacrificing anything nearly as important." Here, the parallel is simple: By jumping in the water, we would have prevented suffering and death by drowning, a mere inconvenience and small sacrifice, all things considered.
He supports this argument in a clear, concise way with data on how luxurious the American lifestyle is (even lower-middle class) and how much crap all of us have that we simply do not need. It's superfluous; it's embarrassing, and he shows that by giving away even the tiniest fraction of our incomes (yes, even in an economic downturn like this one) that huge impacts can be felt by those who really truly are in need.
A good, solid introduction to Wittgenstein and who he was; what he said (or as the man himself would perhaps want us to focus on, what he did *not* saA good, solid introduction to Wittgenstein and who he was; what he said (or as the man himself would perhaps want us to focus on, what he did *not* say). Strathern mentions, it seems, in every section that Wittgenstein wanted to kill himself not only frequently but with a deep, burning desire. We get it. The man was tortured; such is the nature of philosophers. I think of Wittgenstein on the fence between philosophers and linguists, as for me he has come into play most often in the importance of speaking apophatically. I'm a great admirer, and have been humbled a great many times not only of how little I understand not only of who or what Wittgenstein was, but who or what God is: I am shown this when I approach the brilliant, too few works of the man himself.
Strathern did a good job of an approachable, get-your-feet-wet summary of him, managing to show both some problems in his work but not downplaying his importance.
This book inspired me to see if I could go an entire year without buying superfluous, mass-produced "crap." The rules that I set for myself were as foThis book inspired me to see if I could go an entire year without buying superfluous, mass-produced "crap." The rules that I set for myself were as follows: no new clothing, only around-again clothing no new books unless for school, and I could not locate it in a library or used bookstore and the carbon footprint of shipping did not nullify buying it down the street new no new furniture, or mass-produced "different, just like everybody else" furniture; only re-purposed or antique stuff the only "new" things I could buy were school supplies, undergarments and food items. For Christmas, things were to be made and/or re-purposed, with the grand total not exceeding one hundred dollars.
I thought that it would be a chore or an impossible thing to do, and at first it was because I let it weigh on my mind all the time. I was also changing the way I lived in other aspects as well, though: I was learning how to compost and make my own laundry detergent. *That* was more of challenge than a chore, and I had read some other books about Sabbath-keeping which all kind of went along with this notion of not buying mindlessly. After a while, in kind of an instant, it was second nature. It wasn't something I had to think about, because it just was my ethic. I think if it becomes what you believe, it will work for you; if it's forced and foreign, then it won't.