Essay Home Page

The various essays and rants in this section cover a broad range of topics. Many of the essays you'll see here began as entries in my online Weblog. No matter who you are, you'll probably find something in here to amuse, delight, or offend. Enjoy!

#1: Some Thoughts on Logic and Emotion
Which is better, reason or emotion? Is there a divide between the rational mind and the intuitive mind? Some ideas about why the question is not the right one.

#2: Human Rights, Humanity, and What it Means to Be a Person
We've all heard of "human rights." Do these rights actually exist, or are they just cultural artifacts? Is there an objective ruler to measure human rights? And who gets these rights, anyway?

#3: Some Thoughts on Beauty
Because we all want a partner who's beautiful, right?

#4: On the Value of the Human Race
Is humanity a blight on the planet? Would the world be better off without us? Are we living too far from the balance of nature? And why am I laughing at these questions?

#5: It's the User Interface, Stupid!
Why my cell phone sucks, people still use Windows even though Linux is better (and free!), and every "iPod Killer" on the market has fallen down flat on its face.

#6: Polyamory, loss, and the superhuman soul
No, it doesn't get any easier if you lose a partner when you have more than one...if you understand what makes each person unique.

#7: On the nature of communication
Communication is a myth...or so says my more cynical side. And the philosophers have quantum physics all wrong.

#8: Why I Am an Optimist
There is no God, no choir of angels, no paradise awaiting our earthly death. And that's good news!

#9: Some thoughts on tattoos, porn, and respect for women
Why the notion that women must be placed on a pedestal is inherently flawed, and where some feminists get it wrong.

#10: Some thoughts on reason, falsehood, and emotional need
Why people believe weird things, and how those things reveal, albeit in distorted form, the underlying emotional landscape of the folks who believe them.

#11: Some thoughts on determinism and free will
Do we have free will? Are we creatures of will, or simply beings slotted into a deterministic script, our future actions plotted for us? And is the question even really meaningful?

#12: Feeling Good and Doing Good
People behave in all kinds of ways, from stalking to committing acts of violence, because they feel justified in what they're doing. Just because something feels right doesn't necessarily mean it is right.

#13: Why the Ten Commandments Suck
Even as a kid, learning about the Ten Commandments in Sunday school always left me scratching my head a bit. Now, as an adult, I know why.

#14: How Religious Morality has Let Society Down
People often say that religion is the source of morality. But when I look around, I can't help but feel that religions are focusing on the wrong things, and have created a code of morality that has let us all down.

#15: Little White Lies: They're a bad idea
A little white lie is not compassionate. It does not make people happier or make society functions more smoothly. Instead, it creates insecurity, because it teaches people not to trust the things you say.