10 Feb

The budo lifestyle

Lately I’ve been thinking a number of things concerning my attitude towards life and my understanding of the ‘budo lifestyle’.  Particularly on my mind has been the nature of necessity and how it’s comforting, but ultimately disingenuous, to view things as needs when in reality they are wants.  The absence of some things can be psychologically difficult, but making life difficult is not the same as making it impossible, and that, it seems to me, is the true distinction between a want and a need.

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29 Aug

Truth and lies

Truth

On my way to work today I was thinking about abstract things, and I came across the interesting question of whether a statement is truthful if, only by the fact of saying it, it becomes true.  The example I was thinking of was the following: Imagine a person, me, and I want to go swimming with two beautiful girls (philosophy can be so enjoyable sometimes).  I ask one of them, Jane, “will you go swimming with me?” She replies, “I will, but only if Sarah comes with us.” So I go to Sarah and ask her the same question, and she replies, “I will, but only if Jane is coming too.”

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25 Jan

Towards an objective morality

Objective morality

This morning I was involved in a debate in which a person noted that some atheists condemned the actions of God as immoral, and so he pushed them to give him the moral standard against which they were judging his God. He argued that without objective morality, there is no set-in-stone standard to make any meaningful judgements – and I’m inclined to agree with him. As soon as one admits that morality is subjective, then any one definition of it becomes as valid as any other, and being that they are all mutually exclusive, they each become valid and invalid in equal measure, and we can go nowhere. It seems imperative to me therefore that we be able to find an objective means to determine whether a given action is ethical or not, and to this end I set about approximately two years ago to establish for myself a theory of ethics1 based on the principles of compassion and rationality.

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  1. A theory of ethics is a long project; unfortunately there are still many questions I need to find the answers to, but I stand by the conviction that I will be a better person for my pursuit of them. 

14 Dec

The problem of identity

Identity

The concept of identity doesn’t usually get much scrutiny, but it’s one we tend to have a lot of assumptions about that often haven’t been properly thought through. The implications of a change in our understanding of what it means to be an individual are enormous – it could affect our criminal justice system, our laws, politics, and our understanding of personal responsibility.

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09 Sep

Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism

Living ethically has become increasingly important to me over the last few years and I realised some time during early Summer 2011 that eating meat didn’t sit quite rightly with me, once I’d begun to attempt to determine a coherent model for ethical behaviour.  I wrote the following excerpt in my diary on January 10th 2012 briefly summarising my reasons, quoted here (with minor amendments) to save covering the same ground twice:

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