A relative of mine recently emailed me and other relatives to ask a philosophical question: Does it matter whether people actually believe the tenets of their religious faith? I wrote back with a response, which went something like this: Our beliefs and the stories we tell are extremely important. These cannot be discounted as superfluous aspects of a religion. They...
Yuval Noah Harari, in his brilliant book Sapiens, makes the surprising claim that we live in an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. It’s easy to get wrapped up in daily news that recounts shootings, terrorism, and international words and acts of aggression, as well as economic crises, downturns, and instabilities. But here’s the reality, looking through a wide-view lens...
Not long ago, as I explained last week, I discovered a perfect novel. Virtually simultaneously, I made another discovery: a perfect nonfiction book. (I’m on a roll!) So what does a perfect nonfiction book look like? Well, the purpose of nonfiction is to illuminate real-world phenomena. It follows that a perfect nonfiction book would illuminate, incredibly clearly, not just one...
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