In discussing vegetarianism with people, it’s funny to see how similar everyone’s arguments are. Irrespective of political beliefs, social status, income levels, education, etc., everyone tends to debate in pretty much exactly the same way. Some people focus more on some things than others, but at the end of the day, everyone is doing it. And almost everyone tends to disbelieve the same facts, ignore the same questions, and disregard the same ideas. Entire books could be (and have been) filled with these facts, questions, and ideas that everyone seems to ignore, but one that I find particularly interesting is the idea that vegetarianism is necessary to lead a non-violent life… continue reading →
I opened my Facebook yesterday and was greeted by a flood of Kony 2012 faces all over my news feed. I watched the 30 minute documentary, and then thought about it for a bit. How did a 25-year-old conflict suddenly become so popular? How did the video go viral? Of all the documentaries I’ve seen, this was definitely nowhere near the top. And it’s not like Joseph Kony just abducted hundreds of children; he’s been doing it for a while now. Yet obviously, regardless of all that, it’s an amazing cause. It’s not like Invisible Children are greedy pigs. They unquestionably have good intentions, and while they do glorify themselves a bit too much, they are clearly trying to do good… continue reading →
I believe it is perfectly OK to kill cats. I really do. I am convinced that anyone who sees a cat walking by and then kills is not doing anything even slightly immoral. If it’s done painlessly, better, but it doesn’t make someone any more immoral for doing it painfully. I myself have sometimes enjoyed throwing a cat strongly against a wall over and over until after thirty long minutes of agony, it draws its last breath. There is no particular reason for this belief of mine – I think they’re ugly and make a street look aesthetically less pleasing – but besides that I just tend to think that there is no problem killing them… continue reading →
Referred to as pot or weed, scientifically referred to as cannabis, and commonly known as marijuana, it is without a doubt the plant that draws the most attention to itself. Millions of Americans are willing to break the law in order to consume it, and thousands of them are jailed every year for doing so. The government invests billions of dollars every year to prevent its consumption and distribution. And as with any noteworthy topic, there are greatly differing opinions on the issues associated with it. But bizarrely enough, there are also major differences in the actual scientific data and information available from different sources – when studying marijuana, even facts are subjective… continue reading →
It seems like I’m asking an absurd question, doesn’t it. Surely the title is nothing more than a way for me to attract attention, a sure hook for potential readers. You expect this article to start on an explanation about the dangers in the path ahead, and most likely focus on climate change or nuclear warfare. But you are fairly sure that by the end of the article, you will have realized that the title was merely an exaggeration.
It would be great if all of your expectations were correct, and that I really had thought up the title simply to attract readers. But unfortunately, the extinction of the human species is neither something ridiculous nor abstract. It is a very real possibility… continue reading →
I have always believed that history is a critical tool in understanding present-day issues, and that everyone should have a good, basic, knowledge of history. But sometimes, while it is valuable in understanding the present, it is a great obstacle to moving forward. Such is the case in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Because in most of the arguments presented about the issues that the region faces today, one invariably calls upon history: whether as evidence that the only agreement Palestine will accept is war or to demonstrate Israel’s past illegitimacy as a nation. And so as much as I love history and believe it is incalculably important, in this case, it is completely useless… continue reading →
I have always had the feeling that extreme, right wing, ideology made no logical sense at all, but I never actually had the evidence to prove it. So I set about to find a well-respected source of information, perhaps a think tank, that promoted those beliefs. The Heritage Foundation, which describes itself as “a conservative think tank (…) at the forefront of the pro-globalization perspective”, seemed like a good place to start. It is a perfect sample of conservative beliefs, the cream of the crop, if you will, of right wing ideology in the United States. By analyzing its stance on key issues, one can come to a good understanding of the beliefs held by the conservative right… continue reading →