BS, USNA, Annapolis, 1959; MSA, The Geo. Washington U., 1975; Submariner, Commander, USN, 1959 - 1981; Aerospace battery engineer & mgr., 1981 - 1999; Political affiliation: Mainly of the Democratic persuasion but not a fan of the extremes on either side.
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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."
-- William Blake, A MemorableFancy
I love to doubt as well as know."
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.
-- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
"We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here for, I don't know."
-- W. H. Auden
"Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence."
-- Wiliam Blake, The Argument
"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."
-- Herman Melville, US novelist & sailor (1819 - 1891)
"It’s better to believe in what you know than to know what you believe in."
-- HL Gaskins
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus circa 300 BCE
Still Skeptical After All These Years by James R Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at email@example.com. Copyright 2015 James R. Wheeler
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Category Archives: Ethics / Morality
I recently came upon a 1949 review of George Orwell’s then-new dystopian novel, 1984 and was struck anew by its insight into human addiction to power. Power is intrinsic to the motivations of oligarchs, dictators and, I dare say, to … Continue reading
What does science have to say about man’s tendency to violence? That is the subject of the latest episode of PBS’s NOVA program. Surprisingly, someone has found a way to quantify episodes of violence throughout history by statistical analysis of … Continue reading
Every year, at least one intercontinental ballistic missile is launched thousands of miles from a United States submarine to an instrumented area in the ocean. The purpose of this is to test the reliability of the complete system, including … Continue reading
George F. Will, a columnist who arguably loves words too much, has written persuasively on the nomenclature of “enhanced interrogation techniques” which are central to the plot of a current movie, Zero Dark Thirty now playing in theaters, a movie … Continue reading
In a post titled Ice Bergs and Ice Cubes last week I expressed my opinion that healthcare is at the core of America’s financial crisis, and that the profession of doctor is being corrupted by the medical industrial complex through the … Continue reading
I don’t think I ever believed in hell. When I was young I didn’t think much about dying, but religion did interest me. I think I’ve always had a streak of idealism. But as for hell, it didn’t make much … Continue reading
The just-announced decision of the Supreme Court in the Westboro Baptist Church case is a bad one, in my opinion. I think the behavior of Phelps’ group violates families’ fourth-amendment rights to be “secure in their persons” and is not … Continue reading
The persistence of the USS Enterprise scandal as a public topic is evidence that there is something profound in it, something that goes beyond the job assignment at its heart. In my opinion that something is the changing nature of … Continue reading
The scandal over Captain Owen Honors of the USS Enterprise causes me to reflect on how things have changed in the US Navy since I was a young Midshipman. I entered the US Naval Academy in 1955, graduating in 1959, and … Continue reading