Last week my wife and I re-watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – the original Chuck Jones cartoon, not the later remakes. As we talked about it, I realized that that Christmas special, and the original book, are a great depiction of eudaimonism – perhaps even in a Confucian form.Continue reading
The Good Place, an American comedy-fantasy series created by Michael Schur and airing on NBC, is perhaps the most explicitly philosophical American television show in recent memory. I think it aims to do for moral philosophy what Breaking Bad did for chemistry. (This post speaks of the second season, but does not have spoilers – at least in the sense that it does not reveal any of the show’s twists.) Continue reading
Brit Hume of Fox News has been lighting up the Buddhist blogosphere lately, with this criticism of adulterous golfer Tiger Woods:
“The extent to which he can recover, seems to me, depends on his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn your faith, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”
Shortly afterwards, in an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Hume attempted to defend his comments with the claim that his point was about Christianity rather than about Buddhism: Continue reading
I’ve recently been enjoying Joss Whedon‘s underrated science-fiction TV series Dollhouse. Whedon’s ingenious plot twists and a strong supporting cast have made the show highly enjoyable, at least since the middle of the first season; beyond that, the show’s premise is bait for philosophers, especially those who focus on the ethics of technology or enjoy “thought experiments.” It’s about a secret operation that erases people’s memories and personalities and “imprints” them with completely new ones. Given the rapid pace of advances in contemporary neuroscience, it is not entirely far-fetched to say that such a process could become feasible within my lifetime; and it raises a great deal of questions, familiar to Buddhists, about the nature of personal identity.