Conned By Karma

The wisdom of Dogbert.

The platitude that “what goes around comes around” has traction in both western culture and eastern religions, and this pernicious thought is often what can be identified as karma. It’s a tenet of many eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Likewise, it’s a popular belief among many westerners who may or may not subscribe to any other claims of the previous religions. This is not surprising, however, as the crux of karma has its roots in the cognitive bias known as the “just-world hypothesis,” which transcends culture.

For the sake of clarity, I am defining “karma” as the claim that one’s moral (or immoral) actions will later result in a desirable (or undesirable if immoral) consequence imparted on the actor. Continue reading “Conned By Karma”

Same-Sex Marriage & Sophistries

appeal to natureOne of the most quickly progressing social issues in America today is same-sex marriage. Societal attitudes toward the practice are shifting dramatically, and this change has helped contribute to the legalization of same-sex marriage in 19 states. This is, I think, a step in the right direction, and I hope it continues to the point where same-sex marriage is legal in every state. That said, I do have some reservations about this growing support. While I am a proponent of same-sex marriage, I am more of a proponent of being right for good reasons—sloppy reasoning, as seductive as it might be, should never be a shortcut to moral progress. Sadly, I see very poor arguments being championed by either those for or against same-sex marriage. It’s time to nudge the discourse in a more productive direction. First, let us explore some numbers. Continue reading “Same-Sex Marriage & Sophistries”