Tagged: life

The Abortion Quandary

The spectacularly enlightening exhibit “Bodies,” which has been shown around the world and is currently on display in Las Vegas, features dissected and preserved human beings and their various body systems. Amid all the exposed muscles and nerves, intestines and livers, bones and brains, is a section devoted to complete embryos and fetuses in various...

Doing the Right Thing

In a world that increasingly seems to lack absolute values, where right and wrong have constantly shifting shades of meaning interpreted by courts, church pulpits, and the vicissitudes of public whim, “doing the right thing” can be problematic. How can anyone be sure he’s acting righteously if the notion of righteousness is constantly in flux?...

Working Hard for Indolence

We’re taught that indolence, if not an outright sin, is an unattractive quality that ambitious strivers should abhor. The byproduct of laziness — i.e., nothing — doesn’t enrich the world in any way, whereas effort and action, even when fruitless or irrelevant, keeps the turbines of consumption pumping. Work: good. Indolence: bad. Yet, for many...

Awful Acceleration

String Theory, a byproduct of quantum physics that we confess we don’t fully comprehend, holds that this thing we call Time doesn’t really exist — at least not as we generally understand it, as a continuum that moves from past to present to future. If this is true, then we need another word to describe what...

How Good is Ella the Dog?

We ask that rhetorically, of course. But, really: how good can one dog possibly be? Yesterday, she started a gantlet of being subjected to her master’s needs by submitting to a photo shoot for Reader’s Digest at Runyon Canyon, the local dog park. While the photographer snapped away, calling her name for attention — “Ella! Ella!”...

Basic Instincts

The half-dozen or so bird feeders in our back garden attract hundreds of birds. The hundreds of birds attract several neighborhood cats, including our tabby, Sam, who has 24-hour access to delicious cat kibble. (Well, delicious to him and his sister the dog.) Still, he leaps — literally — at any chance he gets to kill one...

The Danger of Relativism and the Grace of Tolerance

As speculation swirls around who will be the next CEO of Catholicism, Inc., Vatican experts have been explaining to lay people the strengths and weaknesses of the papal hopefuls. One of the leading candidates, Joseph Ratzinger, who the press reports enjoys the support of 40% of his fellow cardinals, has been described as a “hard-liner,”...

Never Enough

Strip away the effective marketing campaigns that inspire Acquisition Lust, and what’s left? Remove the cultural conditioning that programs us like so many robots, the script that compels us to want-need-desire-require more, and what do you have? An illusion. Many of us find meaning in life through a maniacal pursuit of money and the things it can...

What Makes a Hero?

As the casualties pile up in Iraq, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing young men and women described as heroes, which would seem to suggest that there’s something heroic in perishing for obscure financial-political reasons that no one can quite identify. Recently, as suspicion has grown that certain Major League Baseball sluggers hit their record-breaking home...

Apologizing for Murder

The Philip Morris Company, whose core business is manufacturing and marketing tobacco products, has started running television advertisements for the company’s Web site, ads that spotlight PhilMo’s commitment to helping people quit smoking. The spots assure consumers that a visit to www.phillipmorrisusa.com will yeild stark scientific evidence that smoking causes all the diseases that for decades cigarette...