Proof Of God?

A reader writes: Dear Harvey Ray: Is there proof of God? Can science prove that God doesn’t exist? Signed, Hopelessly Devoted Dear Hopelessly Devoted: No, science cannot. In fact, nothing can. Yet we can be certain that God doesn’t exist — by virtue of the very nature of proof. The meaning of proof precludes proving…

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Capitalism

Capitalism is a social system based upon private ownership of the means of production and the preeminence of the individual over the group. The word capitalism was popularized by Karl Marx, in the 1850’s. Marx used it to denounce private ownership of the means of production and the autonomous workings of the free market. Capitalism…

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Glass Recycling

Read Part 1 of this article here. Take an empty beer bottle. We can either throw that glass bottle away or recycle it. Assume for a moment that we all want what’s best for the planet. Assume, therefore, that we want to use as few resources as possible. Should we recycle our beer bottle, then?…

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Recycled Trash

Few arguments are more dangerous than the ones that “feel” right but can’t be justified (Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, 1981). Paradoxically, recycled trash is exactly what you get 99 times out of 100 when the sacred subject of recycling comes up. Recycling is the process whereby rubbish is converted into reusable materials.…

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Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop To Drink

The most obvious place to begin any real discussion of water is in pointing out that right now on planet earth, water in its potable form is about the most abundant resource there is. No one even passingly acquainted with the subject seriously disputes this. In the words of water specialist Fredrik Segerfeldt: “Water is…

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Do Animals Possess Rights?

A reader writes: Dear Ray: I recently read a synopsis of a book about the question of animal rights, and I’m curious to know your take. Do animals possess rights? If so, where do these rights reside? Thanks, Pig Bodine Dear Pig Bodine: Rights are a formal codification of human freedom. Rights, as Herbert Spencer…

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Global Warming

Politically, global warming and climate change have little if anything to do with climate science, and the fact that this subject has become such an overwhelming political issue is a fine testament to how poorly the world understands the legitimate functions of government, and why those functions are legitimate. Indeed, it turns out that the…

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Quentin Tarantino or David Lynch?

A reader writes: Dear Ray Harvey: Who’s the better filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino or David Lynch? P. Durango Dear P. Durango: Are you kidding me? But there’s no comparison. That’s like asking me: who of those two has better hair? As a filmmaker, David Lynch possesses innumerable shortcomings, foremost of which is the fact that he’s…

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The Elegant Universe

A reader writes: Dear Sir: You are reported to have said that there is no order or disorder in the universe apart from what man himself puts there — this in spite of your well-known preoccupation with a fluid and congruent universe. Can you tell us how you reconcile this, with regard in particular to…

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The Difference Between a Cynic and a Skeptic

The difference between the cynic and the skeptic is the difference between epistemology and ethics. It is the difference between brain and body. Skepticism is an epistemological word. Cynicism is ethical. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge. Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with morality. The Greek word skopein…

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A Brief History Of Environmentalism

Environmentalism has so thoroughly permeated world culture that the saving-the-planet rhetoric is accepted even by those who don’t really regard themselves as dyed-in-the-skein environmentalists. It is taught as holy writ in public schools, and it’s espoused by poets, priests, and politicians alike. This monstrous ideology would, given the first opportunity, destroy humankind, a fact of…

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Socialism, Nazism, and Environmentalism

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party was founded in 1919 and abolished in 1945. It came into full power under Adolph Hitler in 1933, and proceeded at that time to slaughter a spectacular number of people in a relatively short span of years. Socialists today are of course universally agreed that Nazism was many things,…

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Epistemology: The Science Of Thought

Epistemology is the science of knowledge. The word derives from the Greek episteme, which means knowledge. Epistemology proper didn’t actually begin until Rene Descartes (1596-1650), but the stuff of epistemology — logic, reason, deduction, induction, et cetera — has been with us since the Ancient Greeks. Epistemology is an extraordinarily complicated discipline that starts with…

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Unsolved Mystery: Comte de Saint Germain

He is not nor was he ever regarded as a saint by the Catholic Church, and the St. before his name refers to his putative homeland. No one knows where the enigmatic Comte de Saint Germain came from, and no one knows for sure where he went. He vanished into time without any trace. The…

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Ronald Reagan And The Myth Of Deregulation

It’s high time we dispel once and for all the absurd myth that Ronald Reagan was somehow for deregulation. Statistically speaking, the size of bureaucracy, in terms of sheer civilian manpower, increased dramatically under Reagan, so that by the time he was finished, there were well over 200,000 more government workers than in 1980, when…

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