Awareness

Scientific Method

In the age of COVID-19, scientists have been much in the news. Let's think for a minute or two about how they do what they do.

I believe in the scientific method. It is the nearest thing I have to a religious belief. But the scientific method is not really a faith because there are countless examples of its success. Faith requires the capacity to believe in something for which there is no evidence.

Being Spiritual

It is popular among many people of my generation (that is, people in their 60's and 70's) to speak of their "spirituality". People like to claim that they are spiritual. I have even been described as spiritual myself, by a handful of my acquaintances, even though I espouse a strictly rational, science-based world view. I can accept this attribution only on the basis of a definition that I read somewhere recently: "religious people do as they are told to do, no matter what is right; spiritual people do what is right, no matter what they are told".

The Value of Drugs and Medications

It is commonplace in the United States to hear people complain about drugs, medications, and vaccines. Many people I know do not want to use them, particularly vaccines. This point of view has various rationales: drugs are ineffective, drugs have side effects, natural remedies are better, the drug companies are out to rip us off, etc. While all of these assertions have some truth in them, these people are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Moderation

Moderation is not a popular attitude nowadays. Moderates (and I'm not talking only about political moderates) are seen as people who are "fence-sitters"; the folks who "cannot make up their minds". There probably are a group who genuinely are unable to come to a conclusion about things, but I believe that moderation is the approach to life adopted by the strong-minded. A moderate attitude to an issue is one which has required fair-minded consideration of the pros and cons, and the disciplined application of common sense.

The Value of Immigrants

Although it's not fashionable to say so right now, I admire and respect immigrants. How can I not? I am one myself. I grew up in Europe and came to live in the United States during my twenties. I have spent the greater part of my life as an immigrant. So I know more than the average person about immigration.

Coincidence

Think for a moment about the meaning of the word.

Literally it means: "things that happen at the same time".

But there's a little more to it than that. Things happen together all the time, but we don't call every simultaneous happening a coincidence.

Two things happening together form a coincidence when cause and effect appear to be at work, but in fact are not.

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