Archive for November, 2012

“Did we invent God?”

November 30, 2012

Nice eclectic batch of final report presentations in CoPhi yesterday, with plenty of good-natured dissent and controversy.  Just like I like it.

Journey, Landy, & Paul again collaborated effectively, this time with a film interview project inspired by John Cottingham’s “Meaning of Life” PB podcast, and nicely backdropped at our library. They should put it up on YouTube. I was struck by how many of their subjects said they think about the MoL either often or never, and by how many mentioned family, friends, and faith. Only one mentioned 42.

Check out what Jean Kazez has been doing with her MoL class: some meaningful “X-phi.” And the amazing @brainpicker Maria Popova has gathered some thoughts on the subject too.

Edrell’s topic coincided with the Jesus & Mo “spiritual, not religious” cartoon I’d just re-posted, but which he says he’d not seen. His opening line to the class, not my favorite because we all hear it so often from the legions of small-minded hell-bent proselytizers around here: “Are you a Christian?” Not surprisingly, it generated the most heat but possibly too much passion to cast reflective light. If he’d wanted to really toss fire on the flames he might have also asked my question about heaven & hell, and Morgan Freeman’s:

Edrell, like me, considers himself “spiritual, not religious.” Unlike me, he says he doesn’t “have a problem with Judeo-Christianity” or think there’s “anything wrong with it.” There’s a huge problem, though (to mention just one) with the Hebrew Bible, accurately described by Steve Pinker as “one long celebration of violence.” If you thought the GOP had a problem with talking about rape… In the “good book” and in the “holy land” it was

seen as an offense not against the woman but against a man-the woman’s father, her husband,   or in the case of a slave, her owner. Moral and legal systems all over the world codified rape in ways. Rape is the theft of a woman’s virginity from her husband. Rapists can redeem themselves by buying their victim as a wife. Women are culpable for being raped. Rape is a perquisite…

And so it goes on, and on, and on. I say it’s time we shut that whole thing down.

Slightly less controversial was Kendall’s excellent report on human cloning, which also took us “through the wormhole.”

Michelle made me want to see Life of Pi, and Markethia made Marilyn Monroe sound like a philosopher.

Only parts of us will ever
touch only parts of others –
one’s own truth is just that really — one’s own truth.
We can only share the part that is understood by within another’s knowing acceptable to
the other — therefore
 so one
is for most part alone.
As it is meant to be in
evidently in nature — at best though perhaps it could make
our understanding seek
another’s loneliness out.

Rachel even made Aquaman interesting, without donning a costume.

Humans are inventive. Glad there are more of these to come next week!

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Blindness and the moral life

November 29, 2012

In Stoic Pragmatism John Lachs mentions my two favorite William James essays: “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings,” and “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life.” Both were included in part 2 of Talks to Teachers on Psychology: and to Students on Some of Life’s Ideals [Gberg] (1899). Can’t let pass the opportunity to remark on them.

If you don’t agree with me, don’t see the world just as I see it, you must be blind.

That’s the ancestral blindness we all inherit and must struggle to resist, according to William James in his 1898 essay On a Certain Blindness in Human BeingsHe said it was his favorite too. Our myopia stems in large part from our literal neglect of the visible and natural world. “We grow stone-blind and insensible…”

We of the highly educated classes (so called) have most of us got far, far away from Nature. We are trained to seek the choice, the rare, the exquisite exclusively, and to overlook the common. We are stuffed with abstract conceptions, and glib with verbalities and verbosities; and in the culture of these higher functions the peculiar sources of joy connected with our simpler functions often dry up, and we grow stone-blind and insensible to life’s more elementary and general goods and joys.

Is there a cure? Yes: simplify.

The remedy under such conditions is to descend to a more profound and primitive level… The savages and children of nature, to whom we deem ourselves so much superior, certainly are alive where we are often dead, along these lines; and, could they write as glibly as we do, they would read us impressive lectures on our impatience for improvement and on our blindness to the fundamental static goods of life.

The “savage” practitioners of native wisdom have much to teach us (as we learned in “Environmental Ethics and Native Wisdom” last year).

Another great James essay is “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” (1891). I’ve been quoting it recently, in connection with the “Atheism & Philosophy” course I’ll be doing again next year, and in connection with the recent TPA keynote by Robert Kane. It says it takes only two of us to constitute a moral republic. Our desires make a presumptive claim on the world of our peers, as nothing else can.

…we have learned what the words “good,” “bad,” and “obligation” severally mean. They mean no absolute natures, independent of personal support. They are objects of feeling and desire, which have no foothold or anchorage in Being, apart from the existence of actually living minds.

MPML concludes:

The ethical philosopher, therefore, whenever he ventures to say which course of action is the best, is on no essentially different level from the common man.  ”See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; therefore choose life that thou and thy seed may live”–

James’s language may have taken a turn for the scriptural here, but his ultimate message in this essay is solidly secular, earth-bound, and common-sensical. This is not from the Good Book, or any good book, but from real life itself.

When this challenge comes to us, it is simply our total character and personal genius that are on trial… and if we invoke any so-called philosophy, our choice and use of that also are but revelations of our personal aptitude or incapacity for moral life.  From this unsparing practical ordeal no professor’s lectures and no array of books can save us.

This is James’s anti-intellectualism rearing its tangible head. “Dumb” is not stupid:

The solving word, for the learned and the unlearned man alike, lies in the last resort in the dumb willingnesses and unwillingnesses of their interior characters, and nowhere else.  It is not in heaven, neither is it beyond the sea; but the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy hear, that thou mayest do it.

In other words: no one is coming, from heaven or abroad, to relieve any of us of our personal responsibility to choose as wisely and generously as we can. We need to be kind and compassionate and good, and to act accordingly, because that’s the right thing to do. We need to open our eyes and see the real people, with their real desires and real lives, with whom we share this real world.

Addendum. And what about the real animals, and all the other forms of life who live here too? Neither James  nor Lachs nor I would deny that sentient beings of every species merit kindness and compassion. All would also probably agree with Sara, who said in her final presentation yesterday that so-called “animal whisperers” may be extraordinarily good at interpreting non-verbal signals but they’re no telepaths. My dogs are plenty clever (though not so clever as Hans), they react predictably to words like “treat” and “walk,” but they and their kind have not crashed the communications barrier that separates symbolic and purposive thought from mere conditioned behavior. But, that’s no excuse for humans ever to be blind to their needs or to abuse their trust. Peter Singer was right about that.

“The point is to change the world”

November 28, 2012

It’s not enough for an inquisitively industrious species merely to understand, we seek transformation. “We” includes Marxists and pragmatists and eco-activists and maybe even some (pragmatized) stoics. So we turn to John Lachs’ second chapter in Stoic Pragmatism today in CoPhi, and to Ecotopia in EEA. Final report presentations begin as well.

“It is unseemly to question one’s heritage.” I don’t think Lachs really means that, not fully. Philosophy questions everything, especially what’s been passed along without critical assessment. But he’s right to notice that there’s no shaking our origins, even when we manage to rise above them. “You can take the boy out of the country,” the midwest, etc., but if he’s been steeped early in (say) Hegel, as Dewey was, he’ll have a hard time entirely letting go.

My first philosophical collaboration was with undergraduate peers at Mizzou in the ’70s. We hung out on Friday afternoons at Michael’s pub on campus (long gone) and tried to settle the universe’s hash (including one memorable occasion when one of us thought he could prove free will by doing something really stupid with a beer stein). We called ourselves “The Hegel Society” (possibly aping the St. Louis Hegelians of local memory),  and in spite of my developed preference for pragmatism I still can’t help thinking in terms of geist. (But, I no longer think progress is inevitable, or that history often isn’t simply one damned meaningless thing after another).

So… sometimes we reflect our heritage most when we’re trying hardest to distance ourselves from it. Might as well own our starting places, then move on. That’s real growth, the “progressive enrichment of experience and improved control over circumstances” that comes from deep self-knowledge.

Lachs acknowledges his own growth in moving on from his earlier epiphenomenal phase. You can’t change the world if your very consciousness is an ephemeral by-product disengaged from events.  He distances himself as well from Hegel’s detached, owlish, spectatorial stance towards history, and steps up to offer guarded support for Peirce’s focus on the future while holding on to a special fondness for luminous “firsts,” immediacies, and non-verbal experiences. “Delightful absorption” in the present is hard to beat, and “much of what is interesting and truly important in life cannot be put into words.” Philosophers don’t like to admit that, for obvious vocational reasons. We must continually “fire our volley of vocables,” after all. But silence can be golden.

I don’t think, with Lachs, that pure non-verbal presence is “the only spirituality open to nonreligious people”– I still hold a brief for Dewey’s “continuous human community,” in that regard– but it’s right up there.

Lachs is also a friend of progress. “If we do not permit ourselves to suppose that we progress, we ban pragmatism as a mode of thought and a way of life.” Progress is not inexorable or inevitable, as Hegel and some Marxists would once have had it, but it is real. A pair of Steves, Pinker and Johnson, have lately been making this point.

Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined) says violence has been in steady decline for quite some time, while Steven Johnson (Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age) says the “networked” present marks the high-water mark (so far) of human achievement. When Sully Sullenberger landed his plane safely in the East River, well, he didn’t land that all by himself. Many humans, many technologies, many evolved support systems were his co-pilots. [Pinker on Social Science Bites with Nigel]

Only time will tell for sure, of course, but I’ll bet not many of us would volunteer to go back and live in an earlier century when medicine was primitive, human intercourse was fierce and brutal, and longevity was predictably brief. What does that tell us?

Such a rich chapter, and I’ve not yet even mentioned Lachs’s mention of my two favorite James essays (“Blindness” and “Moral Philosopher“). Tomorrow, and tomorrow. Speaking of which…

Is “ecotopia” our glorious Tomorrowland? Can we ditch the fossil fuel burners, get off the grid, give up heavy consumerism and the forty-hour workweek, and get on with better lives in the great Pacific Northwest? Doubtful, but for some of us irresistibly alluring (except for the war-games and some of the emotional histrionics and cringe-inducing male casual-sex fantasies). But even if the late Ernest Callenbach‘s vision is all a pure fictional fantasy,

Ecotopia still poses a nagging challenge to the underlying national philosophy of America: ever-continuing progress, the fruits of industrialization for all, a rising Gross National Product.

Well… there’s progress, and then there’s real progress. We need not “give up any notion of progress,” just the debilitating and self-destructive one we’ve been burning at both ends. And we really should give up our traditional and habitual greed, short-sightedness, superstition, ignorance, and fear. Just listen to JL. Just read Callenbach’s last letter.

Will we ever get there, to a genuine and sustainably “stable state” in balance with nature? Surely so, if we can plausibly imagine there will  be a flourishing and recognizably-human civilization still here in a century. Surely not, if we’re committed to keeping on doing what we’ve been doing. We need to commit to something better.

That’s my prediction. Please don’t wake me if I’m wrong. And maybe don’t wake me period. As John Lachs says, there is “something deeply appropriate in dying when our purposes are fulfilled.” And as the other JL would agree: if we want to progress, we really must “clear the field for the next generation.”

Gross national happiness

November 27, 2012

We had a pleasant visit with our esteemed university president yesterday in Environmental Ethics class. He didn’t formally commit to signing the ACUPCC yet, but said he’d study it some more. And he said we were already plenty green, greener, in fact, than most of us know.

He said our new Student Center and Science Building, for instance, are LEED-certified. If that’s true, we should be trumpeting the news. The community needs to hear about it, we need to stand up and get credit for doing the right thing. That’s leading by example, and it’s how real and lasting change comes to a society: via snowball. One small signature can catalyze events. A low profile doesn’t make waves, but it doesn’t make change either. It’s more like an epiphenomenon.

But the president’s parting words were a reminder that ours is a very Red state, and our allotment from the legislature is down 40% from just two years ago. Science Building? We should just be glad we have one at all, and we’d best be careful what they study in there. Better not confirm the reality of climate change.

No, he didn’t say that. He did say we need to plead our case with our elected representatives. So here they are.

In chapter one of Stoic Pragmatism John Lachs (who has never shied away from an opportunity to educate our “leaders” in public, even when he considered himself an epiphenomenalist) repeatedly alludes to the real problems of ordinary human beings as deserving (if not typically taking) priority over the technical problems of philosophers. He notes that

The recently published Encyclopedia of American Philosophy [which he and Rob Talisse co-edited, and to which I was privileged to contribute a couple of modest entries] promises additional resources for leaving what has been called “the linguistic turn” behind and facing at last the multitude of real-life problems that beset us. Many philosophers have already turned in this new direction.

Environmental ethicists and bioethicists have “turned,” for instance. As John Dewey said back in 1917, philosophy will be fully healthy only when its practitioners break free of their self-imposed bubble of specialized scholastic isolation and speak up in public about issues of common concern.

Philosophy recovers itself when it ceases to be a device for dealing with the problems of philosophers and becomes a method, cultivated by philosophers, for dealing with the problems of men. John Dewey, “The Need for a Recovery in Philosophy”

In this spirit Lachs writes:

The U.S. would be a better nation if, in addition to a Council of Economic Advisors, it also had a Council of Ethics staffed by philosophers.

Now why didn’t I think of that, back when I was serving my term on the American Philosophical Association‘s sub-committee on alternative jobs for philosophers? But he’s right, and I’d add: we need a council to demonstrate ways of enhancing not GDP but GNH, Gross National Happiness. Better appoint some Bhutanese to show us how it’s done. They’ll know where to find a genuinely new direction and “additional resources.” They’re familiar with the geography of bliss. Just leave at least one spot on the Council of Happiness Advisors for a western academician with an interest in the philosophy of happiness.

 

Stoic pragmatism

November 26, 2012

It’s an exciting day: John Lachs, my old mentor at Vandy, will put in a virtual appearance in CoPhi to kick off our reading of his new book Stoic PragmatismAnd Sidney McPhee, President of our school, will appear  for real in EEA [JUB 202, 2:20 pm] [works by JLwikiJL@dawn/DS]

I hope Dr. M heeds Dr. L’s  main message: “Stoic pragmatists are committed to making life better…” We can’t green the planet or save life on earth all by ourselves, but we can do a lot more than we’ve done to make life in our small corner of it better. And greener. There’s a lot we can do to exemplify sustainable forms of life.

Leading by example is what John Lachs is all about.

That’s the public Berry Lecture Lachs delivered at Vanderbilt last February, drawn from chapter three and described in this space as characteristically crisp, elegant, and insightful. “The limits of human capacity and the vagueness of the ideal make attainment of perfection impossible, yet its lure ruins our satisfaction with what is clearly excellent and therefore good enough.” He’s not calling for mediocrity or laziness, but he is calling us to pursue our happiness and our ideals with a measure of stoically-informed common sense. Our standards of excellence must be ours, and thus must be imperfect. Plato would object, but he was of course an unrealistic metaphysician. Perfection was always an illusion, in Forms and Gods alike. [“An Imperfect God,” nyt] Some Christian fundamentalists even imagine God will wreck our economy, for our own good.  Or (as Van Jones tweets) that the “end times” are nigh “and we’ll all be forced to become Muslims.” That’s definintely not good enough, I’d say.

I first met Lachs as a “green” (in this context meaning inexperienced, not environmentally attuned)  grad student back when we both were young. Long story short: his interest in the American pragmatists James and Dewey, like his general joie de vivre,  was infectious. I committed to working under his tutelage on a Dewey-centered dissertation that ultimately transmuted into a celebration of James’s philosophy (with just a side of Dewey). I gave up on my project more than once. He never did. He’s a prince, a model, an inspiration, and a continuing fount of wisdom. That’s what somebody says at amazon, anyway.

Lachs writes:

Age clarifies… the arrival of self-recognition warrants celebration… only recently [have] I managed to characterize my attitude to life as that of a stoic pragmatist… The great question we face again and again is how long to pursue our goals with all our energy and when to pack it in… pragmatists are unlikely ever to give up, while stoics may acquiesce too soon.

I’m really glad I caught Lachs in a pragmatic mood, back in grad school. I was an accidental stoic before my time, when I really needed to be engaged with discovering what I could still do, not complacently settling for what I’d already done. Thanks to his strong shot of pragmatic encouragement– I fondly recall his cheerleading emails, as I labored over the final lines of my final chapter, imploring me to “go go go!!!“– I’m where I am today, not looking to pack anything in just yet, looking for others (like President M) to encourage in turn.

And like my teacher I’m happy, in all my delighted finitude, to be here.

Lincoln

November 24, 2012

We don’t go to many movies, now that neither of our girls requires a chaperone. Nor (given Hollywood’s low-standard fare of late–“Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter”?!) do we very often want to. But we did want to see Lincoln, so yesterday we fought our way through the throngs of crazed Black Friday hyper-consumers in Green Hills. It was worth it.

“He stood where he thought he was right and crushed them with his candid logic,” wrote his assistant Hay. But he almost always set them up with an amusing story first. I try that sometimes too, in the classroom, but I don’t get as many laughs as he did.  Next time the room fails to respond, I’ll quote Abe: “Gentlemen [& Ladies], why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die, and you need this medicine as much as I do.”

So now I must read Team of Rivals, all 750 pages of it. But it may not fit into the time. Holiday break may not be long enough this year. 

“Be grateful every day”

November 22, 2012

“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.” Carl Sagan

“What imagined target for our gratitude would best direct the will to serve the imperatives of [our] story?… If Thanksgiving requires a face, let it be the face of future generations.” Loyal Rue

How can things so insecure as the successful experiences of this world afford a stable anchorage? A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain… William James

 

Thanks for the memory

November 21, 2012

Life itself is gratifying, of course. But it’s nice at Thanksgiving to have enumerable specific objects of gratitude. Sunshine, laughter, pie and ice cream, Willie Mays and the like do make life worth living.

And this morning I’m specifically grateful for an unexpected find, last night. Rummaging through my library cabinet, I rediscovered a lost and forgotten binder full of my favorite role model secular evolutionist. Through the years I’ve frequently spoken of my first landlord, the kindly and avuncular octogenerian who pulled dollars from my young ears, not long before his death in the ’60s. It’s a mild obsession.

He was, I eventually learned, an eminent figure whose expert testimony had been solicited but then disallowed by the Scopes “Monkey Trial” judge in Dayton, TN in 1925. Dr. Winterton Curtis made a curiously strong impression on me in my earliest days and years. I’ve never quite understood why. Surely it’s a coincidence that I would grow up and  develop a fascination with the evolutionary view of life as part of its deepest meaning?

Well, my new-found binder includes a note from my late father. It betrays an almost mystical suspicion that something more than money was exchanged in those encounters with Dr. C.

“We lived with Dr. Curtis for three years, until my graduation from Veterinary School [at the University of Missouri-Columbia] in 1960. I have no clue if an elderly stranger can affect a small child, but I swear, Phil possesses many of the intellectual attributes of this grand old man. Phil, do you remember him ‘pulling money out of your ears’ and presenting you with it?”

I sure do, Dad. And I’m deeply grateful for the memory.

Solid

November 20, 2012

The meaning of life? There’s a Jamesian answer, of course:

The solid meaning of life is always the same eternal thing,— the marriage, namely, of some unhabitual ideal, however special, with some fidelity, courage, and endurance; with some man’s or woman ‘s pains.—And, whatever or wherever life may be, there will always be the chance for that marriage to take place. “What Makes a Life Significant

And a  Deweyan answer too:

“The things in civilization we most prize are not of ourselves. They exist by grace of the doings and sufferings of the continuous human community in which we are a link. Ours is the responsibility of conserving, transmitting, rectifying and expanding the heritage of values we have received, that those who come after us may receive it more solid and secure, more widely accessible and more generously shared than we have received it.”

James and Dewey were both profoundly impressed by the Darwinian-evolutionary account, then still fresh and exciting in its reconstructive possibilities, of life as an unfolding saga whose ultimate meanings hang in the balance of events to which we are privileged to contribute. They were confident that our “doings and sufferings” on behalf of voluntary ideals are meaningful. Their focus was not on our lowly progenitors, but on the prospective progeny who will come after us and be grateful or not for our contributions to the great story of life.

Some say the story’s too big, the scientific and cosmic vistas too vast to accommodate meaningful lives on the human scale. Carl Sagan, who said so many fine things, disagreed.

“In this perspective the idea that our planet is at the center of the universe much less that human purpose is central to the existence of the universe is pathetic. Does life thereby lose all meaning, I think not. I think we make our lives meaningful by the courage of our questions, by the depth of our answers, by how widespread our understanding is of the essential tools for managing our future, for how skeptical we are of those in authority and of our obligation to care for one another.”

Our epic story is a strong candidate for the great unifying meaning of life, drawing together all the separate narratives of our plurality. As Richard Dawkins says: we’re among the lucky few, of all the possible beings  who might have drawn breath in our place but never will, who get a chance to write a few lines of the story.

Our gratitude should know no bounds.

Meaning, suffering, idealism, atheism

November 19, 2012

We finish Philosophy Bites today in CoPhi with John Cottingham on the meaning of life, Stephen Law on the problem of suffering, Keith Ward on eastern idealism, and A.C. Grayling on atheism.

There’s a sequel, Philosophy Bites BackMaybe next year.

“What is the meaning of life? Does it, perhaps, have no meaning at all?” It may have no fixed, final, universal, or intrinsic meaning, but for an emergent and pluralistic species that’s no barrier to emergent meanings, in the plural. Why settle for just one, or even forty-two?  [MoL @dawn] But that’s not to say we can “create our own values,” a la Friedrich Nietzsche. “We have to find value within a given cosmos, a world that is not of our making.” Humility is called for, not arrogant “will to power.”

Cottingham on “Happiness, God, and the Meaning of Life”:

I do continue to think the Pythons pretty well nailed the answer to the meaning of life, if we take the question as asking how practically we should live:

Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.

I can confirm Cottingham’s statement about “meaning” in the largest sense being an embarrassing or illicit question amongst many professional academic philosophers. When I found the MoL course in Vandy’s catalog a few years ago it was dusty and moldering. I dusted it off and had a great semester with it. Last thing we read, as I recall, was Viktor Frankl on Man’s Search for Meaning. He rediscovered the wisdom of the Stoics, in the death camps. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Is there a more profoundly human philosophical problem than how to live well, when life itself is tough and tenuous? And when is it not?

Evil or suffering is an existential problem for us all, but it’s a philosophical problem (or a logical one) for those who wish to assert the reconciliation of an omni-propertied God with the facts on the ground. [PoE/suffering @dawn] But let’s not get carried away in the opposite direction. “There’s just too much good stuff in the world”– like rainbows, laughter, sunshine, ice cream, Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, the Jupiter Symphony, Louis Armstrong— “for this to be plausibly the creation of a supremely powerful, supremely evil being.” Flipped either way, towards good OR evil, the idea of a Supreme Being becomes a joke. So “we should probably do without any gods at all.”

Speaking of “flip,” Bertrand Russell often was. But his rhetorical question about intelligent design is still devastating nonetheless, for the problem of evil and suffering: “Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists?”

And Simon Blackburn’s dorm analogy still hits close to home, even though they’ve leveled this one to make room for our new Science Building.

Law’s “evil god challenge,” and on Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked Into an Intellectual Black Hole:

“Is the ultimate nature of reality non-physical?” If kicking a stone won’t settle that question, it’s not clear why it should matter (pun partially intended) to most of us any more than it did to Dr. Johnson. But we might be more interested, today, in Keith Ward’s comments on atheists and why he’s not one anymore:

“Is belief in the existence of a God or gods the equivalent of believing that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or can it be defended on the basis of reason or evidence?” Anthony Grayling says “the best and deepest thinking about ethics has come from non-religious traditions” that value reason and evidence over faith and fairies.

[atheism/Grayling @dawn… Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age… The Good Book: A Humanist Bible]

In EEA we’re between texts, with Van Jones just behind us and the late Ernest Callenbach‘s Ecotopia just ahead. We wish. In the interim, we eagerly anticipate a visit with our esteemed university president Dr. Sidney McPhee, from whom we hope to get the green light on greening our campus. Stay tuned.