Tag: Natural Selection

The considerable overlap between Buddhism and Neuroscience

Following the thesis of Weisman’s article for the Seed Magazine, this essay will further furnish evidence in support of its claims. This essay will argue that much of the distilled wisdom of Buddhist thought is congruent with modern findings in neuroscience.

Of late Buddhism has found a following in the West. The major reason is that it is seen as a practical and philosophical system than a dogmatic religion. For example, the practice of meditation is far from being an esoteric mystical aspiration. There are palpable everyday benefits arising from regular meditation practice. Just as working out in the gym is good for the body, the daily practice of meditation is seen as a mind-exercise. To the extent that the mind is a manifestation of the physiology of the brain, meditation can also be seen as a brain exercise. Neuroplasticity is the term used by neurologists for describing the mutability of brain structures. Just as a body builder can shape and grow his muscles . . . Read More

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William Paley’s Natural Theology

  1. What is the thesis (the central idea or main point?)

William Paley’s concept of Natural Theology argues for a synthesis between laws of nature and God. Natural Theology claims that the laws of the natural world are designed and made operant by the Divinity.  It is this divine hand at work which accounts for the stability and order in the cosmos.

  1. What are the main arguments made in supporting the thesis?

Paley was not only a theologian but also a brilliant lawyer. His training as a lawyer is put to rigorous use in constructing his arguments.  The grand thesis of Natural Theology is supported by numerous examples from geology, cosmology and the natural world.  For example, in the case of a wrist watch, there is a clear purpose as well as precision behind its design. This is circumstantial evidence for a Creator, in this case of the watchmaker.  There are numerous similar examples offered by Paley to support his . . . Read More

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Features of Psychology, Symbolism, Characterization and Theme in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself

One of the remarkable features of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself is its adaptation of the epic poem genre. But, while classics of this genre have at their center a heroic figure, Whitman introduces a new vision of the heroic.  Instead of glorifying acts of great courage and feats of tenacity and will power, the heroic in Whitman is to be found in the qualities of the ‘common man’. This term was not in currency during Whitman’s era but fits the description perfectly in retrospect.  In this sense, we can claim that the Song of Myself is an avant-garde venture to democratize heroism.  In the place of Greek and Roman super-human heroes, as Whitman notes in his memoir A Backward Glance over Trveled Roads, his endeavor is to create a work in answer to these questions: “Is there one [earlier epic] that is consistent with these United States….? Is there one whose underlying basis is not a denial and insult to democracy?” (Trecker, 2011, p.12) While liberal politics . . . Read More

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How would Charles Darwin critique John Stuart Mill in Utilitarianism? How might Mill respond to this criticism?

Charles Darwin and John Stuart Mill were both influential thinkers of the nineteenth century. The lifetime’s work of Charles Darwin has been in the realm of evolutionary biology, but his theories are highly relevant for contemporary human societies as well. John Stuart Mill, on the other hand, is best known for his conception of the principle of Utilitarianism, which finds application in modern urban societies with . . . Read More

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