Posted in January 2011

Homosexuality and morals

In March 2009, American missionaries made a special visit to Uganda to bring God’s word regarding homosexuality. The word that they brought is that “the gay movement is an evil institution” and presented a threat to the cohesion of African families. A month after the workshops and preaching in Kampala by the evangelicals, the Anti-homosexuality … Continue reading

Giving up millions

  If you were offered $12 million, would you turn it down? What if you already had more than you needed? What if you thought you hadn’t done anything to deserve it? This is the story of Gil Meche, a 32-year-old now former pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Meche had a multi-million dollar guaranteed … Continue reading

Donations and morality

Universities and hospitals cultivate big donors to help meet their budget goals. Often the people who serve on boards of not-for-profits are chosen because they are potential major givers themselves or they have the connections to wealthy individuals who can be enticed to part with their money. In return, some donors ask for public recognition … Continue reading

Height, banks and morality

If you beg for money, you are more likely to have more dropped in your tin cup if you stand at the top of the escalator than at the bottom. If you want a pay raise, have your boss stand in an elevated spot. These insights come from a curious series studies conducted by Lawrence … Continue reading

Guns, violence and morality

I was in Arizona last week and, sure enough, in Old Town there was a John Wayne look-alike walking the street with his six-shooter at his hip and bullets in his holster. At first I thought this was a gimmick for a western goods store. But no. It was just an ordinary citizen exercising his … Continue reading

Closing schools, Martin Luther King and ethics

On Martin Luther King Day, several schools in Georgia and the Carolinas opened to make up days missed due to snow closings earlier in the year. A NAACP spokesman, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, says, “”This time is set aside to honor a man who devoted his life to the service of mankind and should … Continue reading

Liberty and Justice

“ . . . with liberty and justice for all,” children recite each morning.  Isn’t this the common ground upon which everyone can stand? Many distressed by the today’s political climate urge Americans to remember what binds us together and these principles are surely it. The history of liberty and justice has never been an … Continue reading

Obama, compromise and morality

President Obama’s speech at the University of Arizona, in which he called for civility on all sides, reminded me of a logical puzzle I had read many years ago. I think it was in a book by Raymond Smullyan. The problem posed by the philosopher was this: suppose there is one pie to be divided … Continue reading

Snow-day pay and morality

New York was snowed in again yesterday. The Long Island Railroad operated at about half schedule. Schools were closed, as were many businesses in the metropolitan area. Children rejoiced, but what about workers? That, it seems, upon who they worked for. Children cheer when school is closed because they are free to play without penalty. … Continue reading

Dissecting frogs

What do I most remember from my high school biology class? It is the smell of formaldehyde and the feel of the rubbery skin of a frog sliding under my not-too-sharp dissecting knife. This teenage rite of passage widely persists, but is there any good educational reason for the frogs to be offered up? It … Continue reading