Tagged with Philosophy

Good lawyers may be bad at ethics and here’s why

  In the wake of the General David Petraeus scandal, the Pentagon has reviewed its ethics training and recommends that training should start earlier and continued to be reinforced through an officer’s career. In all likelihood, the Pentagon’s legal counsel will lead the training, as it usually does.   And therein lies a problem. Lawyers … Continue reading

Real happiness requires love

  Happiness is best achieved through living an ethical life. A good life is a happy life. Good relations and taking responsibility not only make a happy life possible; they are happiness itself. But good people aren’t always happy. Why? Because goodness is an ideal state; it something you aim at, a kind of moving … Continue reading

What is Ethical Humanism?

In 1968, I became the Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island and am now the Leader Emeritus. Over the years, people have asked me to explain what Ethical Humanism is and what it believes. I have written the answers to the questions in a simple format. Here is the first of several … Continue reading

Some things that lead to a happy life

1. Here are the things that lead to a happy life: Study someone whose life is happy. Find a teacher whose values you admire. Have a child in your life. Associate with people whose judgments you trust. Look to people whose lives serve as an inspiration. Make small the gap between what you say and … Continue reading


What often holds us back is lack of self-awareness. So we move from place to place, from person to person, from job to job, only to find ourselves with the same grievances. Jose Marti y Perez, a 19th century Cuban writer, philosopher and revolutionary, once noted, “To change masters is not to be free.” He … Continue reading

Right, Wrong: It’s Not All Relative

Broadly speaking, ethical relativism contends that ethical rules are drawn from human experience and that what is right or wrong is dependent upon particular times and places. There are cultural relativist or the individual relativist. The cultural relativist believes that whether something is right or wrong depends upon what our culture, religion or government tells … Continue reading

Where Morals Come From

Society has many rules about how to behave, but not all of the social expectations are in the realm of morality. We need an independent way of evaluating which conventions are ethical and which are not. Just as ethics is independent of religious rules, so it is independent of social convention. The work of Larry … Continue reading