Ibn Gabirol Discusses The Virtues

If we accept the premise that personal sufferings and misfortunes provide excellent grist for philosophy’s mill, then we must concede that Solomon Ibn Gabirol was provided with incomparable ingredients for speculative thought.  He was born to a prosperous family in Malaga, Spain around 1022.  Yet life wasted no time in dealing him cruel cards; his parents died when he was a child, making him an itinerant orphan.  He seems to have been stricken by a degenerative disease as a teenager, and this fact lodged in his breast an enduring sense of alienation and resentment; but like many other thinkers, he would find refuge from his pain by taking up the pen. 

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The Gradual Slide Into Moral Corruption (Podcast)

In this podcast we discuss Alexandre Moratto’s 2021 film Seven Prisoners. The movie describes the experience of a young man named Matheus, who is basically sold into a modern form of industrial serfdom in Sao Paolo. He tries to rebel at first, but quickly learns the futility of resistance. But being ambitious, he gradually begins a series of accommodations with his oppressors that strip him of his honor. What is the price of one’s soul? What is the price of one’s humanity? The loss of one’s moral base happens slowly, gradually, and almost imperceptibly.

A brilliant, morally profound film, and one that we should all reflect on.


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David Mamet’s Film “Redbelt” (2008) (Podcast)

In this podcast we discuss David Mamet’s 2008 film Redbelt.  This is a great movie, and a worthy addition to his long line of films that explore the moral and ethical problems that men face as they try to reconcile their personal creeds with the world’s corrupting influences.  How we resolve this struggle will define what kind of man we are.  Mamet instinctively understands the necessity of masculine virtus in a world characterized by shifting loyalties, fair-weather friends, and moral corruption; this makes him, in a sense, the most “virtuous” filmmaker today.

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On The Remaking Of Character

One of the apparent corollaries of the maxim that “character determines fate” is that character is static and unchangeable.  In the majority of cases this is undoubtedly true; but this truth should not be used as a license for us to lie supinely on our backs and let the swerve of the atoms in the void determine our future.  As volitional beings, we must act.  Forward movement is one of the imperatives of masculine virtue.  The negative personality takes refuge in the apparent indifference of the universe; but the active man, the healthy man, is too busy with his own affairs to fret over such exculpatory abstractions.  Each of us is responsible for his own fate.  Having accepted this, we will now ask how character can be modified to suit the will.

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Six Ethical Principles To Rejuvenate Societal Health


I read recently that a very rare animal was observed in the wild in the state of Iowa for the first time in over one hundred fifty years.  It is called a fisher; I had never heard of it before, but the biologists tell us that it is a predatory mammal related distantly to the mink and the otter.  The story reminded me of a similar one I had heard about some years ago, when a bird believed to have been long extinct was spotted in Arkansas.

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