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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

August 2023

Are Humans Born Good or Evil?

Thinkers have debated for centuries about the basic nature of human beings. Do babies really come into the world innocent? Are they blank slates who are shaped by the culture in which they are born? Or are they, as some religions say, born in sin and must work hard to redeem themselves with God to go to Heaven when they die

These are questions that cannot be answered scientifically until we determine what "good" and "evil" are. Better to ask if human beings are programmed to be be more...


June 2022

World Survey of Democracies

Two valuable non-partisan surveys track the standing of 166 sovereign states, 164 of them UN member states. One is the Democracy Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a UK-based private company which publishes The Economist.

The other is Freedom House, a non-profit, majority U.S. government- funded organization in Washington, D.C., that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 1941, more...


October 2021

Good Character and the Constitution

Until the former presidency of Donald Trump, we made a number of assumptions about the American system: its protections, its norms of political behavior, and its historic evolution to more and more inclusions. We generally trusted in our legal system, particularly the Supreme Court, to protect our Democracy.

We did not pay much attention to how much damage could be done by an individual with a bad character who could corrupt a cadre of fellow bad characters to support him. more...


October 2020

Peaceful Transfer of Power

When President Washington stepped down from power after two terms in office, King George III was astonished. "Nobody voluntarily gives up power!" he noted. Certainly nobody had done such a thing in thousands of years of history, with one exception: the Roman general, Cincinnatus, who had been given a temporary dictatorship at a dangerous time. When the emergency ended with Rome prevailing, Cincinnatus resigned his power and went back to his farm. There is no doubt that George Washington more...