Monthly Archives: September 2017

When You’re Right for Good Reason, But Still Wrong

Mary enters the house and looks into the living room. A familiar appearance greets her from her husband’s chair. She thinks, “My husband is sitting in the living room,” and then walks into the den. But Mary misidentified the man in the chair. [Perhaps she only saw the back of his head.] It’s not her husband, but his brother, whom she had no reason to think was even in the country. However, her husband was seated along the opposite wall of the living room, out of Mary’s sight, dozing in a different chair.

Would you say that Mary knew her husband was in the living room or, because she was mistaken about the evidence, was she merely lucky?

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People Will Surprise You

CuneiformIn case the last 59 years had not taught me this already, I learned it again this morning: the moment you think you have someone pegged, they will surprise you.

Today’s lesson came as I overheard a conversation in Starbucks between two gentlemen who could only be described as bros. One looked to be in his early 20s and was wearing a sweatshirt from his high school. The other was probably in his mid-thirties but looked older. To give you the flavor of the conversation, here are some things that were said.

On Marriage

Older bro: I don’t ever want to get married.

Younger bro: I know; getting married scares me to death. The only way I’d ever marry someone is if I loved her so much that I wouldn’t care if she took everything [in a divorce].

Older bro: Women are much better than we are, dude. Men do everything half-assed. Women work hard.

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Transformative Experience

Transformative ExperienceOnly eight posts ago, I lamented that the more important our decisions are, the less thought we seem to put into them. We only invest enough thought to find what makes us feel good, I said, and I wished we would apply more rational thought to our big choices.

Maybe I was asking too much.

Philosopher L.A. Paul says that when it comes to truly life-changing decisions — ones that transform the way you think or your mode of being — there’s no way we can be entirely rational, because on the other side of those decisions we will be so profoundly changed that our present selves can have no idea what our future selves will think.

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