All posts by John Messerly

Can Stoicism Help Us Live Well? Forthcoming

Bust of Seneca

I have written about Stoicism previously but lately, I’ve been researching it extensively. The goal of my research is to distill the essence of Stoic wisdom as it pertains to helping people live well—primarily by achieving inner peace and equanimity. Then I’ll share these insights in easy to understand language. In other words, I will write a short essay that someone can read and say, “I understand Stoic wisdom and I see how it will help me to experience more peace of mind and happiness.” Continue reading Can Stoicism Help Us Live Well? Forthcoming

Richard Carrier on the Dark Ages

Below is an excerpt from Richard Carrier’s essay, “Yes, the Dark Ages Really Were a Thing.” It resonates with me because while teaching philosophy, especially at Catholic universities, I often encountered the (mistaken) view that the Dark Ages weren’t really that bad. Continue reading Richard Carrier on the Dark Ages

Understanding Freedom: Freedom and Politics – Part 1

© Robert Orwell Hand – (Reprinted with Permission)
https://understandingthings.net/2019/10/01/understanding-freedom-part-iv-freedom-and-politics/

In the United States, the political world is superficially divided in terms of the two-party system: Republicans (ostensibly, the defenders of “freedom”) vs. Democrats (ostensibly, the defenders of “equality”). Continue reading Understanding Freedom: Freedom and Politics – Part 1

God and the Meaning of Life – Thaddeus Metz

Cambridge University Press has just published a 62-page book by my friend Thaddeus Metz: God, Soul and the Meaning of Life.  It is part of the Cambridge Elements series which provides concise introductions to many academic topics in the arts and sciences. Continue reading God and the Meaning of Life – Thaddeus Metz

Understanding Freedom: Freedom & Government – Part 2

© Robert Orwell Hand – (Reprinted with Permission) https://understandingthings.net/2019/09/01/understanding-freedom-part-iii-freedom-and-government-cont/

Virtually everyone knows, and most of us would at least pay lip service to, the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But another “Golden Rule” seems to correspond far more directly with most people’s lived experience: “He who has the gold makes the rules.” Continue reading Understanding Freedom: Freedom & Government – Part 2