This book was a lot of fun. Here are some of my favorite parts:
On Free Will
When asked whether he believed in free will, twentieth-century novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer replied, tongue-in-cheek, “I have no choice.”
Sorting out what’s good and bad is the province of ethics. It is also what keeps priests, pundits, and parents busy. Unfortunately, what keeps children and philosophers busy is asking the priests, pundits, and parents, “Why?”
On the Golden Rule that is a part of most religions:
Similar considerations led English playwright George Bernard Shaw to wryly rewrite the golden rule: “Do not do unto others as you would have others do unto you; they may have different taste.”
On Ethical Dilemmas
Although I’m happy in my current job, having recently received a promotion (I’m the new Thane of Cawdor), that’s not enough for my wife who is eager for me to get ahead. I’m not saying I lack ambition, but I am reluctant to do what it takes to climb higher — the long hours, the bloody murders. And yet, don’t I have a special obligation to consider my wife’s desires? We are, after all, a family.
On Philosophy of Law
A lawyer sends a note to a client: “Dear Frank: I thought I saw you downtown yesterday. I crossed the street to say hello, but it wasn’t you. One-tenth of an hour: $50.”
On Relativity of World Views
The twentieth-century American philosopher W.V.O. Quine wrote that our worldview is relative to our native language, a framework we are unable to climb out for a different perspective.