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Publicly Funded Superstition

Recently, public activities came to my attention which, given the source, I found both surprising and startling. The publicly-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – a crown corporation which serves the public as the national broadcaster – is also a platform for superstition; disguised as astrology.

By publishing weekly horoscopes, the CBC – worse than its mere promotion – is perpetuating superstition. In the words of the once Torontonian, Emma Goldman: “Superstition – along with Ignorance and Bigotry – is one of the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on Earth”.

Emma Goldman, like many of humanity’s greatest heroes, was an ordinary person with extraordinary ideas. However, she wasn’t the first to publicly denounce superstition. More than two millennia before Emma, the Sage Epicurus did the same.

Epicurus was famously attributed – by David Hume, among others – with a compelling argument against divine providence; widely known as the problem of evil. Divine providence is reall…
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Comment-in-Brief: On My Religion

Often it comes assomewhat of a surprise to my – even well-known – acquaintances to learn that I’mactually rather deeply religious. Perhaps it’s all-too-easy, given my lack of religious community, to assume that I’m irreligious, or if after noticing my photograph with Prof. Richard Dawkins, then, one can hardly be blamed for making the presumption that I’m some sort of Atheist. But I’m not an Atheist. I’m an Epicurean.
Moreover, if one understands that Epicureanism encourages its followers – in their pursuit of a pleasant life – to live in obscurity, my religiosity, when obscure to those around me would then, indeed, come as some surprise. 
However, the notion that religious community entails religiosity – at least to me as an Epicurean – isn’t clear, whatsoever. For example, there exist many secular Christians and Jews who attend their respective religious communities for events and may even self-describe themselves as culturally – not religiously – Christian or Jewish.
What matters, the…

Nothing Comes From Nothing

Epicurus taught us that nothing comes from nothing. That said, if you truly value those who contribute something rather than nothing, then perhaps, value them as something rather than for nothing.
I'll sign off with an appropriate song: Joy To The World by Three Dog Night
Oscar Starschild is a second-year Maths, Philosophy & CS student at the University of Toronto If you're able to do so, please consider supporting me through Patreon

Comment-in-Brief: Compelling Speech or Humanity?

Consider the controversial bill C-16; formally known asAn Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This bill sought to provide greater protections for at-risk individuals against systemic or societal discrimination on the grounds of their gender expression or gender identity. However, the bill was publicly divisive and cause for much societal distress. Critics of the bill often characterized the legislation as compelled speech and – no thanks to the media – the bill was popularly perceived as ahuman rights versus free speechissue.
I’ve written previously on issues involving human rights (see: humanity must triumph self-interest), but here I briefly consider how Epicurean Philosophy advises us to approach such a matter. In obscurity? Well clearly, by writing this, I don’t think so!
Looking to Epicurean Ethics, which rejects absolute justice and instead promotes a natural concept of justice, we see the Epicurean vision for societal justice in relative terms and ba…

Comment-in-Brief: A More Sensible & Humane Position

I find myself in a position which, at first impression, readers may sense as difficult and strained or rather, undecided. However, reflecting on the teachings of Epicurus and wisdom of others, as you’ll see, sensibility flows as naturally as a stream.
Being a member of the Green Party, I was happy to bask in their recent success: starting in Prince Edward Island (PEI) with a strong provincial election result to form, for the very first time, the official oppositionof government and soon after, in British Columbia, upsetting more established parties to win the federal by-election.
That said, come autumn, I hope theydon’twin the Federal Election.
You might think to ask – even out loud –WHAT?!? WHY?!?
It’s my view and preference that the best-case scenario would be a Conservative-Green Alliance such as a Coalition Government. But I’d just as happily settle for an outcome forming a Conservative Minority Government with the Green Party as the Official Opposition – and thus, holding the balance…

Oscar's Ode

Our universe is eternal, of which we're objects.
All objects are expressions. Therefore, we're all expressions of eternity.

Oscar Starschild is a second-year Maths, Philosophy & CS student at the University of Toronto If you’re able to do so,please consider supporting me through Patreon