Reading Time: < 1 minute

The responses to the meaning of life question are terrific — just what I needed. Watch for many more questions to come. Special thanks to James R. for introducing me to Quora, my new BFF.

Kept tripping on a historical pattern today, one I’d never noticed before — that “golden ages” of philosophy seem to coincide with or immediately follow periods of violence and instability. China, India, Greece, early Islam — each culture gets the greatest explosion of ideas during or immediately after these epic convulsions. I doubt I’m the first to notice this. Anybody?

It also can’t be a coincidence that philosophies and religions emphasizing nonviolence and order (Jainism, Confucianism, etc) dominate the conversation right after the national knickers have been in a major twist. Also interesting that they’re so often nontheistic.

(This will be maybe one sentence in the book, if that, and I spent hours today pursuing it. I’m a day behind schedule, and I’m convinced it’s because I keep chasing shiny, irrelevant objects. Ding.)

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.