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Andrew Pessin
Andrew Pessin is Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College, and author of several books of philosophy for the general reader, as well as a novel. For more information visit

Entries by Andrew Pessin

Take Back Student Governments From The Hijackers!

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 4:31 PM

While there are vocal activists on both sides, I believe most college students are largely neutral on or even indifferent to the Israeli-Palestinian-Jewish-Arab-Muslim conflict. And while universities are (or should be) good places to learn about such conflicts, there must be many students who do not appreciate the specific manner...

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An Open Letter to Open Hillel, Part II

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 11:52 AM

In Part I of this letter, I criticized the Open Hillel movement for claiming they are motivated by grandiose principles of "free speech," "critical inquiry," and "inclusivity," when it's plain that their proposal (to "open" campus Hillels to supporting the delegitimization and destruction of Israel) would only empower...

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An Open Letter to Open Hillel, Part I

(3) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 3:23 PM

[In the days just before the Messiah] a man's enemies will be the members of his household .... --Talmud Tractate Sotah 49b (quoting Micah 7.6)

At a recent panel discussion, I mentioned the passage above in response to a question about how American Zionist Jews might engage with...

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A 50-Year-Old's Right to Complain

(3) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 8:24 PM

My eyes are going. Just last month I found myself lifting my glasses to read something, the way, you know, old people do. And my knees hurt. And the only impressive thing about the mediocre town we overpaid to buy our house in is the number of ways it is...

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Flying Delta's Discriminatory Skies

(61) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 12:32 PM

File this one in the "hard to believe, but it's true" folder.

Delta Air Lines is currently working on adding Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam of partnering companies, which already includes (amongst others) such foreign airlines as Aeroflot, AeroMexico, AirEuropa, Air France, Alitalia, China...

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When Your Religion Violates Your Moral Sensibilities

(67) Comments | Posted June 20, 2011 | 11:09 AM

What do you do when the religion you believe in happens to believe in things you don't? In particular, when it endorses moral beliefs which you, simply, do not?

A recent example much in the news is San Francisco's proposed ban on ritual circumcision. You don't have...

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Israel's Biggest Mistake

(59) Comments | Posted June 10, 2011 | 12:47 PM

Almost everyone agrees about Israel's military superiority over its adversaries. After all, it has won all the conventional wars, as well as the less-conventional ones such as that with Hamas in 2008-09 -- Hamas's fantastic victory declarations, amidst the ruins of Gaza City, notwithstanding. But there is another war, an...

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John Lennon and the Jews

(16) Comments | Posted June 8, 2011 | 1:25 PM

John Lennon and the Jews (JL&J), a new book by Ze'ev Maghen, is an extremely original and significant piece of writing.

It should be read by every Jew, no matter where you stand on the long spectrum between strict religious observance and determined rejection of the...

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Do Religious People Really Believe in God?

(215) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 10:16 AM

Most people don't believe in God. At least not really.

I'm speaking primarily of people who claim to believe in God. My assertion isn't that no one really believes in God. It's merely that far fewer people than you might think really do believe in God.

This assertion does...

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God Is Not One -- But Religions May Be

(88) Comments | Posted June 21, 2010 | 4:33 AM

Are all the major religions the same? Obviously not. But are they ultimately the same? Quite possibly, depending on what the word "ultimately" means here. Stephen Prothero's best-selling book, God Is Not One, makes the rather easy case that the major religions are not all the same. But that is...

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Tony Judt's Trojan Gift Horse

(52) Comments | Posted June 14, 2010 | 3:07 PM

Tony Judt's boldly titled New York Times Op-Ed, "Israel Without Clichés" (June 9, 2010), is a wolf in sheep's clothing if ever there was one.

The essay advertises itself as "cleaning house" with respect to the "tired accusations and ritual defenses" typical of Middle-East discussions, as if, in effect,...

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How to Be Certain Your Religion Is True and Still Get Along with Others

(842) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 5:09 AM

The epiphanies came as suddenly and strong as my newborn's projectile spit-up. Yes, I realized, I should wear a burping cloth. And also, the Paradox of the Preface is the key to universal religious harmony and world peace.

It might also help you lose that weight, quit smoking, and...

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A Room Without Rants: Where Reasonable Theists and Atheists Meet

(2937) Comments | Posted May 19, 2010 | 2:06 AM

They talk a lot, and loudly, and all at the same time. If they were your family during Thanksgiving, they'd be talking with their mouths full. It would be almost amusing if it weren't, on some important level, rather tragic.

I'm referring, of course, to the nonstop talking heads...

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