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Roger S. Gottlieb
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Roger S. Gottlieb is professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the author or editor of sixteen books and more than 100 articles on political philosophy, environmentalism, ethics, religion, spirituality, the Holocaust, and disability. Among his recent books are: A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet's Future; Engaging Voices: Tales of Morality and Meaning in an Age of Global Warming; A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth. He is a contributing editor for Tikkun Magazine and a columnist for Patheos.

Entries by Roger S. Gottlieb

The Flaws in Pro-Life Logic

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 1:50 PM


IF abortion is murder, then women who choose abortions are murderers.

IF abortion is murder, it surely should be against the law.

People who break the law should be punished.


If I ask a third party to kill my wife, and pay them...

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Pope Francis on Climate Change: Some Questions

(3) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 4:32 PM

For the many of us--clergy and laypeople, academics and plain citizens, in the U.S. and throughout the world--who for decades have been saying that the environmental crisis calls for a religious perspective and an activist religious response Pope Francis' bold words are a wonderfully welcome addition.


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Fifty Shades of Jihad

(3) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 2:20 PM

Fifty Shades of Grey and Jihad? Any similarity? Of course not. One is a phenomenally successful, poorly written, vaguely pornographic novel that follows the tried and true formula of romance novels: powerful, gorgeous, got-it-all man falls for shy, immature, hiddenly attractive, and mildly spunky woman. He dominates her; she reforms...

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Holiday Blues: Spirituality to the Rescue

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 6:35 PM

It is a commonplace of spiritual teachings -- those within as well as those outside of traditional religions -- that the mind plays a powerful role in creating happiness or misery. While this perspective might not help those suffering from chronic starvation or machine gun bullets, it could have a...

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Are Passover and Easter Just Celebrations of Violence?

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 1:14 PM

Surrounded by the usual code words for these holidays -- "freedom from slavery" for the first, "resurrection and new life" for the second -- this question may seem at the least silly and at worst an exercise of blasphemous anti-religiosity.

Yet, it is actually a serious question. Consider that while...

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About Death, II

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 10:32 AM

My last blog ended by comparing our lives to a song, and with the reflection: But if we live with awareness and gratitude, compassion and love, we will face the end of the song with grace, knowing that the composer and performer is not us, but forces vastly larger, more...

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Amour, Death, Song

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 4:59 PM

"That was the day of the white chrysanthemums, so magnificent I was almost fearful... And then, then you came to take my soul..."
-- Rilke

For someone way beyond middle age Amour is, as we used to say, quite a trip. To those unfamiliar with this Oscar-winning French film,...

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What Difference Does It Make If Torture Works?... And a Few Other Questions...

(2) Comments | Posted February 4, 2013 | 3:48 PM

What difference does it make if torture works? Is that all we need to know about it? Is it possible that we shouldn't torture people even if it does work? By analogy: We could probably eliminate a good deal of the Taliban--at least for a while--if we carpet bombed regions...

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Zero Dark Thirty Made Me Cry, But It Wasn't the Torture Scenes...

(7) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 2:03 PM

It's not that the torture scenes weren't pretty bad. They were: the bruised face, haunted eyes, scarred skin, and gradual deterioration from arrogant jihadist to a helpless, broken body pleading for mercy.

But that didn't make me cry, for when such torture is not an instrument of sadism, as...

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Holiday Spirit Getting You Down? Try Holiday Spirituality Instead

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 10:56 AM

This means to make the simple but often incredibly difficult decision to meet life's difficulties with self-awareness, acceptance, gratitude, compassion and love. (This is the position developed in my new book, "Spirituality: What it Is and Why it Matters," a book which not only answers all of life's...

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Gratitude and (of All Things) Politics

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 10:21 AM

America's annual consumerism orgasm is just passed. And if a little bit of post-sex let-down is to be expected, it may also be that some of us view the whole thing with negative feelings ranging from mild distaste to horror. People camping out on the sidewalk for days to buy...

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Is There a Yoga of the Heart?

(10) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 8:12 AM

Yes, and it's called prayer. And its power does not depend on faith in God or sacred texts, but on the passionate commitment of the person who prays. As Kierkegaard cautions: "Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays."

Prayers may be voiced in anguish or...

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Hurricane Sandy: Time to Stop Digging?

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 2:55 PM

"You don't hit bottom," says an old 12-step adage, "until you stop digging." In other words: no bad experience, painful consequence or downright awful time of it in and of itself will lead people to change their behavior. When we are reckless, thoughtless, destructively selfish, or blind to the effects...

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Newsflash: Santorum Out of Touch With Catholic Theology

(76) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 3:44 PM

Does it make it better or worse that Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum -- who seems to want to impose his own religious view on the rest of us (or at least on women) -- is actually is out of touch with some central Catholic doctrines? I am not talking...

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Are Any Christians Running for President?

(116) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 2:22 PM

I hate to belabor the obvious, but in this time of crazy politics it might serve some purpose.
Are any of the Republican candidates -- for president -- Christian?

I know that all of them except Ron Paul have repeatedly said that they are. But is saying that one...

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Steve Jobs -- Rest In Peace, But Let's Not Overdo It

(59) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 11:49 AM

Amid the spasm of media hype about Steve Jobs -- I've heard people say he was our Edison, our Disney and as important as JFK, that he shaped our lives, changed our lives, improved our lives. I want to offer a dissenting voice.

Now I have nothing against Jobs,...

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