Leon Wieseltier on what it means to be human as we navigate in modern times

Leon Wieseltier & Meir Soloveichik – “The Future of the Soul in America”:

I relate to so much that Leon said here, in my own way, knowing virtually nothing of Judaism beyond what I happen to read or have watched in films and what’s come to me through Christian and/or spiritual and moral inquiries. Sometimes seems I gravitate toward Jewish authors and whatnot, not necessarily intentionally. Just kinda happens for some reason. *shrugs*

But I dig what this man is talking about, here and in the other couple of interviews I’ve watched thus far. Very interesting man to listen to, brought across my radar by my online pal Wyrd Smythe’s blog. Check him out too. nod

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11 Responses to Leon Wieseltier on what it means to be human as we navigate in modern times

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Excellent talk! The Judaism stuff was interesting, but the first 1/3 or so (about society and our devices) and the very end (about materialism) were pure gold. I agree with every word he said!

    • Byenia says:

      Yeah, I liked listening to Leon talk. Interesting fellow. 😉 Thanks for mentioning him!

      • Wyrd Smythe says:

        Your video led me to a few others with him that I enjoyed. Did you see them as well?

        • Byenia says:

          I’ve watched 3 so far. The one above was my favorite. Gonna have to go back and look for more sometime.

          • Wyrd Smythe says:

            I especially liked this one:
            I’ve never really been a fan of Hitchens, either.

            • Byenia says:

              Hitchens can suck an egg. Never cared for that guy. Not much of a fan of Dawkins either, truth be told.

              Watching the video clip now.

              Just finished. Agreed with Leon on how the New Atheism is “intellectually very shabby” because it’s fighting a crude view of religiosity. It’s always annoyed me that both Christian Fundamentalist types and New Atheist types fixate on a literal interpretation of scriptures. You miss most of the meaning of a myth if you approach it that way.

              When I initially began looking into atheism back around 2001 or so, I was turned off by this way of arguing. And when I came back around over the years to see what atheists are up to, I’ve noticed it hasn’t changed for the better a bit. And they’re not fond of me either, generally speaking, since it’s said that I come across as “spiritual” and “wishy-washy” due to not aligning with their hard-lined, black-and-white approach to the subject. So be it. Turned out I didn’t like them as a group much more than I did the Southern Baptist fire-and-brimstone crowd.

              • Wyrd Smythe says:

                I know what you mean, and I frequently think so, too, but Dawkins has done respectable work — no doubt that’s why Wieseltier says he respects him. It’s just that, like certain SF authors, Dawkins’ crazy bits taint everything else.

            • Byenia says:

              Another good one:


              Can’t recall if you shared that one before, Wyrd, but I know I viewed it, liked it, and am re-listening to it currently.

              (Frickin’ won’t embed for some reason.)

            • Byenia says:

              The latest video you shared was queued up and I had seen the first few minutes before. Watched it all. Not sure how I feel on the Bosnia issue or on the role of the U.S. in foreign affairs, but from 14:00 on he made some great points on why some countries differ in important ways in regards to immigrants and how we’re constituted.

              Have to cultivate “democratic psychological habits” — yes. I think that’s the key there.

              And yes, she is very pretty.

              Here’s another really good video by him, this one on the importance of humanities:


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