Solomon (1 Kings 3:16-28)

In his great wisdom, King Solomon used a trick to elicit truth in a dispute between two women. “Oh, my lord” the first woman said to the king, “this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. Then on the third day […]

Oscar Hartzell

There are many kinds of tricksters. Some are like P.T Barnum, they try to trick people so that they find them entertaining. But there are confidence men like Oscar Hartzell, who sought to rip people off with their schemes. Hartzell is one of history’s greatest con artists. In the early 20th century, he convinced over […]

The Prince of Humbugs

In 1835, the legendary showman P.T Barnum made his debut. He exhibited what he called “the most astonishing and interesting curiosity in the world,” an elderly black woman names Joice Heth. She was 161 years old. He announced through pamphlets and many forms of advertisements that she was the “most ancient specimen of mortality.” This […]

Nostradamus

If Nostradamus knew the future, why didn’t he warn the French King of the tournament that would kill him in 1559? Instead, he wrote a book, Centuries, in which he made prophecies that included great things for King Henri, while the latter was still alive. This, of course, made the king a great admirer and […]

Stop Lying

I finally said, “Stop Lying to me! Enough lies. Is everything a lie?” And then there was quiet. And then there were more experiences. And then I said, “Ah, but I am also a liar.” And then there was quiet, and some more experiences. And then I thought to myself, “Well, aren’t we all liars […]

The Corrupt Mind

In The Republic, there is a passage that describes what qualities a judge should be endowed with. The conversation takes place with Socrates. Socrates: ‘The best way for a doctor to acquire skill is to have, in addition to his knowledge of medical science, as wide and as an early acquaintance as possible with serious […]