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- "If your anger decreases with time, you did injustice; if it increases, you suffered injustice." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Incapable of doubt, incapable of faithThe majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith. -- T.S. Eliot, Introduction (1931), Pascal's "Pensees"
Wittgenstein on Kierkegaard
"Kierkegaard was by far the most profound thinker of the[nineteenth] century. Kierkegaard was a saint." - Ludwig Wittgenstein, to his friend Maurice Drury.
Read Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard: Religion, Individuality, and Philosophical Method by Charles L. Creegan free online.
Problem or Mystery?A problem is something which I meet, which I find completely before me, but which I can therefore lay siege to and reduce. But a mystery is something in which I am myself involved, and it can therefore only be thought of as a sphere where the distinction between what is in me and what is before me loses its meaning and initial validity. -- Gabriel Marcel
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- cherry-pick: Dictionary.com Word of the Day August 22, 2014cherry-pick: to select with great care.
- cherry-pick: Dictionary.com Word of the Day August 22, 2014
- Poem of the Day: Enough August 22, 2014So many forget-me-nots, with their white centers, scattered, you'd say, if there weren't so many everywhere, as many as the stars last night in between the branches above the porch, behind the house. Was it an argument or were there just things they had to say? I could have faith in so many creatures— the old setter from the neighbor yard who follo […]Katie Peterson
- Poem of the Day: Enough August 22, 2014
- In Eight Parts by Paul Killebrew August 22, 2014by Paul Killebrew
- In Eight Parts by Paul Killebrew August 22, 2014
- Parents of Young Athletes: Protect Your Child’s Brain in 8 Steps August 5, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Do Actions Speak Louder than Feelings? [Video] July 15, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Children Reason Differently from Adults [Video] July 8, 2014 Ingrid Wickelgren
- Erotic Art August 21, 2014[New Entry by Hans Maes on August 20, 2014.] What is erotic art? Do all paintings with a sexual theme qualify as erotic? How to distinguish between erotica and erotic art? In what way are aesthetic experiences related to, or different from, erotic experiences and are they at all compatible? Both people and works of art can be sensually appealing, but is the […]Hans Maes
- Philosophy of Statistics August 20, 2014[New Entry by Jan-Willem Romeijn on August 19, 2014.] Statistics investigates and develops specific methods for evaluating hypotheses in the light of empirical facts. A method is called statistical, and thus the subject of study in statistics, if it relates facts and hypotheses of a particular kind: the empirical facts must be codified and structured into da […]Jan-Willem Romeijn
- Location and Mereology August 20, 2014[Revised entry by Cody Gilmore on August 19, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Substantivalists believe that there are regions of space or spacetime. Many substantivalists also believe that there are entities (people, tables, electrons, fields, holes, events, tropes, universals, ...) that are located at regions. For these philosophers, questions arise about th […]Cody Gilmore
- Erotic Art August 21, 2014
- Leibniz: Logic August 19, 2014Leibniz: Logic The revolutionary ideas of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) on logic were developed by him between 1670 and 1690. The ideas can be divided into four areas: the Syllogism, the Universal Calculus, Propositional Logic, and Modal Logic. These revolutionary ideas remained hidden in the Archive of the Royal Library in Hanover until 1903 when th […]
- Grotius, Hugo August 8, 2014Hugo Grotius (1583—1645) Hugo Grotius was a Dutch humanist and jurist whose philosophy of natural law had a major impact on the development of seventeenth century political thought and on the moral theories of the Enlightenment. Valorized by contemporary international theorists as the father of international law, his work on sovereignty, international rights […]
- Moral Permissibility of Punishment August 6, 2014The Moral Permissibility of Punishment The legal institution of punishment presents a distinctive moral challenge because it involves a state’s infliction of intentionally harsh, or burdensome, treatment on some of its members—treatment that typically would be considered morally impermissible. Most of us would agree, for instance, that it is typically imperm […]
- Leibniz: Logic August 19, 2014
- Can Science Work Without Trust? August 16, 2014What would happen if scientists stopped trusting each other? Before trying to answer this question, I’ll explain why it has been on my mind. Science fraud, questionable research practices, and replication have got a lot of attention lately. One issue common to all of these discussions is trust. Scientists are asking: can we trust other […]The post Can Scienc […]
- Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle? August 9, 2014Can sick people gain mental clarity just before they die? University of Virginia researchers Michael Nahm and Bruce Greyson explore this issue in a gripping (if macabre) paper published in the journal Omega: The death of Anna Katharina Ehmer: a case study in terminal lucidity.The authors discuss the case of Anna Katharina Ehmer, a German […]The post Terminal […]
- Do Narcissists Know They’re Narcissists? August 8, 2014According to a provocative paper just published, it’s possible to accurately determine how narcissistic someone is by asking them just one thing. Here’s the question in full: To what extent do you agree with this statement: I am a narcissist? (Note: The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.) Answer on a scale from 1 […]The post Do Narc […]
- Can Science Work Without Trust? August 16, 2014
- Evolution Basics: At the Frontiers of Evolution, Part 4: Contingency vs. ConvergenceGiven that both contingency and convergence seem to be significant factors in evolutionary history, it is only natural for scientists to wonder which force has the upper hand. Is evolution primarily contingent, with convergence playing only a minor role? Or is evolution largely a convergent phenomenon, where contingent factors have little overall influence?
- Origins News Roundup for August 20, 2014From science and religion blogs: quantum uncertainty and God, the remarkable fact that we have come to understand our place in the created order, and the role of theology in making wise choices about the use of technology.
- God as Process Engineer: Creator, Sustainer, Reedemer, and ProviderFrom a Judeo-Christian perspective, all of these curiosities dovetail into a profoundly meaningful explanation: Being made in God’s image helps to explain our creative and investigative skills, particularly when we consider that God has specially engineered this universe to reveal himself to human beings.
- Evolution Basics: At the Frontiers of Evolution, Part 4: Contingency vs. Convergence
- The Military Industrial Complex Yard Sale August 22, 2014The Pentagon doesn't only give police departments surplus body armor, but also surplus underpants, dish towels, spatulas and dessert spoonsSam Lavigne
- Living is Easy August 22, 2014When it comes to summer entertainment, movies are shouting about nothing into empty theatres. Then they kill everyoneBrandon Harris
- Masstige and Bargain Beauty August 21, 2014Motivations for buying bargain beauty products and high-end products are more similar than they seem. The sweet spot? Masstige.Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
- The Military Industrial Complex Yard Sale August 22, 2014
- Beyond the Façade February 23, 2014Vladimir Putin's Fragile Empire Fragile Empire Ben Judah Yale University Press, 400 pages $30.00 As the Olympic festivities wind down in Sochi, western attention on Russia has been at levels unseen since the Cold War. As the most expensive Olympic games yet (the most recent estimate is $ 50-51 billion by the Washington Post), President Putin has in […]
- The End of the Line? September 26, 201325 years after Chrysler closed the AMC plant, how has Kenosha fared? The End of the Line? Twenty-five years ago, Chrysler closed its newly acquired plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The event made national headlines. Only a few months before, Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca had announced that the company intended to buy out French automaker Renault’s control […]
- The Voice of Ireland June 15, 2013An Interview with Author Kevin Barry The Voice of Ireland My wife tossed The New Yorker on to the tabletop, You have to read this short story, she said. I did. And the rhythm of the language and the force of the story led me on the rampant search for more. The author was an Irish writer named Kevin Barry whose work consists of two short story collectio […]
- Beyond the Façade February 23, 2014
- Poor Russians, or Putin's Complaint (An August Meditation II) August 13, 2014 Gregory Freidin
- Social Science and Profanity at DH 2014 July 26, 2014 Andrew Goldstone
- Four Stones After Slavery July 17, 2014 Gregory Jusdanis
- Omeka links for the University of Colorado July 24, 2014
- The 7 Best Links to Digital Poetry Projects from MLA January 14, 2014
- Introduction to Omeka – Lesson Plan November 12, 2013
- Job: Digital Projects & Technologies Librarian, University of Toronto August 21, 2014
- Job: Research Data Management Librarian at Boston University August 21, 2014
- Opportunity: ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships August 21, 2014
- Shaping (Digital) Scholars: Design Principles for Digital Pedagogy August 12, 2014
- Creating the Texas Digital Humanities Consortium April 23, 2014
- More Data, Better Learning? A Balanced Look at Adaptive Learning Systems October 5, 2013
- DH@WIT: Digital Humanities for Undergraduate Design, Engineering, and Management Students June 10, 2014 Christopher Scott Gleason
- Exploring and Designing Virtual Worlds April 25, 2014 The Editors
- An Introduction to Alex McDowell’s “World Building” April 25, 2014 Noah Wardrip-Fruin
- “World Building” April 24, 2014 Alex McDowell
- Media Systems – Envisioning the Future of Computational Media April 23, 2014 Noah Wardrip-Fruin
- Getting into Digital Humanities: A top-ten list August 18, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- Innovation, Use, and Sustainability May 30, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- The Dividends of Difference: Recognizing Digital Humanities’ Diverse Family Tree/s April 7, 2014 Tom Scheinfeldt
- Justifiable skepticism: What did C.J. Mahaney really know, and when did he really know it?
- For Resurgence and Mars Hill Church, ‘unity’ is the new ‘touch not my anointed’
- As PM David Cameron admits James Foley’s executioner might be British, BBC’s 2006 series ‘The State Within’ comes to life
- Islamic State using cult brainwashing techniques
- Postscript to ‘the reality of pastoral gossip’ — a personal experience
- ‘Just no': Viewers wish Chris Matthews would ‘suffocate on his white privilege’
- 10 of Robin Williams’ Funniest Moments From Johnny Carson to His USO Tour
Liturgy For The PeopleThe liturgy is essentially not the religion of the cultured, but the religion of the people. If the people are rightly instructed, and the liturgy is properly carried out, they display a simple and profound understanding of it. For the people do not analyze concepts, but contemplate. The people possess that inner integrity of being which corresponds perfectly with the symbolism of the liturgical language, imagery, action and ornaments. The cultured man has first of all to accustom himself to this attitude; but to the people it has always been inconceivable that religion should express itself by abstract ideas and logical developments, and not by being and action, by imagery and ritual. --Romano Guardini, "The Awakening of the Church in the Soul"
- For Resurgence and Mars Hill Church, 'unity' is the new 'touch not my anointed'
- As PM David Cameron admits James Foley's executioner might be British, BBC's 2006 series 'The State Within' comes to life
- Postscript to 'the reality of pastoral gossip' -- a personal experience
- The reality of pastoral gossip, or, Pastor Mark Driscoll trains you in godly leadership
- Islamic State using cult brainwashing techniques
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Arts and humansArt is the signature of man. -G.K. Chesterton
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The Anguished QuestionIf you really enquire about God, not with mere curiosity, not, as it were, like a spiritual stamp collector, but as an anxious seeker, distressed in heart, anguished by the possibility that God might not exist and hence all life be vanity and one great madness -- if you ask in such a mood as the man who asks the doctor, "Tell me, will my wife live or will she die?"-- if you ask thus about God, then you know already that God exists; the anguished question bears witness that you know. -- Emil Brunner, "Our Faith"
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Monthly Archives: September 2008
The things — the beauty, the memory of our own past — are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. -C.S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory”
Following Lewis’s formulation and speaking for myself, my heart has been broken many, many times.
At the beginning of my Major American Writers class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I open with a quote that I hope will help the students understand why we bother with literature and why literature matters.
I usually tap an American literary figure, but last week, a line by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had me thinking about something C.S. Lewis wrote.
Tell me if I’m off-base here.
In “A Psalm of Life,” Longfellow wrote, “Art is long, but life is fleeting”.
In “On Stories,” Lewis wrote, “In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to capture in our net of successive moments something that is not successive.”
I think I was fairly responsible with the comparison and contrast. I made it clear that I did not think there was a perfect critical fit between the two quotes. Even so, I wanted to use the quotes to draw attention to a couple of thoughts. One, while life moves along, in its chronological sequence, we still value certain things that seem eternal, that stand outside of ourselves and our time. Two, that art can sometimes open us up to a sense, feeling, or impression of something eternal, something beyond us.
A powerful example of that sense or impression was related by the poet (and Lewis friend) Ruth Pitter in one of her BBC broadcasts, entitled “Hunting the Unicorn,” which was aired decades ago now. Pitter said:
I was sitting in front of a cottage door one day in spring long ago, a few bushes and flowers round me, bird gathering nesting material, trees of the forest at a little distance. A poor place, nothing glamorous about it. And suddenly, everything assumed a different aspect, its true aspect. For a moment it seemed to me that truth appeared in its overwhelming splendor. The secret was out, the explanation given, something that had seemed like total freedom, total power, total bliss – good with no bad as its opposite, an absolute that had no opposite. This thing, so unlike our feeble nature, had suddenly cut across one’s life and vanished. What is this thing? Is it, could it be, after all, a hint of something more real than this life? A message from reality, perhaps a particle of reality itself? If so, no wonder we hunt it so unceasingly, and never stop desiring it and pining for it.
I did not include the above Pitter quote in our class discussion. While I was trying to explain the Lewis quote, however, I noticed some of the students were moved and surprised by what I was saying. My explanation probably had more in common with Platonism than Christianity, and yet just expressing the possibility of an impression from something beyond our material framework was stirring for me, and it felt counter-cultural to talk about such things.
-Colin Foote Burch
From the New York Times article about the Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to France and his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy:
In an interview in fluent French with reporters traveling with him on an Alitalia airplane from Rome, the pope was asked what his message was and replied that it “seemed evident to me that secularism in itself is not in contradiction with faith.”
Religion and politics, he said, “should be open to each other.”
Speaking before the pope at the Élysée palace, Mr. Sarkozy renewed his appeal for a “positive secularism” saying it was “legitimate for democracy and respectful of secularism to have a dialogue with religions.”
Earlier in the article, reporters Rachel Donadio and Alan Cowell also wrote:
In a private meeting with French Jews on Friday, the pope spoke vehemently about the church’s opposition to “every form of anti-Semitism, which can never be theologically justified,” according to a text of his remarks.
In reaching out to the community he also discussed the holocaust, saying, “God does not forget.”
NPR reported that France has the highest number of European Jews, as well as a growing number of Muslims.
Following the recent death of the great Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, I have been listening to David Aikman’s essay “One Word of Truth: A Portrait of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn” on a special MP3 edition of Mars Hill Audio.
Mars Hill Audio also has a 74-minute download entitled The Christian Humanism of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (also available for purchase on CD) featuring scholar Edward E. Ericson, Jr. Here’s a fantastic quote from Ericson’s 2006 book, The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005:
“Solzhenitsyn’s work and witness teach us that the true alternative to revolutionary utopianism is not postmodern nihilism but gratitude for the givenness of the world and a determined but patient effort to correct injustices within it.”
“And although you were dead because of your sins and because you were morally uncircumcised, he has made you alive with Christ.”
This image and many more images from historical anatomical atlases are available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/historicalanatomies/home.html.
“[I]f the New Testament is right, Christ did not come to pluck souls from an evil and worthless creation and transport them to an angelic existence; instead he came to announce the beginning of the world’s renewal.”
– from The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education by Norman Klassen of St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, and Jens Zimmerman of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia