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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
- Rocker Sammy Hagar must face ex-Playboy bunny’s lawsuit | Reuters August 29, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. By Jonathan Stempel Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:50pm EDT (Reuters) – A federal appeals court […] The post Rocker Sammy Hagar must face ex-Playboy bunny’s lawsuit | Reuters appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Cool illustration from the New York Times: ‘Spectators walk out of shows for many reasons’ August 29, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. Spectators walk out of shows for many reasons http://t.co/nFzOmu0169 pic.twitter.com/JEsMBzDgce — The New York Times […] The post Cool illustration from the New York Times: ‘Spectators walk out of shows for many reasons’ appeared firs […]
- ‘Gunfight’ video by KXM featuring dUg Pinnick, George Lynch, and Ray Luzier August 24, 2014Keep your edge with The Latest News from indie bookstores, record stores, and short-film creators, only at BooksAndVinyl.com. This scorching rocker by KXM is paired with an hilarious video featuring dUg Pinnick as […] The post ‘Gunfight’ video by KXM featuring dUg Pinnick, George Lynch, and Ray Luzier appeared first on Books And Vinyl.
- Rocker Sammy Hagar must face ex-Playboy bunny’s lawsuit | Reuters August 29, 2014
- Ursprache: Dictionary.com Word of the Day September 1, 2014Ursprache: a hypothetically reconstructed parent language.
- Ursprache: Dictionary.com Word of the Day September 1, 2014
- Poem of the Day: What Work Is September 1, 2014We stand in the rain in a long line waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work. You know what work is—if you're old enough to read this you know what work is, although you may not do it. Forget you. This is about waiting, shifting from one foot to another. Feeling the light rain falling like mist into your hair, blurring your vision until you think you see […]Philip Levine
- Poem of the Day: What Work Is September 1, 2014
- A Letter by Amrita Pritam September 1, 2014by Amrita Pritam
- A Letter by Amrita Pritam September 1, 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
- Feminist Environmental Philosophy August 30, 2014[New Entry by Karen Warren on August 29, 2014.] Early positions of "feminist environmental philosophy" focused on mostly ethical positions and perspectives on interconnections among women, nonhuman animals, and nature (e.g., Carol Adams 1990; Deborah Slicer 1991). As it matured, references to feminist environmental philosophy became what it is now […]Karen Warren
- Innateness and Contemporary Theories of Cognition August 30, 2014[Revised entry by Jerry Samet and Deborah Zaitchik on August 29, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Nativism and Empiricism are rival approaches to questions about the origins of knowledge. Roughly speaking, Nativists hold that important elements of our understanding of the world are innate, that they are part of our initial condition, and thus do no […]Jerry Samet and Deborah Zaitchik
- Prisoner's Dilemma August 29, 2014[Revised entry by Steven Kuhn on August 29, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Tanya and Cinque have been arrested for robbing the Hibernia Savings Bank and placed in separate isolation cells. Both care much more about their personal freedom than about the welfare of their accomplice. A clever prosecutor makes the following offer to each. "You m […]Steven Kuhn
- Feminist Environmental Philosophy August 30, 2014
- Ethics and Contrastivism August 31, 2014Ethics and Contrastivism A contrastive theory of some concept holds that the concept in question only applies or fails to apply relative to a set of alternatives. Contrastivism has been applied to a wide range of philosophically important topics, including several topics in ethics. Contrastivism about reasons, for example, holds that whether some considerati […]
- 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 […]
- Ethics and Contrastivism August 31, 2014
- The Replication Crisis: Response to Lieberman August 31, 2014In a long and interesting article over at Edge, social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman discusses (amongst other things) the ‘replication crisis’ in his field. Much of what he says will be of interest to regular readers of this blog. Lieberman notes that there has been a lot of controversy over ‘embodied cognition‘ and social priming research. […]The post Th […]
- The Myth Of “Roid Rage”? August 30, 2014Are men who inject testosterone and other anabolic steroids at risk of entering a violent “roid rage“? Many people think so. Whenever a professional athlete commits a violent crime, it’s not long before someone suggests that steroids may have been involved. The most recent example of this is the case of Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver. […]The post The Myt […]
- (False?) Positive Psychology Meets Genomics August 27, 2014Academic bunfight ahoy! A new paper from Nick Brown – famed debunker of the “Positivity Ratio” – and his colleagues, takes aim at another piece of research on feel-good emotions. The target is a 2013 paper published in PNAS from positive psychology leader Barbara Fredrickson and colleagues: A functional genomic perspective on human well-being. The […]The pos […]
- The Replication Crisis: Response to Lieberman August 31, 2014
- The Extended Synthesis (Reviewing “Darwin’s Doubt”: Robert Bishop, Part 1)Many evolutionary and developmental biologists are pursuing an extended synthesis involving population genetics, developmental biology, epigenetics and other recent developments. Yet Stephen Meyer presents their published research as offering an alternative to or replacement for neo-Darwinian evolution.
- Just the Facts, Ma’am: Creationism’s “Dragnet” View of Science“Proponents of common sense realism sometimes see [evolutionary] ideas, which lie at the core of all branches of modern science, as wholly unjustified speculations. This creates a large gap between the views of professional scientists and those of many ordinary people—a gap that is far more significant for the origins controversy than any supposed “gaps” in […]
- Scientific PassionsAll of science’s discoveries are undergirded by beliefs about the true, good, and beautiful, which makes it all the more tragic when scientists claim to have risen above the search for these things.
- The Extended Synthesis (Reviewing “Darwin’s Doubt”: Robert Bishop, Part 1)
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- 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
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- Back to School with Anne Campbell August 26, 2014 Mike Chasar
- 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
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- 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
- The Rev. Stephen Kidd on The Episcopal Church
- ‘He was brainwashed’ — a Somali-American man’s account of his nephew’s recruitment by al-Shabaab
- When your pastor is worse than ‘worldly’ — what’s Mars Hill Church to do?
- Bullying is a Form of Torture
- Here’s why narcissistic pastors can get away with careers in ministry
- Is the Mars Hill Church board lying for Pastor Mark Driscoll? Or just using weasel words?
- Mars Hill Church staffers get six bully-free weeks; God has no comment
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"
- When your pastor is worse than 'worldly' -- what's Mars Hill Church to do?
- Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches you how to slander!
- The reality of pastoral gossip, or, Pastor Mark Driscoll trains you in godly leadership
- Postscript to 'the reality of pastoral gossip' -- a personal experience
- For Resurgence and Mars Hill Church, 'unity' is the new 'touch not my anointed'
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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