2011.05.20 08:27 - Miscellanea, Philosophy and Religion
This blog entry by Charlie Stross brings a couple of things to my mind.

The second, and shorter, was that I visited the Henry Ford museum ages and ages ago with my parents and sister. It's been more than two decades, but exactly how much more I'm not sure. All these years on, the things I remember are:
  1. the museum is huge,
  2. related to (1), by the end of the day, I was very tired and my feet hurt
  3. it would be pretty neat to go back.

The first thing, though, is that I'm surprisingly pessimistic about the ability of technology to fundamentally change the human nature. Not to say that technology cannot (or has not) done great things to improve the human condition--personally, I love indoor plumbing and electricity--but people remain, well, people. It seems unlikely any amount of technology will ever change human nature from the venal, petty sort of thing it is. Which I suspect is a place where my opinions and Mr. Stross's part company. (One of many, I'm pretty sure.)

Buckminster Fuller certainly did some interesting things, though. Shame so little of it seemed to work out.
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What a long, boring week. 
2008.06.06 14:11 - Miscellanea, Philosophy and Religion
Jury duty this week and next, so I've had a greater-than-usual opportunity to read. And read I have. More than usual, even.

Although I'm actually at work today, I spent a large part of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday sitting in a room with a hundred or two other people, staring at the walls. To break up the monotony of inspecting the walls for imperfections in the paint, I've been working on a copy of The Analytic Theist, which is a copy of articles written by Alvin Plantinga, a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and a significant figure in his field.

The first four chapters dealt with establishing the rationality of theism. Interesting stuff, which I will do an immense favor by not butchering as I attempt to summarize it. The fourth chapter's argument that atheism is irrational where theism is not was great fun, though.

Unfortunately, by the time Thursday rolled around, the sleep deficit and my ever-dwindling attention span had combined to turn me into a near zombie, which makes it difficult to read anything requiring thought at all.
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2008.03.23 16:57 - Miscellanea, Philosophy and Religion
Happy Easter.
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I guess I'm confused 
2007.06.19 09:00 - News and Politics, Philosophy and Religion
I'm honestly not clear on the beef that Islamic hardliners have with Salman Rushdie, since I never read The Satanic Verses, or any of his other works. However, if one is to believe the (unnamed) member of the Pakistani government's cabinet, their feud with "the West" includes allegations (by us) of "extremism and terrorism" (by them). Therefore, it would O. K. to kill Mr. Rushdie (who, I guess, encourages the sorts of attitudes the West has towards the likes of our anonymous cabinet minister) with "a bomb".

Because that's not at all like terrorism. I guess.

Surely someone out there in the Religion of Peace understands why this ironic attitude might be counterproductive to convincing the rest of the world that Islam isn't the religion of benighted, bloodthirsty lunatics. Maybe they're just being very quiet about it.

(Link stolen from The Corner.)
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And a belatedly happy Easter to the lot of you. 
2007.04.09 09:57 - Philosophy and Religion
I actually did not make it to church for Easter, though I did attend a Good Friday communion service. (Apparently, I am not actually competent to set my alarm clock.)

I did spend much of the last week reading up on St. Benedict &c, though I confess that I found the magazine's emphasis on how countercultural and radical the monastics are/were. Not that they're wrong. It just seemed rather beside the point, and I don't really think it bore stating more than once in a given two- or three-page article. Still, some interesting information there, if you find yourself so inclined.

On the matter of that Good Friday service, though, I am more and more convinced, wherever I belong in the body of Christ, I no longer quite belong in the church in which I grew up. (Not that I've ever been much for attendance, sadly.) The pastor's a great guy, but I've never felt like his sermons had much to do with me,0 and the music direction has left me rather cold for some time now.1

So, I feel as though I have some additional stake or interest in articles like this2, which suggest that there might be something wrong with the way churches are ministering.3 I guess I'm not the only one who tires of spending all of Sunday morning in a pew being lectured about feelings while good and innocent music is badly brutalized.4

In the meantime, I suppose I should really find another church.

0. In the preacher's defense, I would submit that the greater part of that church is probably his focus, and I can find no fault with that. Especially as I have made no effort to make my dissatisfaction known.
1. This is partly because I haven't been to church except on holidays in over four years, but I really miss the experience of singing hymns from hymnals to the accompaniment of actual people playing organ or piano. I also like for 4/4 time to not sound like a funeral dirge--it's not a speedy pace for a song, but c'mon: it doesn't crawl, either.
2. Link stolen from Luther at the Movies.
3. Actually that seems to suggest something is more likely wrong with the surrounding culture. I'm inclined to think that it's some from column A, some from column B.
4. I wish to point out that I find several of the ideas floated in that article a bit dubious. There was an article a year or so back that I recall making an argument for more theology from the pulpit. This seemed like a good idea to me, though it would require starting small, if my own woefully inadequate background in the subject is any indication. (Whether this is an issue with my current church, I do not know: my attendance has, of late, been so spotty as to leave me without any context with which to make such a judgment.)

[Update: Missed a noun up there. It's supposed to be 'good and innocent music'. My mistake.]
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