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Showing posts from February, 2015

"I'm not perfect, and so aren't you"

A pastiche of excerpts (slightly remodeled) from online personal ads, 2014.Hey. So what's up? Unicorn here. I haven't been on a date in ten years. Why do men lie? I meet men, and then I find out they have girlfriends or wives. I’m a very hungry caterpillar, and the majority of men here give me a stomachache. I’m tired of online dating so I thought I’d post to the Internet instead. If you are charming, I will eat you and turn myself into a beautiful butterfly. I live in another state; if that is a problem, I understand.I do not want to date a man who is old. One other thing: It hurts my feelings when people ask me to send a picture of myself and then they make fun of it and tell me it’s not my real photo. Knock it off.I’m a pretty girl, age 40, who lost weight in the wrong places. I am a saggy mess with no boobs. I need a “face guy” who’ll think I’m sexy when I’m hiding behind nice clothes. I need a man over six feet tall because otherwise I’ll feel like I’m bending over to hu…

Being morally accountable while being uncertain

George Cunningham wrote that, "if you think about it, most things you know about the universe are really just beliefs justified by a sufficient quantity and quality of evidence." Some beliefs are not even especially well justified, in which case what we have isn't knowledge but merely prejudice. William James: “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”We refer to ourselves as having knowledge, but we can never attain absolute assurance of our correctness, and to pretend that we have done so or to delude ourselves into believing that we have done so leads us astray from our own humanity, which is inherently limited. "Every judgement teeters on the brink of error. To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous. Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty," wrote that author of Dune.Of course, we have a feeling that we refer to as certainty. People feel more or less certain about all kinds…

Humility on the home front while criticizing violence abroad

At the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, 2015, President Obama said: But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge -- or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism...

Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ...

And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt -- not …

Kentucky creationism theme park is not to get $18 million in tax breaks

The “Ark Encounter” creationist theme park was revealed in late 2010 as a proposed joint venture between Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) and the Christian organization Answers in Genesis. It was expected to cost $150 million and was supposed to open for business in the Spring of 2014, but, as of early 2015, workers are still pouring the concrete. Kentucky ultimately declined to award $18 million in tax incentives because Answers in Genesis insists on the right to hire only Christian employees. Answers in Genesis is suing the state. “You can almost always get a state to throw money your way to build a new state attraction, but it's another thing to propose that the state give you $18 million in free money and carve out a special exception for you so that you don't have to follow anti-discrimination laws when you're doing it,” said Hunter on the Daily Kos staff.Biblical literalism about the creation story is widespread in the United States. The Week Magazine (Dec. 7, 2012) r…