This tag is associated with 19 posts

Kim Davis: State vs. Conscience

A woman in Kentucky, a government employee, refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple, citing her religious belief as the reason. This has caused quite a storm, with people lamenting the sorry state of America, which some say is turning into a theocracy. The connection between state power and religion is long … Continue reading

The Law of Inevitable A**holes

How’s your week going? Good, I hope. As a former missionary, I try to avoid profanity (with mixed results so far.) Profanity is so over-used that it loses its punch. So I save F-bombs for when I’m really outraged (and then I repent.) The word A**hole pops up so frequently that I began to study … Continue reading

Humbaba is Coming! What will you do?

What would you do if a hideous, powerful monster was coming to attack your neighborhood? First, a motherly word of advice: Never fall asleep listening to the Epic of Gilgamesh. That’s what I did last night and woke up with a nightmare. What brought that on? Could it have been Humbaba? Gligamesh, king of Uruk, … Continue reading

Art Versus Politics

Art is seeing through and making what we see visible to the rest of humanity. Politics is the process of power-sharing (or not sharing, as the case may be.) You can see that art may be a threat to politics. I used to be surprised that repressive regimes quickly arrest the artists, then try to … Continue reading

Neanderthals-Looking Better Every Day

The changing image of Neanderthals makes me laugh. You see, we have yet another prejudice called Presentism-the conviction that we are the epitome of humankind and our ancestors were ugly, dirty, and to paraphrase a certain philosopher, “nasty, brutish and short.” Years ago, Neanderthals were depicted by scientists as hairy and apelike, with scraggly hair … Continue reading

Science and Magic

I would say I have always loved science, but since I’m talking science, I need to define my terms. What I mean by science is the powerful urge to discover new things about the natural world. By this definition, babies are dedicated scientists, grabbing new items and putting them into their mouth, because their lips … Continue reading

I am not a Number

A recent article “What’s a Human Being Worth?” gave me hope that we may finally be seeing that the basis of morality is the value we place on a human being. Our society has placed a low value on human beings, especially human beings who are unlike us in some way-skin color, perhaps, or different … Continue reading

Politics and Morality: John Rawls’ Awesome Theory of Social Justice

John Rawls (1921-2002) was an American professor and philosopher whose magnum opus, A Theory of Social Justice was one of the most important works on politics and morality to come along in a very long time. While Enlightenment philosophers started with God-given rights (Locke) or scientifically determined utility (Bentham) Rawls said forget all that and … Continue reading

Fire in the Minds of Men: Revolution and the Spiritual Impulse

Some rail against religion while simultaneously promoting their personal ideology with notably religious zeal. Beware of “religiology” a blend of politics and the spiritual impulse, it tends to produce violence on an industrial scale. Politics is about power. Whether a religion adopts a political emphasis like the Catholic Church during the Roman Empire and Middle … Continue reading

Politics and Morality: John Stewart Mill

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was son of James Mill, who was a friend of Jeremy Bentham’s, and a true believer in utilitarianism. To achieve maximum utility, James was very concerned to provide his son the most efficient possible education. Tutors were brought to his home and in fact, John turned out to be a brilliant … Continue reading