March 5th, 2014
Under Our Skin is an amazing documentary about Lyme Disease and those who suffer from it. It’s available to watch for free on Hulu (I know many places around the world don’t stream Hulu so you may want to try to find it somewhere else). It doesn’t talk about the conspiracy behind Plum Island (US government animal testing facility off the coast of Lyme, Connecticut… There may be good reason to blame the government for this disease but I won’t discuss that issue here). It focuses on the problem of healthcare in the US, the imbalance of the government and insurance companies, the corruption of policy makers, and the greed of those who patent advances and not make it available for others to benefit from. Here’s the trailer.
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February 20th, 2014
On Feb. 26 my first e-book, The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering, will be available for Kindle download for $3.99. I’ve been working on this project for over a year and I’ve recently delving back in to finishing it. Essentially, the book is for those who are suffering or in pain and for those who may know someone who is going through hardship and suffering. We find ourselves thrusted into existence and we observe so much absurdity around us. This is the problem of existence. It’s the why questions.
Regular readers over the years will recognize a lot of the content. I’ve compiled everything in what will, hopefully, be an easy read formatted in an understandable way. Some of it is story telling and other parts are serious philosophy and theology. This e-book is a bit different than my normal topics related to science and philosophy. I found that while composing and editing it I was really just speaking to myself. Like the psalmist does so often, “Why are you cast down, O soul?” Sometimes we need to preach to ourselves and this is really just a glimpse of my heart.
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February 14th, 2014
So, my pal JT told me about this film The Sunset Limited, which is free on YouTube. The whole film takes place in the dank apartment of a subway janitor (Samuel L. Jackson) and a professor (Tommy Lee Jones). The professor is an atheist who tried to jump in front of a train but the janitor stopped him.
The prose begins in the apartment and the rhetoric is fantastic. The whole movie debates morality, the Bible, angels, God, the problem of evil, sin, etc. It’s a conversation and not an academic debate. They each have good points to make, which is why both Christians and atheists should watch it. For instance, the professor says, “Why not give up? God gives up. As far as I know there’s no ministry in hell.” Now, that objection has answers but rhetorically, wow, that’s hot! Also, the story about how the janitor became a believer (spoiler: beats a man badly) and the professor questions if disfiguring a man was worth his belief in God. It’s amazing.
The janitor isn’t the most educated person, scholastically speaking, but he’s very intelligent. Just watch out for his semi-Pelagian switching around in his rhetoric when they discuss original sin and the Bible.
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January 20th, 2014
*Warning, if you’re sensitive to this material, then just don’t read it.
When I use the word profanity here I’m referring to that semantic use of words that are considered bad–bad words. Bad words are socially unacceptable and frowned upon. The language that, I believe, is subjectively wrong is blasphemy; that is, using God’s name in vain and profaning his very existence and name.
Let’s be honest, swear words are a social construct and I don’t need to list them because unless you are homeschooled and aren’t allowed to go to the movies or to the local mall you probably won’t be allowed to read this website either. I’m going to use the work of Steven Pinker. Pinker is a a psychologist and a horrible philosopher [when he tries]; however, I think he may have some interesting thing to say when it comes to our natural reaction to some of our emotions. In a paper titled “What the F*ck?–Why we Curse” that appeared in The New Republic Pinker argued for five types of swearing. You can also watch him present on the topic.
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December 21st, 2013
Let’s start giving a full disclosure concerning Christmas: Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. (That’s what I mean by Christmas. I’m referring to its date.) I think most people know that, but what’s important is knowing when Jesus actually was born (approximating) and the origins of the date. Spoiler alert: the date has pagan origins. Is that a problem? I don’t think so and we shouldn’t be up in a twist about it. The main point is marking a point of celebration. Christmas is about the incarnation–God becomes man. Does our celebration of the incarnation have to be on a specific day? No. It has simply become Christian tradition that we do celebrate the incarnation. The birth of Jesus is another way of looking at it but a theologically rich view of Christmas views the season as a celebration of the incarnation of God.
1). Dating the account requires synoptic correlation by referring to Matthew’s account of the same events.
- Mt. 2.1: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.”
- Mt. 2.19: “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.”
2). Herod died in 4BC. Jesus had to have been born before this, which would be between 6-4BC. During this time, Herod was sick and there was much turmoil. Augustus would have wanted a census taken.
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December 13th, 2013
I find the recent statements by the Pope to be completely absurd. This inevitably rules out discovery, search for truth, and is really epistemically irresponsible.
Original source: Vatican Radio
The spirit of curiosity generates confusion and distances a person from the Spirit of wisdom, which brings peace, said Pope Francis in his homily during Thursday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta.
The Pope began his homily by commenting on the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, which describes “the state of the soul of the spiritual man and woman”, of true Christians, who live “in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. And this wisdom carries them forward with this intelligent, holy, single, manifold and subtle spirit”.
“This is journeying in life with this spirit: the spirit of God, which helps us to judge, to make decisions according to the heart of God. And this spirit gives us peace, always! It is the spirit of peace, the spirit of love, the spirit of fraternity. And holiness is exactly this. That which God asked of Abraham—‘Walk in my presence and be irreproachable’—is this: this peace. To follow the movement of the Spirit of God and of this wisdom. And the man and woman who walk this path, we can say they are wise men and women… because they follow the movement of God’s patience.”
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