Edmund Burke on Moral Duty

Two intrinsically-linked quotes from Sir Edmund Burke:

1) The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

2) Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Nymphomania and Satyriasis

I was cogitating on the percrptive societal dissimilarities of sexuality while turning the use of “nymphomania” over in my head. The “nymphomania” label (to say nothing of “nympho”) carries an implicit connotation of abnormality and even a subtext of whoredom that is not commensurately accorded to males (the implication being that males are whorish dogs whose sexuality is valueless while the sexuality of women is valuable). There is so, so much to unpack here, but for now I want to mention a particularly interesting preliminary finding. It turns out that there is a male analogue called “satyriasis.” That said, the fact that no one ever hears this word is itself a statement on society’s dissimilar treatment of female and male sexuality.

The New York Times: “Skirts for Men?”

New York Times (1984) - "Skirts for Men? Yes and No."The social acceptability of men wearing skirts is by no means a nascent subject, but has has anything really changed since the Industrial Revolution? In 1984, the New York Times ran this piece regarding a Paris fashion show featuring men in skirts that was, according to French designer David Hechter, “the most important thing to happen in fashion in the past 20 years!” Hechter was one of the first designers to break fashion norms previously “when it was scandal for women to wear pants.” Rodney Martin puts a sharper point on it: “It makes me feel free. It’s a statement by which I can say I am free to do whatever I want. It does cause hostility on the streets, though. Sometimes I keep my coat closed over my skirt so no one will see it. And I do have to sit differently. But it’s not about being a woman.”Continue Reading

A Powerless Form of Godliness

Paul wrote to Timothy that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [… h]aving a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; […e]ver learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3 KJV)Continue Reading

How The Mighty Have Fallen

I was just watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, S3E13 “Déjà Q” when Guinan says, “how the mighty have fallen!” That reminded me of a spoken word prelude in a 1990s Cindy Morgan song and got me to wondering about the origin of that phrase so I Googled it thinking it might have been Shakespeare. To my surprise it turned out to be from the Bible! “How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!” 2 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)

Adam and Eve

According to the Genesis (chapter 2) account in which Eve was “extracted” from Adam, that means Adam was the biological sum of man and woman. So Adam became man simultaneously with Eve becoming woman. Man and woman were thus created simultaneously, not sequentially. Man is not preeminent over woman.

Gnostic Theology

People like Ben Carson and Mike Pence shade intellectual Christians as much as they flame dogmatic Christians. As for me, yes, I can engage philosophical arguments without fear of sacrificing belief. Argument might alter my concept of God but argument will never change my belief in God.

Life Struggles

Why do those who have never experiened soul-crushing struggle think themselves equipped to mentor those who are working through their issues?

Otros ángulos analíticos sobre coronavirus

No puedo creer como se finja entender el coronavirus sin admitir lo oculto o incognoscible. Coronavirus ya existía hace décadas; sin duda hay muchos que ya tienen inmunidad parcial debido a su contacto anterior. Es más, no creo que afectará a todas personas de igual manera. Tiempo no basta ya para hacer los estudios genéticos para ver cuales linajes serán más susceptibles que otros. Y es cierto que en poco tiempo, se anunciará que hay COVID-19a, COVID-19b, etc, etc. Como el 19° se evolucionó de aquél de 2003, así el 19° se evolucionará en otros. Y no es muy diferente de la influenza que en el.mismo invierno puede descapacitarle a uno y sólo molestarle a otro.

Pro-Life, Yet Not Pro-Health?

Right-wing Christians grandstand on potentiating “unborn” lives with no apparent thought to the quality of those lives. I am this moment reminded of John 10:10 where Jesus said “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” How exactly can one be pro-life without also being pro-healthcare? Conservatives have (as should all) a distrust of government overreach and tyranny, but to be pro-life must necessarily also mean being pro-abundant-life. What use is it to have life without quality of life? And life cannot be narrowly classified as birth but as all those who have been born but not yet died. To be pro-life must mean (as the Catholic church teaches) opposing capital punishment. It must also mean making healthcare available to all—not just the wealthy, not just ‘the least of these’—but to all and to those between. And it probably also means dispensing the same quality and access to healthcare just as it means the equal right to live.

What I Became Because of You

In Star Trek S4E12 (“The Wounded”), the Enterprise crew are forced to cooperate with Cardassian leadership to stop a rogue Federation captain from destroying their fragile peace. The Cardassians’ presence aboard the ship is barely tolerable, but after dialogue with his wife, Chief O’Brian is later able to articulate an especially perspicacious explanation for his animosity.

“The only people left alive were in an outlying district of the settlement. I was sent there with a squad to reinforce them. Cardassians were advancing on us, moving through the streets, destroying, killing. I was with a group of women and children when two Cardassian soldiers burst in. I stunned one of them. The other jumped me. We struggled. One of the women threw me a phaser, and I fired. The phaser was set at maximum. The man just incinerated, there before my eyes. I’d never killed anything before. When I was a kid, I’d worry about swatting a mosquito. It’s not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you.

So I wonder, how many of us become bitterly angry at a spouse or a parent or a corporation when the interaction fundamentally changes an idealism that shapes out identity? Do we really hate or are we morning the loss of our innocence?

Live With Nature

The country has lost its mind trying to control the uncontrollable. Trying to stop pathogenic dispersion is like trying to prevent California wildfires. Humans want to think that our evolved intellect empowers us to bend nature to our wills. The reality is that all animals–homo or otherwise–must live with and within nature. Human suppression of natural fire turns the surrounding nature into a tinderbox. Fire is a critical part of nature’s ecosystem. Pathogens are too. I don’t hear all the macroevolutionists Continue Reading

Amber Guyger

I’m going to predict that Amber Guyger will be (or should be) convicted of the lesser manslaughter. It is so bizarre. No explanation makes sense. I can believe that she was so tired as to go to the wrong apartment. I could also believe that she was doing blow or meth to stay awake and work those extended hours (which, btw, in and of itself is full of shit; plenty of departments work standard 12-hour shifts). Whether she was exhausted or not, the first response of any person is not to shoot. If I were in my home and someone walked in, yeah, it would be lights out. But if I walked into my home and immediately saw an intruder, I’d duck out as fast as I could and re-assess the situation from cover. If I came home and found my door ajar, I’m not sure what I would do. And maybe that’s what happened for her, but her always-right, never-wrong, bad-ass cop programming took over and she acted as if she had just responded to a burglary in process. But even then, she would have been justified in shooting if she saw a weapon or something that appeared to be a weapon. I am unaware of any such testimony. Whether she was mistaken or not, she was negligent. Her negligence caused the death of a person. That is manslaughter.

Naked In Nature

As I lay there naked in the heavy dampness and slight chill with only the drizzle and the creek accompanying me in the blackness, I contemplated the existence of my earlier hominid ancestors sheltering such nights in caves. Continue Reading

Umpires and Referees Are Better Impartial Observers Than Police

It occurs to me just now, and I will develop this more in the future posts, but sports officials are better observers in their professions than police are in their professions. Just by way of comparison, what percentage of video replays show a referee or umpire was incorrect in his (now her as well) initial assessment of split-second events? What percentage of body and dash cameras show police were dead wrong on events that crescendo over a period of minutes? Yes, there are

Mountains, Valleys, & Transitions

Among the hardest words to internalize are these: you are where you need to be. Those words never come at the heights of success nor in the throes of ecstacy nor in the still waters of contentment; they come in the disenchanting valleys of transition between mountaintops. Valleys are where all the mountain runoff and detritus and pollutants collect as if to be ignominiously relegated to drink only of the mountains’ bathwater. But valleys are far more fertile than the mountaintops and while the natural elements will erode the mountains, valleys will never cease to be valleys and will enjoy the protection of the mountains which need not be perceived as hopes unattained but as insulators and protectors awaiting the moment. Valley water might not delight the palate in the moment, but it is plentiful and predictable; you will not thirst in the valley as on the mountain.

Hypocrisy of a “Christian Nation”

It is ridiculous and incredible that as a popularly-styled “Christian Nation” American society requires laws compelling compassion and fairness (by way of example, Colorado’s and Washington State’s laws on public accommodations). While the government should not dictate the conscientious objections of private enterprise, neither should private enterprise be allowed to hatefully mistreat a class of people. Continue Reading