The Illiberal Bathroom Experience

There are those who would argue, with some justification, that LGBTQA movement need not concern itself with the intricacies of a philosophy of gender thanks to the urgency of its political concerns: Equality first, and we’ll work out the details later. But if we are to think before we act, we ought to think before we legislate, and if we are to fight for a cause, it is certainly to helpful to know what we want caused. The celebration over Obama administration’s recent Dear Colleague Letter, whi … [Read more...]

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How to Know That You Are Beautiful

You cannot see your face. You can look into a mirror, but a mirror can only give a mirror-image. You can take a photograph, but your photograph is flat.Besides, quantum theory applies to faces: The physicist only sees the position the electron takes as a result of its being measured. The mirrored-man only sees the position his face takes as a result of being placed in front of a mirror. The moment you step away from the selfie or the navel-gazing session, the image you gained becomes … [Read more...]

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Onward, Affectionate Scientist!

Whenever I have the grace and good fortune to call a woman beautiful, she derails the whole thing by calling me biased: “You think I’m beautiful,” she’ll say. This means, of course, “Thanks, you’re nice, and I’m tickled by your attention, but don’t forget, there’s a whole world out there, one that ain’t so familiar with my flat nose and vacant expression. While you might find my giraffe-shaped mole endearing (riddled with affection as you are) they might find it (and me) quite otherwise.”“Wel … [Read more...]

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Curb Your Patriotism

Over at Those Catholic Men, I write: Budweiser beer cans are called ‘America’ now. Budweiser, of course, is owned by Anheiser-Busch, which is owned by AB InBev, an international Belgian-Brazilian company that produces Miller, Coors, Corona, Shocktop, Stella-Artois, Fosters -- and most of the other beers you’d recognize. The result being that a corporation with neither place nor responsibility to any community is using our place, and the sentiments of community it invokes, to sell their beer. … [Read more...]

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The Weekly Pulp and Platter

Start a tradition with me. Every week I'd like to recommend a book (pulp) and a record (platter) with some kind of internal connection. This week, I'm reading Wendell Berry's collection of essays Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community. It was so thoughtful, so articulate, and so funny in its defense of a holistic view of the person, well, I wrote my first ever Amazon review of it. My favorite 3 quotes:  1. The sign of exceptionally smart people is that they speak a language that is intelligible o … [Read more...]

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Making Bombs Out Of Friends

I wrote a piece arguing against the use of "real-life stories" as something opposed to principles. In reality, our lives are lived according to principles -- any moral argument that depends on narratives for its substance simply sneaks in principles through the back door. Here's what I forgot to mention:When personal narrative takes precedence over moral principles, the morally-justified man becomes the one with the greatest battery of relevant life-stories.This is hardly a novel … [Read more...]

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How To Get Your Human To Drop Morality

Dear Rothoof,I see from your admission form that you have a male subject this time -- young, idealistic, and stuffed with simplistic insights into what’s Right and Wrong. Given that you’re under the watchful eye of the Disciplinary Board, the Probation Office, and the independently contracted Anti-Incompetence League, I thought it judicious to give you a few words of advice. You have an advantage concerning the youth of your prey. He thinks he is about to go out into the world and experi … [Read more...]

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How Benedict XVI Predicted Brexit

The idea of Europe has fallen into a strange twilight today...Boundaries appear once again in their immovable significance; the antithetical character of nationalism could become stronger than the European fellowship that has scarcely begun to grow. It must be demonstrated anew whether Europe is only an idea or a real power for reconciliation. (Europe - Hopes and Dangers, 1990) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI predicted the collapse of the European Union. I do not mean that he declared it grandly (or … [Read more...]

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The Difference Between a Narrative and an Argument Part 2

Warning: This post is Part 2 of this post.ISIS have busied themselves with new and creative ways to get Christians to reject their moral and religious beliefs. They cut off limbs, dip families in acid, crucify, behead, and generally live out the best practices the perverse marriage of apocalyptic Islam and Grand Theft Auto can birth. They’ve had limited success. In the interest of efficiency, I’d invite them all to take a few notes from the West. Here we understand that, while the fear of pai … [Read more...]

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The Difference Between a Narrative and an Argument

There's something fishy about The Way We Talk About Right and Wrong. I get this: Person A: I think prostitution is wrong. Person B: I have 9 objections to your proposition. Person A: Bring it on. I also understand this: Person A: I think prostitution is dandy. Person B: I will hit you with a bat until you admit otherwise. Person A: Bring it on. But the our current dance through the fields of Big Moral Questions goes something like this: Person A: I think prostitution is wrong. Person … [Read more...]

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