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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How to Become a Cliche

Peace can show itself in a trillion ways, like beekeeping or re-reading Tintin comics without distraction. Anger, infinitely easier, shows itself in cliches -- the threatening voice, the clenched fist, the malicious gaze. Wisdom is manifested according to unique situation that it confronts -- now it penetrates this mystery, now that; now it offers counsel, now it keeps silence. Folly, by which we are unable to see past the immediate pressures and pleasures of the environment, makes an obvious … [Read more...]

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On Good Guilt and Bad Guilt

Dear Rothoof,I see you’ve been reassigned to another human. Officially speaking, I’m looking forward to your new attempts at tempting (no pun there, Rothoof, do contain yourself), and I admire the bureaucratic process that brought you back into active service. I must say, however, I am a little bemused as to why Our Father Below saw it fit to pull you up from the re-education chambers so soon after your last debacle. I don’t bring it up to hurt you (Hell knows, there’s enough of that in the b … [Read more...]

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Against Suspicion

You may be wondering why I am writing this from the floor, softly sobbing insane melodies and applying Icy Hot to my tendons. I just wrote and directed a children’s musical.It wasn’t my fault. The script spilled out in an afternoon already flooded with caffeine, enthusiasm, and the hope of impressing a beautiful English major. Her niece and nephew egged me on (“it would be way better if the aliens had a third eyeball”). I held auditions with the same tentative curiosity with which one sticks … [Read more...]

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The Radical Reverse Engineering of Pope Francis

"Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere."  Pope Francis writes too damn much. It really doesn't matter how much pastoral wisdom and warmth one emanates, a 300-page document will only be read by those who have a career-interest in reading 300 pages -- bloggers, ideologues, headline-hawkers and conspiracy theorists. Given that, for these careerists, What Anyone Says About Same-Sex Attraction will sell more effectively than What Anyone Says About the Divine I … [Read more...]

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The Joy of Love

You ever get that thing where you're asked to review Pope Francis' new exhortation and it's groovy and you like it...but then you remember Pope Benedict......and you're trying to be all, "hey, not every Pope can be a witty, concise, revolutionary theologian" but now all you can think about is Intro to Christianity and Deus Caritas Est and Called to Communion and every essay Ratzinger ever published for Communio......and you've still got 200 pages of Amoris Laetitia to go a … [Read more...]

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