A Great Conflation


Part 2 of a series.Seeking to find out who-we-are from the observation of what-we-usually-do would be fine -- if we were something other than persons. Gravity may be given an identity based on its typical "action," defined as "the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth," but a person is that type of being with the terrifying capacity to act against who he is. He defies being defined by his usual actions because he is always free to act otherwise.We may observe, for … [Read more...]

Magic and Myers-Briggs

Personality Quiz by Patrick Alexander

Personality tests can be accurate and helpful. People taking these tests tend to scare me. For a long time I conflated the test with its takers and thus developed a longstanding, unthought, ideological commitment to freaking out whenever anyone tried to pin my possible personality type. Phrases like "don't crush me with your overburdened psychological systems" were common. Deliberately confusing the meanings of "sanguine" and "phlegmatic" so I wouldn't accidentally associate myself with any … [Read more...]

Why Religious People Are Ashamed of Porn


One of the more exciting statistics used to denigrate religion is the fact that its followers seem to experience higher levels of guilt and shame regarding their sexual actions. Consider a headline from 2011, fairly bursting with its own conclusions: "Atheists have 'better sex lives than followers of religion who are plagued with guilt.'" This is brilliant stuff, destined for gleeful, bi-annual repetitions by the press, for there are few things more marvelous than sexuality, and few things that s … [Read more...]

To My Readers in Europe

You have better things to do than read my cranial excretions, such as eating Milka bars, going to Church in the undoubtedly gorgeous cathedral at the center of your city, or watching soccer. But since -- by the edict of some strange and masochistic god -- you are instead reading this blog, I have a request.I am currently studying in Europe, and I plan to travel quite a bit. Your food is delicious and cheap, but your hotels are neither -- and your hostels are often full.If any of you … [Read more...]

Beyond Compare


I received a message asking, amongst other things:What if Islam is true? What if Buddhism is true? Atheism? How can you be so sure of your Catholicism when there are thousands of religions and world-views you have not even encountered?I am thankful in the extreme that the question seeks the source of my surety and certainty in the Church, and not my factual reasons for being a Catholic. If the latter was emphasized, I would have to give up from the onset, the answer too big for the … [Read more...]

Creationism Is Materialism’s Creation


I take Frederich Nietzsche quite seriously when he says, "when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you," and thus I did not, nor ever will watch the recent debate between Bill Nye The Science Guy and Ken Ham The Creation Man. There are things in this world too depressing for people desperate to maintain some sense of hope regarding humanity, its direction, and capacity for truth.Nevertheless, I want to take this opportunity to point out that, far sooner than any creationist … [Read more...]

God and gods


It seems apparent to me that, if the atheist wishes to disprove or otherwise snub his empirically verifiable nose at the idea of God, he ought to be sure that knows what the word "God" refers to. David Bentley Hart makes this one of the central propositions of his book "The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss," where he contends that "the more scrutiny one accords [the God Debate] the more evident it becomes that often the contending parties are not even talking about the same thing; … [Read more...]

Why Name-calling is Exactly What It Sounds Like


If I could offer a single corrective to our culture, a solitary word to collar-yank us safe from the semi-truck of The Intolerably Boring that daily bears on me and my generation, it would be -- "describe." (Maybe with a "dammit" thrown in for good measure. (Describe, dammit. (There we go.))) Description gives us insight, allowing us to see in, to move through the exterior life to an encounter with a person's’ interior life. Great works of literature achieve this.He was a man over fifty, b … [Read more...]

Too Much Information

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Honesty can be dishonest. The over-emotional, tell-all status-update we awkwardly scroll past is a brilliant revelation of this paradox. You know the one. Sandwiched between a crappy meme and a glowing duck-face, listing the miseries of life and the falseness of friends with vague but poignant references to a significant other who has slighted/ignored/left or otherwise hurt the author of the update -- it's a staple of any news feed worthy of its nauseating nature. All of its information may be … [Read more...]

Dirty Secrets of the Gay Male Subculture: A Brief Bolster


I've read something brilliant, and I want to tell you about it.It was a long read (the phenomenon of which turned out to be a pleasant exertion. (Pleasant, that is, amidst our thriving inability to process any piece of prose not malformed into a list of 10 and crowned with a desperate, panting headline. (Internet Writing, dear friends, subsists on viewage, on the "like" and the "share." That's how bloggers make money. We need to promise an unbelievable, all-previous-experience-defying ending … [Read more...]