I have a new piece up at The Huffington Post titled “A Tale of Phrenologists and Predatory Lenders” One preview quote from the piece:
When is a product so harmful that it ought not be sold at all? When is a product so noxious that we can conclude that no one would freely choose to buy it if s/he was fully informed?
Go on over and check it out!
My debate with Justin Martyr concluded this week, but, unsurprisingly, we still have a lot we disagree about! He has a new post up about the influence of Holy Spirit that is the follows from a question I asked him in a comments thread.
In a strange fusion of tradition and technology, the Poor Clares, a silent order of nuns, have set up an RSS feed, tracking misery and suffering around the world. The sisters view the feed on the convent’s one computer, and use it as a guide for their prayers.
“[G]iven that the Supreme Court has allowed the present suit and decision to stand, it is now up to a U.S. District Court to determine whether the priestly perp was in fact an “employee” of the Vatican in the sense necessary to establish civil liability. And that’s what troubles me… If that argument is allowed to succeed, then a secular government will be deciding, to a hitherto unprecedented extent, on the hierarchical nature of the universal Church.”
This was a major component of a Yale Political Union debate this past fall on the topic “Religious Organizations Should Abide by Non-Discrimination Laws.” The first two speeches, one by me and one by a classmate can be found here.
There’s a brilliant essay up at Unqualified Offerings about the bizarre double standard we have for hard and soft approaches to policy solutions. Just a preview:
“We accept that successful violent resistance might take years or decades to achieve victory – Mao, Castro – and that guerrilla movements might suffer casualties to ranks and leaders but keep on. But we can’t imagine that nonviolent resistances might achieve the same. The war on drugs will surely work at some point – we’ve only been at it for 90-odd years, trillions of dollars and countless deaths and humiliations. But should anyone anywhere decriminalize anything, a single death or inconvenience in the first week would condemn the entire effort.”
(h/t to The League of Ordinary Gentlemen)
Just a reminder. I’m starting a new blog feature in which I post reflections on one of the books on my Bookshelf every Sunday. This week I’ll be looking at Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. It was the first apologetic work I read. For Monday’s Challenge, I’ll be posting the list of events that could persuade me to be a Christian, and I look forward to reading your proposals for alternate proofs or attempts to fulfill my criteria.
And now for something completely different. I hate cooking, and I usually hate cooking blogs (especially when they try to convince me that their results are achievable). So Cooking Issues makes a welcome change. Unless you, too, have several dewars of liquid nitrogen in your kitchen (with accompanying oxygen meters!) you probably can’t reproduce their dishes. So just sit back and enjoy the logs of their experimental cooking adventures, like this report from the quest for the perfect french fry:
Lab-vaps must withstand a wide range of corrosive chemicals, so they’re made with expensive (and fragile) lab glass. In the three years I’ve run the tech intern program we’ve destroyed about $1500 worth of lab glass –ouch. Kitchens don’t require the purity and chemical resistance of glass.
[Seven Quick Things is a blog carnival run by Jen of Conversion Diary]