Gradualism in the Gym and the Bedroom


A number of responses written to the recent Synod have been focused on the merits and drawbacks of a gradualist approach to sin and error.  Gradualism is usually understood as asking people to make small changes, as they try to come back into communion with the church, even if that means praising people for making a change that still involves a serious sin, just one that's smaller in degree than their old habit.  It's a way of making sure you're welcoming people into a hospital for sinners, r … [Read more...]

Update on Vaccination/Fundraising Drive!

flu shot baby

Yowza, you guys!  One week ago I asked you to let me know if you'd gotten a flu shot and, in return, I promised to make a donation for every needle jab and mist poof that you guys had gone through in the name of herd immunity.I promised you that I'd donate $5 per vaccination to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (one of GiveWell's top-rated medical charities).That way, the local good we're doing, by building up herd immunity in our local communities, gets to trigger good works for … [Read more...]

Minimizing the Weight of Mercy [Pope Francis Bookclub]

I say, Jeeves, would you pass the Blood of Christ?

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter, Pope Francis discusses Job and says that, once Job entered into the depth of his suffering, Job was uniquely ready to address God, if only because his need went beyond what the wise men of his community coul … [Read more...]

7QT: Devil in the Details (of stings, languages, and surgery)


--- 1 --- Happy Sukkot, to any readers who are celebrating!  Here's a delightfully silly relyricization for the holidays.This reminds me of the last time I went to a Sukkot celebration, and after our friend celebrated by shaking the lulav in the appropriate six directions, there was a tipsy suggestion from the crowd to shake it in eleven directions like a string theorist.  (Though, I suppose, to be truly analogous, the suggestion should have been to shake it in twenty directions, su … [Read more...]

I’ll Match Your Flu Shot with a Donation

From Married to the Sea

Happy flu season, everyone!This year, when you get your flu shot, there's an added bonus to the usual benefits ofBeing much less likely to get the flu Virtuously protecting the elderly, the babies, and the immunocompromised through herd immunityBecause flu symptoms (fever, achiness, etc) are similar to the initial symptoms of ebola, you're also forstalling any anxiety you, or people around you, may experience as the result of the onset of your flu symptoms.  The news media has … [Read more...]

Why Have Gender-Segregated Sports at All?


After yesterday's post on the female athlete who's been banned from competition for having too much testosterone, several commenters asked what criteria I would use to distinguish male and female athletes, in lieu of the testosterone titer test.  Jake wrote: I feel like you've skipped the most important part though. What the IOC is really saying is that they've picked a definition of what it means to be eligible to compete in women's sports, and that definition includes some constraint on h … [Read more...]

Harrison Bergeron-ing a Too-Exceptional Sprinter


There's an article in the NYT today covering one of my philosophy of the body hobbyhorses.  Dutee Chand, an 18-year old champion sprinter, has been told she must have surgery or start a drug regimen in order to be allowed to compete in official races.  The problem? Her body naturally produces more testosterone than usual, and administrators worry it gives her an unfair advantage: Arne Ljungqvist, the longtime chairman of the I.O.C.’s medical commission, said a hyperandrogenism policy was nece … [Read more...]