How art thou Fallen, Severus, son of Spinner’s End

As we're all battered by a storm, huddled up by our stockpiled supplies, our minds return to the most important questions like: Does Hermione love learning for it's own sake?  That became a point of contention in the conversation that followed my jeremiad against Hermione and Ron's relationship.Hermione is clearly a nerd type.  She's bookish, bossy, has messy hair, and the glasses are silent, I guess.  But Hermione is a lot more active and ruthless than we might expect her to be if she were j … [Read more...]

What Freedom from Moral Sensibilities Feels Like

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kevin Dutton underwent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to damp down his amygdala and explore the way some brain scientists think psychopaths feel.  (It's the Dark Side version of a moral jump discontinuity).  I've read some scientific literature on this hypothesis before, but it was really interesting to read his subjective experience. It isn't long before I start to notice a fuzzier, more pervasive, more existential difference. Before the e … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (10/26/12)

architect costume

--- 1 --- Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday, I'll make this week my costume-themed Quick Takes.  (But, for the pictures of my costume, you'll have to wait until Halloween proper -- I'll just say the malarial red blood cells are coming along nicely).If you're still looking for inspiration, here's a rundown of the crafting/costuming/inspiration blogs that live in my Google Reader (most of the titles are self explanatory:Cosplaying Children Nerd Babies Cosplay Blog Babes in A … [Read more...]

Why Won’t Candidates Run on This Life Issue?

This week, as part of Election Month at Patheos, the prompt for bloggers is: What are the key issues at stake in this election for people of your tradition?Well, I suppose I should start by disclaimering that I am not a canon lawyer, and this is not Official Catholic Advice.  But, hey, at least the issue I'm going to talk about is non-partisan.  And that's the worse part; as the last foreign policy debate showed, callousness to human life, provided it's that of the enemy (or people living in … [Read more...]

Bob, can I interest you in Transhumanism?

Bob Seidensticker has looked over my recent post on objective morality and hard to get at truths, and he's got some more questions.  Let me pull out a couple quotes from Bob's post: I'll agree that there’s nothing absolute for the consensus to be truth about. When we say, “Capital punishment is wrong,” there is no absolute truth (the yardstick) for us to compare our claim against. Is capital punishment wrong? We can wrestle with this issue the only way we ever have, by studying the issue and arg … [Read more...]

Why Won’t You Argue What I Know You Believe?

phil translation

Yvain has been reading Feser's The Last Superstition, and he has an excellent gloss of one of Feser's main points: Feser's argument is that most atheists arguing with Christians are pretty much the equivalent of a Calvinist going up to a Hindu saying "Look! John Calvin's writings totally oppose abortion! Why can't you see that?!".And then when the Hindu isn't convinced, the Calvinist gets angry and says "Any reasonable person could see that John Calvin opposes abortion. Therefore, you must … [Read more...]

My Belt is being Phagocytosed!

White blood cells engulfing strep

This is the last in-progress Monday update for my Ms. Frizzle costume you'll get.  I've got to have the whole thing finished by this Saturday.  So, I spent most of Saturday drawing germs, tracing them onto interfacing, ironing the interfacing onto fabric, and then pinning and topstitching the appliques onto the dress.In case that was a little in the weeds, I'm drawing designs onto this kind of fabric:The interfacing gets ironed onto the pretty fabric to make it stronger and to keep it … [Read more...]