My Friday Obligation

st augustine

The best derogatory term for Catholics is pretty obviously "mackerel-snapper."  (The best derogatory cartoon is the bishops' mitres as alligator jaws one)The slur comes from the Catholic practice of fasting from red meat and poultry on Fridays (and therefore eating fish instead).  In Catholic tradition, every Friday is a little Lent and every Sunday a little Easter, so there should be some remembrance of fasting and feasting as appropriate.  (I should add that every time I explain this, I imm … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (12/7/12)

falling knife

--- 1 --- There's been some discussion this week about what happens after death to the soul, but this New York Times article ("Giving New Life to Vultures to Restore a Human Ritual of Death") is focused on a religious concern about what happens to the body. Fifteen years after vultures disappeared from Mumbai’s skies, the Parsi community here intends to build two aviaries at one of its most sacred sites so that the giant scavengers can once again devour human corpses...The plan is the re … [Read more...]

Can you Cyrano de Bergerac your moral philosophy?

school of athens

Yesterday, I linked to Luke Muelhauser's commentary on the inability of philosophers to come to consensus.  He's continued on the topic, proposing a curriculum for building better philosophers in "Train Philosophers with Pearl and Kahneman, not Plato and Kant."His list of recommended topics include Bayesian statistics, machine learning, mathematical logic, game theory, cognitive neuroscience, etc.  (Go to the link to see his syllabus).  When you look over all the prerequisites, you can see wh … [Read more...]

The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Philosophers

"What sat in those three chairs was three men, though hard to recognize as men till you looked closely. Their hair, which was gray, had grown over their eyes till it almost concealed their faces, and their beards had grown over the table, climbing round and entwining plates and goblets as brambles entwine a fence, until, all mixed in one great mat of hair, they flowed over the edge and down to the floor. And from their heads the hair hung over the backs of their chairs so that they were wholly hidden. In fact the three men were nearly all hair."

I know there are some rumblings in yesterday's thread about sin, judgment, and necessity about my being tardy to reply to comments.  When there's such a fast discussion (over 100 comments in 12 hours, I can't pop in and out as much as I'd like to.  I did quite appreciate Steve Schuler's comment that, even though my tardiness was frustrating, "For my purposes the best aspect of Leah’s blog are the comments threads and the overall civil and thoughtful exchanges I am able to read here."  Ag … [Read more...]

Is Judgement Always about Punishment?

wile-e-coyote fall

Chris Hallquist has uploaded another chapter of his book for comment/questions.  I don't have anything very helpful to say, since I mostly agree with him and Dennett.  "I feel strongly about this, and your questions make me sad" is a really bad approach to an argument about truth claims.  I disagree with some of the stuff about the use of mockery , but that's more a content disagreement than a "I think religious readers will misunderstand X as currently outlined."  (Plus I've written on this befo … [Read more...]

For I am a Woman Under Authority

clock

This weekend, I attended a silent retreat.  The timing of the retreat on Saturday made it a good time to reflect on preparations for Advent (and plenty of other things -- the retreat ran from 9am-6pm, and my friends offline will know it was only by the grace of God that I kept my motormouth from running all that time).  The Advent season is similar to Lent, a time of reflection, purification, and anticipation before a great feast.  So, many Catholics take on Advent fasts the same way they do at L … [Read more...]

On Doxologies, the Kingdom, and the Oxford Comma

oxford comma

A friend of mine (who you may have seen on this blog as squelchtoad) posed a delightful question on facebook: The doxology at the end of the Lord's prayer is often written "For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory." Is it meant to mean "the kingdom, the power, and the glory" or is "the power and the glory" an epithet for "the kingdom"? Catholics don't incorporate this doxology into the end of the Lord's Prayer (though, in the post Vatican II Mass, the laity say it as a separate thing … [Read more...]


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