Daily Archives: December 12, 2009

A Different Kind of Parousia

From Wikipedia: The original Greek version of the New Testament (Novum Testamentum Graece) uses the term parousia (παρουσία from the Greek literal meaning of parousia: divine presence, derived from “para“: beside, beyond, and “ousia“: substance) the “appearance and subsequent presence … Continue reading

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The Right Song for the New Year?

As we approach the end of one insanely dangerous year (in which we were extremely fortunate that war between Israel and Iran did not erupt), we begin yet another one, the same threat looming. This, unfortunately, seems the apt transition song between 2009 … Continue reading

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Philosopher Thomas Nagel Replies to New Atheist “widespread intolerance of any challenge to the dogma that everything in the world must be ultimately explainable by chemistry and physics.”

After taking quite a pummeling among the New Atheist blogs, philosopher Thomas Nagel has responded, in a letter to the Times Literary Supplement, to one critic in particular—chemist Stephen Fletcher—who himself wrote a letter to the Times. Here’s Nagel’s reply to Fletcher … Continue reading

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An Atheist Writes a Poem: Thomas Hardy’s “God’s Education”

I love this poem, not just for its power as language, but also for its Job-like evocation of the problem of suffering. Hardy recounts the death of a loved one, and his subsequent argument with God over her death. In content and world-weary tone, Hardy’s poem … Continue reading

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Gay Rights Hysteria Watch: A Big Boned She-Man May Be Headed for a Restroom Near You!

The far right’s effort to stall, in Congress, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), is getting desperate, warning that, should the legislation pass, heterosexuals might be forced, at their workplace, to share restrooms with people who are transgendered. This today from Mother Jones Online: … Continue reading

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A Golden Rule for the 21st Century? And a Quote That Rivals Anything in Shakespeare or the Bible?

I certainly don’t always live up to it, but this quote of Spinoza’s, like Shakespeare’s “to be or not to be”, or the Bible’s “love your neighbor”, is also a taut summing up of one aspect of existence, the intellectual … Continue reading

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