Saturday, June 17, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
H.G. Wells on Education
Google's quote of the day is from H.G. Wells:
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
I wonder what he'd think now that education is racing human history toward catastrophe?!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Or "How to talk with short words."
Here are some translations.
"His behaviour is quite unacceptable."
"What an ass."
"I will no longer tolerate your impertinences."
"Get out of my face."
"Terminate these obfuscations as once."
"Get to the point"
"Mental properties are mere epiphenomena."
"Your mind can't cause stuff."
Before: "Let's imbibe some alcoholic beverages."
After: "Let's have some drinks."
Here are some inspired by Chesterton's "A BALLAD OF ABBREVIATIONS" of which my little ironically-named game reminded me at once:
Before: "Let's take the elevator to my apartment."
After: "Let's take the lift to my flat."
Before: "My grandfather lived through prohibition."
After: "My Dad's dad went through hell."
Ain't it fun!
From the X files?
This site gives a defense of Jesus via fulfilled prophecies and concludes:
"It is easier to prove the existence and claims of Jesus Christ then it is to prove that you or I exist."
Other than using "then" for "than" which is one of my very most pet of peeves it's just whacky-pants to suggest such utter nonsense. It reflects a more or less total breakdown in critical thinking.
The homepage of this site, which thankfully hasn't been updated since last summer, proffers these headlines:
"Kingdom of Jordan takes lead in Advanced Digital Camouflage with KA2 pattern"
"Stephen Hawking's Universe Implodes"
I don't know where these people come from, but they scare me and entertain me at the same time.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Coleridge on Christianity and Truth
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I have found this to be true. For whatever reason, pious Christions--this happened a lot when I was a Protestant, but I'm not sure it's happened since Poping (as Peter Kreeft is fond of saying)--are often shocked when I say that if the evidence on balance clearly supported the truth of atheism or some other religion, then I would cease to be a Christian.
A full analysis of this shock might prove interesting, but now I just want to note two things.
1. If I didn't love the truth above my own natural worldview, I'd never become--or stayed--a Christian in the first place.
2. My old mentor Norman Giesler used to say that "the heart cannot accept what the mind rejects". Coleridge was also correct when he wrote
"Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process."
but it does *presupose* a philosophy of life and if one finds the philosophical underpinnings unacceptable then their faith will be feign.
As Brian Leftow says in the opening words of his spiritual autobiography in God and the Philosophers "I am a philosopher, because I am a Christian." The Church proposes a truth to be believed, a Truth of greater import than any other. But I believe it *because* it is *true*.
Monday, June 05, 2006
First Harvest of the Year
The weather was quite a bit warmer for the Ontario Down and Dirty Triathlon, as you can tell by comparing the pictures.
I finished well and had fun. Here's one anecdote. I'm accustomed to planning hiking trips and usually figure three miles an hour--20 minute miles--for easy hiking. My comfortable running speed is about twice that pace. Due to a little confusion I was running along at a comfortable pace when people started blasting by me in a semi-sprint. I looked at my watch, did a little calculation, and figured that we were just about half way through the final running leg of the event.
I was like "Suckers! When we get to the finish they'll be spent and I'll blow past them with my reserve of energy." Then I turned a corner and saw the finish line! That explained the sprinting and next time I'll remember to calculate based on *running* speed!
I'll do a few more events this year. They are fun but disruptive of my schedule.