Friday, February 29, 2008

Wisdom From Norman Geisler

1) "We must know truth to recognize error."

2) "Those who don't study true philosophy will be swallowed by false philosophy."

3) "The Word of God, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else" is ultimate Truth.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Krauthammer on Obama

Charles Krauthammer sums up the hollow but rhetorically appealing nature of Obama's campaign in an excellent and well-informed commentary, here. It is a read that is especially worth your time if you are ambivalent towards or even supportive of Obama.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Slow Blog

I apologize about the slow nature of this blog lately, as I had the flu for about a week. Because of this, I am now behind in classes and have a great deal due this week. Therefore, the blog will likely be very slow for about another week!

Monday, February 11, 2008

PETA Does it Again--This Time While Attempting to Traumatize Kids

Warning: the critical thinking on this post is a bit unsophisticated. My reaction at this time is simply disgust, as illness is keeping the brain power (such as it is) to a minimum.

PETA once again shamlessly demonizes people who buy dogs from responsible, reputable breeders. This is intended to air during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, when incoincidentally, families including children will be watching. Please watch it, but if you have kids who are anything like I was at 8 or 9 (a very sensitive animal-lover), do not let them see it.

HT: The Point

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Forging Ahead Regardless of What Ought Not Be Done

A group of entrepreneurial biologists has announced that they have replicated the DNA of a bacterium. They claim that this feat brings them close to creating an artificial life form, apparently while ignoring a critical question: "should we?"

In a speech to Calvin College in 1998 (according to the YouTube date), Neil Postman asked his audience to consider certain questions before accepting a new technology (of which biotechnology is a part). He first implored us to ask, "What is the problem to which this technology is the solution?" Then, upon discerning the problem, we are to ask whose problem is it? According to Postman, this question is intended to provoke determination of who will benefit from the solution to the alleged problem and who will pay for it. He did, in fact, assert that "new technologies always produce winners and losers" (emphasis mine).

Among the last of his questions is that of an analysis of motive. Postman asks, "What sort of people and institutions acquire special economic and political power because of [this] technological change?" After all, "America's greatest radicals have always been our entrepreneurs", warns Postman, and "citizens should keep an attentive eye on such people". His point is likely not one of anti-capitalism, but is simply that motive is an important consideration because it can give us a clue as to the degree which the far-reaching consequences have or have not been considered.

While Postman's system of questions does not deal explicitly with morality, an argument of this type nevertheless begs consideration. An ethical dilemma is not always purely moral, as it can have logical and pragmatic red flags raised as well. This does not diminish the importance of the moral argument; it merely adds more branches to evaluate.

There are always long term consequences for short-term decisions, and it does not follow that something necessarily should be done merely because it can be done. We must therefore be slow to accept the latest trend or technology, and quick to be critical of enthusiastically heralded "advancements". Society is frequently tempted to let the many promises of a new technology cloud any judgement, but new technologies must instead be approached with the understanding that great risk and potential loss may far outweigh any proclaimed gains.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wedding Musings

This is a bit different from the kind of thing I usually post because it is very personal. This entry may prove to show you how truly neurotic I am, but nevertheless, here it is.

I am supposed to be planning a wedding. Make no mistake; I am excited to be married, especially because my fiancé is also my best friend and (earthly) confidant. However, the modern concept of the wedding ceremony is a difficult one for me to embrace (acceptance is unlikely to happen), and my alternative ideal is more difficult yet to convey to others.

In weddings of today, it is expected that the bride will strive to make her wedding the most perfect day she can, and will be a "princess for a day" (or, heaven forbid, fall prey to the "sexy bride" trend). Much to my chagrin, that image of the bride dominates the bridal magazines and websites. Ugh.

I have no desire to be a "princess" any day. First, I am not wooed by an illusory, romanticized Utopian fairyland. It seems cheap and delusional. Second, I am fully aware of being hugely imperfect, as well as of the imperfection of the world. Therefore, why would I try to expend excess energy on a futile attempt at a perfect day? Perfect days do not exist, therefore such a bride is merely setting herself up for dissappointment. Why not just try to make it pleasant and accomodating to guests who mean a huge deal to us, and save the energy for spending quality time with those people?

What excites me about the wedding ceremony and reception is sharing our union before God with people who are close to our hearts. It is not about us, and especially not about me (I may not come out of hiding if it were). It is about people gathering together to celebrate the union that God has brought together so that the couple can go forth and serve Him. Therefore, the focus of the wedding should be on God, not people. That is what I hope this wedding will be, not some cheap (though not monetarily) and frilly bride-centric day.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Perhaps Oil Is Not a Fossil Fuel...

In an age where humans are demonized for pillaging the earth and robbing it of resources such as fossil fuel, this article reveals an interesting discovery which does not support the theory (not hard fact, mind you) that oil is a limited and ancient resource comprised of decaying, prehistoric, carbon-based matter.