Sunday, July 23, 2017

Liars Lying

I like the new White House communications director, Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci. It’s not just because he favors gun control and is against building a wall on our southern border, positions he now officially renounces. I like him because he is personable and entertaining, but also because he is such an outrageous liar. ... Read more...

Abusing Power

I just had an epiphany.
You may be familiar with the “seven deadly sins,” listed here for your convenience:
  • Pride,
  • Envy,
  • Gluttony,
  • Lust,
  • Wrath,
  • Greed,
  • Sloth.
Something has always bothered me about that list. It didn’t seem balanced. It didn’t seem complete. Something … I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I saw a meme that applied the whole list to our current president, and it hit me. ... Read more...

Faith, Hope, and Reality

I am going to lay all my cards on the table. I am a naturalist, which is to say that everything I have experienced and learned about suggests to me that the world is more or less as we perceive it, subject to our physical limitations. There doesn’t appear to be a supernatural realm, filled with gods and demons, or fairies and elves. The world seems to operate by cause and effect, and things like magic, prayer, and spiritual healing are only effective to the extent that they affect us psychologically. Is it possible I am wrong?... Read more...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What Is Religious Bigotry?

Listen up, people. It's not often Chiefy admits he was wrong.

A short time ago, I responded to a Facebook post about Bernie Sander's "no" vote on a Trump appointee, Russell Vought. The post claimed that Sanders voted as he did because he is biased against Christians, and I disagreed. I defended Sanders' position. Now, after having seen more video of the hearing, and hearing some other points of view, I have changed my mind. What Sanders said displayed his bias against evangelical Christians.

The statement that Sanders objected to was this: Vought said that Muslims "do not know God … Continue reading …

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Is This for Real?

You may ask, “What is the difference between Real World Religion and, say, Pastafarianism?” The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster originated in 2005, with an open letter by Bobby Henderson to protest the Kansas State Board of Education decision to permit public schools to teach “intelligent design” alongside evolution. It has quickly evolved into a quasi-legitimate religion. We do share an appreciation of using an unconventional, humorous approach to illustrate deep truths. We have mythological differences, however. Unlike RWR, Pastafarianism is a faith-based religion. The nature of their god and the structure of their morality are a matter of believing, or pretending to believe, the teachings of the Church. In that, they are similar to most other religions. … Continue reading

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Clear Thinking in Four Easy Steps

I ran across this graphic from a paper called Character and Leadership: Situating Servant Leadership in A Proposed Virtues Framework, co-authored by Jim Lanctot and Dr. Justin Irving. Something about it immediately tingled my “clear thinking sense” (like Spidey sense, but more cerebral), so of course I had to investigate. The paper itself, I discovered, wasn’t badly done. It presents a reasonable layout of what may be considered basic virtues, not necessarily the ones I consider most important, but definitely virtues. It also provides reasonable definitions for those virtues. What bothered me about it was the chart of “The Virtue Continuum.”

Here is the figure:
clear thinking on virtues in a continuum

Some problems stand out. It is hard to see how one could have an excess of integrity, or how such an excess would lead to legalism. Wouldn’t legalism be the result of an overly enthusiastic respect of the rules, in other words, an insufficient respect for persons? The last item, courage, may indeed lead to foolhardiness, but if temperance is the practice of moderation, how is strictness due to too much temperance?
[Continue reading at Chiefy's Word.]