than write a thousand blogs.” he wrote on his blog.
Category Archives: Life
Maybe I will feel like a mature
adult someday. I never
knew that feeling comfortable in my role as a father would
end up settling in prior.
A smile can make someone’s day if accompanied by eye contact.
Having to live in a place
over which the cloud cover
resists attempts at being thrown off
eases down a man’s spirits.
familial social engagements due to
reflections upon the seemingly
everlasting onslaught of work and other obligations is not
cause for alarm,
every time. We just want to be home tonight, and that’s okay.
find my emotions so, so easily modulated by the remarks of others.
You shouldn’t be too quick to presume I even thought twice about it,
or that I even
understood what made it awkward. Until now.
‘Learn to die before you die…
or else you won’t ever get the chance. – CS Lewis (paraphrased)
enjoy public beaches and natural foods.” – Oscar Wilde
Almost infinite! – Max
Clark (paraphrased) | I occasionally
really try hard to figure
out how to
thoughts about my experiences
I am currently drinking blueberry tea, eating pizza, and writing an outline for a talk I am giving on premise 2 of William Lane Craig’s Kalam Cosmological argument. Earlier I was playing a chase-and-tickle game with my adorable baby son, who is constantly in a state of getting a kick out of being alive and belonging to Lindsey and I. Before that I was enjoying an americano at Java, working on some invoices, and wondering why my cheek muscles were twitching. It wasn’t until I couldn’t stop smiling for about an hour straight this evening at home with my family that I realized just how much use my smile muscles are getting!
In other news, between the fire department, the gas company, and two different gas appliance specialists, nobody can detect any CO or identify any significant problems with our gas appliances in terms of burning efficiency or ventilation. Lindsey’s theory is that the furnace vent up on the roof (shout out) was blocked with snow and ice while we were gone and the t-stat (short for thermostat – I’ve been hanging around lots of technicians of late, so I know all the lingo) was set so low (also there is the fact that our house got about 18 inches of snow while we were gone!). Then, when her mum came by and turned it up on her way to picking us up at the car rental place, it built up CO in the house until the heat melted the vent. This would account for 1. the build up of CO between when Margaret came by and when we got home, 2. the swift lowering of the CO levels after we opened windows (since the blockage had been melted away and subsequent exhaust had been venting properly), and 3. our inability to raise the CO levels again for troubleshooting purposes. So its explanatory scope is pretty broad, and it isn’t as contrived as some of the theories the professionals were throwing around, such as “maybe the firemen were picking up exhaust from their truck on their meters” or “maybe your neigh(shout out)bors’ snowblower’s exhaust wafted back into your house through a vent”. Also, its explanatory power is fairly great, as I can easily imagine all of the CO found in the house being accounted for on such an explanation.
But back to Craig’s Kalam. He says that everything that begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, and so the universe had a cause. There is a lot of discussion in the scholarly literature about each of the whopping 2 premises. (Nobody disputes the validity of the logic.) I actually think that both premises are true and so I accept the conclusion, but one of the arguments Craig makes in favor of premise two is mistaken (and it comes in two stages – both of which contain errors in my humble opinion). Expressing my critique along with an explanation of why I think his argument succeeds despite it, in technical philosophical jargon, is an ongoing project of mine. Tonight I am presenting the current state of my work to a group of lay, undergrad, and graduate philosophers who meet monthly. They just liked what I had to say last time and were interested in hearing more.
Thus the blueberry tea and pizza.
I will come back to explanatory scope, explanatory power, and degree of contrivedness as criteria for assessing multiple competing hypotheses in a later post.
I have stressed my body in ways I shouldn’t. And edited dates in ways I arguably shouldn’t.
I would like to die in the middle of…
- Hard Labor
- Hard Study
- Quality Time with Family
- Charitable Activity
What’s on your list?
King Solomon, in addition to writing and collecting proverbs, married an Egyptian princess. Now, Egyptian religion (if you remember from elementary school) was obsessed with the idea of a physical afterlife wherein a person could lug all of his earthly possessions (including wives, etc.) on into eternity, if he went through the proper rituals. Because of these screwy soteriological and eschatological beliefs, Egyptians never took seriously the finality and severity of death, and wasted much of their actual lives obsessing about their next, going so far as to enslave other humans in order to build grand, lifeless temples wholly dedicated to housing their rotting corpses and the proper arrangements for their afterlives.
Nowadays, of course, we know better. We know that our material possessions count for nothing in our deaths and the most important thing in life is to love. Right?
Solomon did, even back then. His book “The Assemblies” (which goes by its Greek name “Ecclesiastes” though it was written in Hebrew) quite forcefully asserts the vanity of materialism. Rather, we should be content with what we have, derive joy from our daily toil, love God, enjoy food and sex, care for people, be content, and live life – this life to the fullest. Because death is final.
Even though it’s not the End.
The truth lies somewhere between Egyptianism and Annihilationism. Long after King Solomon, St. Paul had to address a similar problem with his audience. Except instead of screwy Egyptian eschatology, it was screwy Christian eschatology. Paul had taught the Christians in Thessalonica about the return of Jesus, and they became so obsessed with it that they began quitting their jobs in anticipation.
What we believe has only everything to do with how we behave.
Paul had to remind them in a letter to live in the here and now, to work with their hands, to engage with those around them, and to be kind, charitable, and moral.
But overcorrecting is a real danger, too. There is an opposite error we must avoid. St. Peter warns that as time wears on it will be tempting to think the Lord will never return, and quit taking care of His property or following His rules. The Christian must always be expecting the Day of the Lord, but never with too much obsession. Likewise we must embrace this life and drink of it deeply, but never become too attached to it.
G. K. Chesterton reflects on the paradoxical view of life and death in the Christian life eloquently:
…he can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. And it has held up ever since above the European lances the banner of the mystery of chivalry: the Christian courage, which is a disdain of death; not the Chinese courage, which is a disdain of life.