Good Riddance

A friend gave me this article from a local paper and I could not resist posting it because I can't resist attacks on Dubaya:

"“To delight in war is a merit in a soldier, a dangerous quality in a captain and
a positive crime in a statesman.” – George Santayana


“I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines . . . it must be exciting for you . . . in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.” – President George W. Bush, to troops in Iraq

We are living in historic times, you and I. The most hapless, obscene and globally destructive American administration in living memory and probably of all time is about to be swept into the Hefty Bag of history. We don’t know what’s to come next, but for much of the world it could hardly be much worse.

Ironically, George W. Bush probably won’t be remembered for the thousands of lives and trillions of dollars he squandered, the international goodwill he frittered away or for the environmental degradation he enthusiastically green-lighted."

The article continues with more horrifying Bush bloopers, a couple of my favourites are:

"I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for my
predecessors as well."

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in
our air and water that are doing it."

Proof positive that a degree from Yale can literally be bought for any idiot.


Head or Heart Atheism

Nebulae collide in graphics software - head and heart nebulaeWhy do some rise above the flood of supernatural claims that inundate most humans? I’d categorize the rationales for atheism as being predominantly intellectual or predominantly emotional.

Clearly, some atheists combine heart and head reasons for disbelief, but the arguments against supernaturalistic delusions fit into emotional or rational categories. This division probably explains much of the reason for politico-philosophical disparities between atheists.

In the image, I've tinkered with two nebula – dubbed the head and heart nebulae.

Dialectics



The following is from a book review entitled Bipolar Disorder that was written by a professor of American Religious History and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University:

The premise of Head and Heart is clearly stated in the introduction. From colonial origins to the present, American thought and values have oscillated between the poles of “head” and “heart.” Sometimes one is dominant, sometimes the other. But regardless of which happens to prevail at any given time, the other never goes entirely away. This leads in the best cases to a creative dialectic in which each needs the other in order to sustain what we now call the United States of America. At worst, the tension between head and heart emerges in witch hunts, violent nativism and racist hatred. Although these tendencies are primarily identified with Protestantism, Wills argues that they can be found in many churches and, in fact, are better thought of as “force fields” or strands that figure in all the major Judeo-Christian traditions. Assessing the two poles, Wills concedes some positive achievements of the heart impulse (usually labeled “evangelicalism”), but his heart lies clearly with the head tradition (usually labeled “enlightened religion”).


I have not read the book, and nor do I plan to (my "to-read" list is already too long). However, the book apparently touches on a phenomenon that will not go away – emotional thinking.

The faith in the political (LAT review) |
Interview with Garry Wills (PBS) |
City on a Hill (NYT review) |

The book's author, Gary Wills, talks about Head and Heart on FORA.tv:









Rorschach Toast

Ian posted the following image of non-Jesusian toast (reproduced with thanks but without permission) over on irReligion.org and immediately saw a face.

You might see something different than I did. Click on the toast to compare your Rorschachian impression.

Show me anything with irregular markings and I usually see faces. Our brains have evolved to recognize patterns and faces*, so this phenomenon is hardly surprising.


A new poster for Burn Again?: Jesus is Toast

* The rare inability to recognize faces is called prosopagnosia.