Monday, September 06, 2004

Bunch o' stuff

First of all, a reminder that the next Philosophers' Carnival will be one week from now. (It was originally planned for today, but given the disappointing lack of response so far, we decided on an extension so you have some more time to get your entries in.) The carnival relies upon your participation; if you have a philosophy blog, then you should submit a post.

In other news, John Tamihere is standing up for the downtrodden:
Asked why there were ministries for women, youth, families, even horse racing, but no ministry for men, he said: "(We) men have let ourselves down by not raising topics like this."

He was worried that young men had higher suicide and crime rates and poorer educational performance than young women, he said.

"If it was an ethnic minority suffering these difficulties, we would be moving pretty rapidly."
Can't argue with that.
Zipping over to the other side of the world now, Noumenon has an excellent post on western culture and values:
We need a secular movement with substance. We need a unified vision of the good life that actually contributes in a meaningful way to people's lives and it needs to be sold as a way of life. It needs to give a coherence and sense of community to people's lives and it needs to encourage us to be the kinds of people that might get respect from those in other parts of the world.

Venturing into the conservative blogosphere, I found cause for concern regarding the Analphilosopher's short-term memory. First he notes that "[w]ords are interpreted in light of practice", but then, later that same day, he writes:
The word "momentarily" means "for a moment," not "in a moment." Thus, it’s incorrect to say, "I’ll be back momentarily." That means "I’ll be back for a moment," which is nonsensical. If you mean that you’ll be back in a moment, you’ll have to say that you’ll be back in a moment.
Though not an outright contradiction, there's at least some tension between the two posts. (I'd stick with the first one, myself. Languages aren't static; if enough people use a phrase it can become part of the language. Here it's Joe Bloggs, not Michael Jordan, who decides the rules.)

Lastly, I found (via Raving Atheist) the following NY Times article:
We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common, we call them 'religious'; otherwise, they are likely to be called 'mad,' 'psychotic' or 'delusional.' [...] Criticizing a person's faith is currently taboo in every corner of our culture. On this subject, liberals and conservatives have reached a rare consensus: religious beliefs are simply beyond the scope of rational discourse. Criticizing a person's ideas about God and the afterlife is thought to be impolitic in a way that criticizing his ideas about physics or history is not.
It's refreshing to hear, to say the least.


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