Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moral Absolutes

Moral absolutes exist in a room with a Catholic, an Arminian, and a Calvinist each holding their bibles, all secure in the notion that the absolute truth contained in that book imparts to each of them the absolute certainty of the absolute morality of the fact that the other two are headed straight to hell.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Power(lessness) of Prayer

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, His plans are the only ones that matter, and so the prayers of mere human beings should not, and indeed can not, change the course of His divine and perfect will.

Prayers are for God the way funerals are for the deceased: they have no effect on the object of veneration.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pull'em up, pull'em waaay up.

George Will, in an effort to prove you don't have to believe in god to pompously pontificate on the "moral hazard" of harmless social behavior, decries the moral breakdown of modern society inherent in the wearing of denim.

Why denim? I mean, in the age of 24/7 worldwide coverage there's no such thing as a slow news day.

In my view, public places have largely become informal settings. T-shirts and denim are comfortable, often inexpensive, and wear well. Young sons almost always want to be just like dad, so dressing alike is a bonding experience for them. And where are all the stores that offer children's sizes exclusively in silk, polyester, and gabardine? I'm sure George and his considerably more well-heeled than the masses friends know.

Worn out t-shirts can be used for cleaning cloths, jeans with holes in the knees can be cut and hemmed for shorts, and old running shoes can be given a second life as casual footwear, before being ground up for that springy padding found beneath modern play structures at the local park or school.

The whole t-shirt, denim, running shoe combination is part and parcel of the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra of responsible consumerism. I know George doesn't hate consumerism, so it must be the responsibility that raises his dogmatic ire. Come to think of it, the reuse of materials seems rather, well, conservative. It should be right up his alley, rather than stuck in his craw (not that I spend much time thinking about other people's craws...).

And another thing, (since I, like Mr. Will, obviously have nothing better to do than complain about nothing) he uses Astaire as the trouser taste exemplar? Now, I truly love Fred's old movies; he was one of the best hoofers in history. However, the fashion sense of the time had him tapping about with his waistband barely south of his nipples. At least it's better than the "buckle the belt beneath the butt" style: a gangsta has to keep one mitt in his pocket to hold up his britches, while the man in the gunny slacks has them both free to throw some jazz hands.

(h/t to James F. Elliott)