I used to say I was a feminist but I didn’t know what it meant. Worse, my behaviour was conditioned by patriarchy in the home, institutionally at school and in pursuit of higher education, in physics and computer science. Then reinforced in the field of work within software engineering.
The Problem of Evil is typically stated as: “If there is an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God, why is there evil in the world?” Usually, this is used to put the theist in the horn of a dilemma wherein he must give up either God’s omnipotency (including her omniscience) or her omnibenevolence or both. I’d like to argue that the problem as stated suffers from three category mistakes: two in the conditional (“an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God”) and one in the conclusion (“there is evil in the world”). In doing so, I believe I dissolve the problem and offer an alternative lesson to draw.
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contentions brought along Innumerable force of Spirits armed,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven
Recently, the RIAA and MPAA or their local henchmen have been attacking peer-to-peer filesharing hubs in an effort to cripple the networks which utilise them.
How do we know if we have won or lost the War on Terror?
How do people decide who they are going to vote for in a national or local election? It’s a big question and the focus of much thought by political hacks and pollsters but I suspect it boils down to several “simple” questions:
* Does the incumbent have my trust?
* Does the popular consensus on the candidate’s ideology match my own political instincts?
* Which way are my important social connections leaning?
* Has any of the candidates done something or evoked some proposal I find deplorable?
* Has any of the candidates improved my sense of well-being?
It’s been said “poverty wasn’t what caused a group of middle-class and reasonably well-educated Middle Easterners to fly three airplanes into buildings and another into the ground. It was, rather, resentments growing out of the absence of representative institutions in their own societies, so that the only outlet for political dissidence was religious fanaticism.” (John Lewis Gaddis)
The implication is that democracy is the answer. I have to respectfully disagree.
Having read this book over a month ago it feels strange to write about it now but I’ve had it on my mind for quite some time. For an adventure tale of zoology and faith it’s not something that I would have thought I could remember and think back upon after so much time but there’s something about this tale of a young Indian boy’s survival on the high seas that seems to have resonated within me. It’s not the tale in itself, which whilst entertaining is not something I can relate to, but the question that drives it.
It is said that faith cannot exist without doubt and therefore certainty is the opposite of faith for in certainty one believes that all the answers are known, whereas faith requires serious doubts and uncertainties to allow the adoption of ideas despite the sincerest and most profound doubts. Faith without doubt is bigotry.
It may not be the most popular thing to say given the rise of the right wing, anti-immigration, anti-Islam politicians in Western Europe but I’m going to do what politicians should be doing: argue in favour of immigration.