Author: jrcowles

The Question That Dare Not Speak Its Name … Must I Ask It Again?

The Question That Dare Not Speak Its Name … Must I Ask It Again?

"Boston Globe", "Life" Issues, "Spotlight" (movie), anger, awareness, betrayal, bible, bible, Character of God, Child Abuse, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, conservatism, courage, critical judgment, culture, Ethics, faith, God, monotheism, Secularity, sorrow, Uncategorized
Yeah … I guess I must … anyway … as I have said before, when I was taking both secular philosophy (ethics at a secular university) and moral theology (at a Jesuit school, Seattle University), I was taught, in different ways and in different dialects, that Knowledge plus Power equals Responsibility.  I.e., if I know that a given situation is morally wrong and if I have the power to effect change, then I am morally responsible for acting so as to alter the situation and right the wrong. And, moreover, the degree of responsibility varies directly with the scope of my knowledge and my power to effect that change. E.g., there is not much I can do to alleviate the plight of Syrian refugees. Maybe all I can do is to give money. But I am obligated to do at least that much. Given how wides
Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, book review, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity, Christmas, contemplation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, December, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, God, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Jim Cowles, Kierkegaard, Literature, Numinous, Religion, Secularity, Skeptic, Spirituality, T. S. Eliot, Theology, Thinking, Uncategorized
Full disclosure:  as I have said elsewhere, I never got the “hang uv” being a Christian, and consider the multiple decades I spent beating my head against that particular brick wall as time merely pissed away. I still believe that. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that it is equally true that I could never get, have never gotten, the “hang uv” being an atheist. I am no more successful as a “creedal” atheist than I was as a “creedal” Christian. My admiration for, e.g., Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, and Daniel Dennett is undiminished. Nothing I say in what follows should be interpreted as disagreeing with their contention that religious statements should be subject to the same critique as other statements. Religio
Dinosaurs, Chess, Evolution, And Wonder

Dinosaurs, Chess, Evolution, And Wonder

"Life" Issues, affirmation/s, awareness, Biology, Chaos Theory, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, Evangelicalism, Evolution, Fundamentalism, God, Ideology, Paleontology, physics, Randomness, Rationality, Science, Secularity, Theology, Uncategorized, Universe
I have been reading for at least the second time, maybe the third, Richard Dawkins’ magisterial book about evolution, The Greatest Show on Earth (hereafter Show). Like the other one or two times I have read Dawkins’ book, it was an exhilarating ride. Until I read the appendix, which pertains to how the theory of evolution is, to this day, received in the US and non-Scandinavian Europe. That appendix to Show is a real downer. (I reacted similarly when I first read the book.) It turns out that, even in the supposedly enlightened First World – again, the Scandinavian countries are the blessed exception -- around 80% of respondents accept a theory of evolution that accommodates some kind of supernatural explanation, e.g., God did it all according to a literal reading of Genesis, chapter 1; o