critical judgment

Trump And The Forbidden Planet

Trump And The Forbidden Planet

activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, community, conservatism, critical judgment, culture, Uncategorized
On a recent weekend, my wife and I watched – I for probably the dozenth time – the 1956 classic science fiction movie Forbidden Planet.  Perhaps halfway through the movie, and largely because of the Freudian discussion of the power and place of the id in the human mind that was woven into the narrative, I had a lightning stroke of insight:  Forbidden Planet (hereafter FP) is no longer, as it was in 1956, a vivid but purely theoretical cautionary tale about Freud’s warnings concerning what he called “the return of the Repressed,” but is also a chilling metaphor for the hazards of Trump as the first truly postmodern American President. Suddenly, I realized that we are not Dr. Morbius and his nubile daughter living on Altair IV perhaps 200 years in the future. Rather we are Americans liv
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