Tag: Pascal

Ice Cream Koans And Enlightenment

Ice Cream Koans And Enlightenment

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After by-now-70-plus years of reflecting and meditating – at times even agonizing – about the issue, I have come to the conclusion in my “twilight years” that the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of the time we spend in religious observance / activity consists of an at-times-frantic, gut-busting effort to go where we already are. In fact, an effort to go, not only where we already are, but to go where we cannot not be, simply because there is nowhere – and no-when – else to be. We spin our wheels like a car mired in quicksand. At least, that is where I spent most of the last 55 years or so as a religious believer. Do I, like the Delphic oracle, make myself sufficiently obscure? If so, please allow me to clarify. If that first sentence of the first paragraph sounds nihilistic … well
Fig Picking, Cherry Picking, And Selective Theology

Fig Picking, Cherry Picking, And Selective Theology

"Life" Issues, activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, Cherry picking, Christian Church, Christianity, citizenship, civics, community, conflict, Creator, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Discernment, Ecology, Economy, Enlightenment, Environment, faith, faithfulness, Family, Fascism, GLBT, God, Human Condition, Ideology, Jesus, Nature, progressive politics, Secularity, Skeptic, Thinking, Trump, Uncategorized
It occurs to me that, many times over the four-plus years I have been writing this “Skeptic’s Collection” column, I have taken the political and religious right to task for the venerable practice of “cherry-picking”, i.e., carefully culling all the evidence for any thesis so as to pick out those events and data that support one’s position, while no less carefully ignoring or de-emphasizing those events and data that support contrary arguments.  Nowhere is this practice more prevalent than in theological discourse, in particular, theodical discourse. But progressives decidedly on the left of the spectrum, both theologically and politically, have an equivalent tendency to pick equally substantial cherry harvests. Herewith some examples that should make chardonnay-swilling, Bernie- / Warr