God is to be experienced to be understood

Chris Dashiell writes an essay on the falsity of literal truth. It’s a point that can’t be overemphasized, that words describing experiences cannot be taken as anything but metaphor, though very important and meaningful metaphor they may be. The language of science is correct as to its proper domain of those things which can be measured, the study of how to take measurements, and how to create measurable results. But your own experiences, the feeling of an ice cream on a hot summer day, though shared contexts that we all know, cannot be measured.

Religion is not wrong, and scientists are as much fundamentalist when they claim that the literal measurements of the universe are all that exists in the universe.

Speak from your heart and you will be understood by those who listen with their heart.

No product endorsement intended

Just a funny commercial, hat-tip Attaturk.

Submitted without present comment

Via Toker00, this was written by Stuart Markoff and printed in the Baltimore Chronicle on October 19, 2006, as an open letter to the American people.

Read the rest of this entry »

Briefly stated

Via Lindsay, Jonah Goldberg says it’s not a good thing to take a knife out of a bleeding patient, as an excuse to argue that the person who stabbed the patient should be allowed to keep twisting the knife.

They decided to pull it

The center cannot hold

Stateless terrorism is nothing new under the sun, and there is an historical name for it: piracy. We have international precedents for dealing with pirates, and our constitution provides for the eventuality of doing so. This is nothing new to American history but the technology has changed, and the bombing methods of the great powers are now held and used by the smaller ones. So it always has been and always will be, power never remains with the center, or the center moves.

We will move the center from John Bush (what I call George now). We will give it to someone else, or take it back for ourselves. He will be impeached in the court of public opinion regardless of what the congress does.

Juan Cole has more, quoting Ed Furey on the unconstitutionality of the Torture Bill. (I will decline to call it an act or law because it is plainly in contravention of the constitution and is no law.)

Good survey

Via Alon Levy, this “Worldview Quiz” asks really probing questions about the nature of your own beliefs, and charts the results on a graph for you to see where you line up alongside other prominent people.

I really recommend it, and maybe we can share some of our scores. My rating on science was -2, and my rating on progress was 8, which places me relatively near Deepak Chopra on the chart. So that in itself may be meaningless, and the value of the numbers arbitrary, but my thought on the progress line is this:

If you are for extermination of the human race, you are not standing near me. I do not want to stand near people who want me dead. Can you blame me for this? I offer peace and an opportunity for conversation at a distance.