- Questions Catholic kids asked themselves about their personal sin, 1927 According to this 1927 manual for Catholic kids, attending non-Catholic services or Sunday school was not merely a sin, but a MORTAL SIN. Wow.
- Best Pictures from Russian Dating Sites: The pseudo-sex act with the watermelon really got me laughing, I must admit.
- Here’s What Happens When You Ask People To Draw Maps Of The USA From Memory: I like the last map the best! Nothing like living in the state of “Balt Salts”!
- Servers Get Thousands From Anonymous Tips For Jesus: This story seems too ridiculous to be true… although it seems to be. However, I’m heartily amused by anyone thinking that this is the kind of action that Jesus would approve. Plus, by any rational standard, a person should be more discriminating in his charity.
- Perfectly Timed Dogbird: Heh.
- Dog tries to save owner who is taking a fake photograph of falling off a cliff: AWWW! Good doggie!
- Recreating Childhood Photos: Friends! You must do this and post the results to Facebook for my entertainment!
- Dear CrossFit: Talayna Deserves Better: Why yes, I do think that female athletes should be treated with basic respect, i.e. as persons. I hope that the protests of some CrossFitters inspire better behavior from HQ.
- 7 Reasons Getting A Kitten Is Awesome And Also Terrible: It’s all true. *sigh*
- Home kinks — A 1950 magazine offers life hacks before life hacks were cliche: Many of these “home kinks” are clever, but I’m amazed by how many are obsolete. Removing ice from a frozen metal clothesline? No thanks!
- Guns in movies replaced with thumbs-ups [15 pictures]: Rambo and Die Hard are my favorites.
When I first read the whole Bible a few years ago, I wondered when all those Bible-focused Christians would rediscover the very clear command that women cover their heads in church in 1 Corinthians 11:
I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head–it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection of God; but woman is the reflection of man. Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. But if anyone is disposed to be contentious–we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.
And… it’s happened, as you can see for yourself at the web site of The Head Covering Movement. (The site looks of recent origin, and the domain was only registered earlier this year.) Of course, feminism is to blame:
The wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century. What happened? Did we suddenly find some biblical truth to which the saints for thousands of years were blind? Or were our biblical views of women gradually eroded by the modern feminist movement that has infiltrated the Church…? – R.C. Sproul
On a bright note, I’d much prefer that Christians resume the biblical practice of covering or not covering their heads during church than that they resume the practice of stoning people like rebellious sons, suspected witches, and blasphemers!
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I received this particularly awesome comment on my recently posted podcast question on Mercenary Essay Contest Writing:
Competitions in writing like this one is a good practice for those students who already show their skills when it comes in writing. A good experience for them to gain some new tactics in making their essays and other types of writing even better.
Here’s why that mess of English is so awesome: the poster is advertising some essay-writing site. Heck, you can see a bunch of similarly grammatical comments by clicking on the person’s handle “custom essay” on the comment.
Bless his heart.
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Via Jenn Casey, I found this interview in Allergic Living with NFL player Adrian Peterson on his adult-onset shellfish allergy. I was particularly struck with his account of the severity of his first allergic reaction:
Allergic Living: Many of us heard that you had a big allergic reaction. Could you take us back to those moments: where were you, what were you eating, what happened?
Adrian Peterson: It was 2011 at training camp and we were at lunch. I had a bowl of gumbo – it had the normal stuff, shrimp, scallops, seafood. Maybe 30 minutes after I ate lunch and got back to my room, I was relaxing, resting up before afternoon practice – that’s when I started experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, though I didn’t know at the time. My throat started to itch, my eyes were extremely itchy. I remember laying down rubbing my eyes; it kind of raised a red flag.
When I stood up and looked in the mirror, I saw my eyes were swollen, and my throat was starting to swell up on me, so I called my athletic trainer and told him the symptoms. Immediately he was like, ‘Hold on, I’m coming up, just wait for me!’
When he got there, he had the EpiPen auto-injector, I administered it into my thigh, and immediately I felt my throat start to open up. I was able to breathe better, and it gave me the time I needed to get to the hospital to seek further assistance.
It kind of threw me off guard, because I eat seafood all the time, and I’ve always eaten seafood my entire life and then – just out of the blue – I have this life-threatening allergic reaction.
After training camp I went to see an allergist and found out that I’m allergic to shrimp, lobster and scallops. From that point on, I’ve had my action plan, which is knowing my allergic triggers, and always having access to my EpiPen, just in case I have an allergic reaction. I have my EpiPen on me at all times.
AL: What felt better: being chosen as the 2012 MVP, or having your allergic reaction stopped by the auto-injector?
AP: [laughs] Having my allergic reaction stopped! You know what the crazy thing is, after I got off the phone with my athletic trainer, it seemed like everything kept getting even worse. When I hung up the phone I couldn’t breathe out of my nose, period. Then my throat started to really close up on me, so I’m sitting there, I’m searching, scratching for air, just barely getting air.
I got to the point where I was actually leaving, to try and meet him wherever he was coming from – I just wanted to get help – and as soon as I opened the door he ran out the elevator, he had the EpiPen, and I administered it.
These kinds of stories make me think that EpiPens should be a standard part of every first aid kit. Without that EpiPen from the trainer, he might not have survived — or the reaction might have done him serious damage.
For more information about living with food allergies, check out my two interviews with Jenn Casey.
- Duration: 1:02:06
- Download: Standard MP3 File (21.3 MB)
- Duration: 1:19:05
- Download: Standard MP3 File (27.2 MB)
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On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on Objectivism versus secular humanism, moral judgment of European colonizers, the right time to declare love, problems with an aggressive dog, and more. This episode of internet radio airs at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 8 December 2013, in our live studio. If you can’t listen live, you’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page.
This week’s questions are:
- Question 1: Objectivism Versus Secular Humanism: What are the similarities and differences between Objectivism and secular humanism? Objectivism and secular humanism are two secular worldviews. What are their basic points? Are they hopelessly at odds? Or do they share some or even many attributes?
- Question 2: Moral Judgment of European Colonizers: How should European colonizers be judged for their treatment of Native Americans? Some people, especially conservatives, give blanket praise to Columbus and European colonizers, notwithstanding their conquest and displacement of native populations. Those Native Americans are sometimes denigrated as ignorant, brutal, and/or lacking any concept of property – and hence, as unworthy of the protection of rights. Many others consider the Native Americans either noble savages or at least the rightful owners of the land. They condemn European colonization as unethical conquest or even genocide. Are either of those approaches correct? What counts as a fair judgment of European colonizers in their behavior toward Native Americans? How should European colonizers have treated native persons?
- Question 3: The Right Time to Declare Love: When should a person declare his love for another? What is an appropriate amount of time to wait before saying “I love you” in a new relationship? New relationships often start out strong, but then the feelings of eros dissipate after a few months. When you meet someone who you share the same values and ideals (and you are super-attracted to him or her) when should you say those three little words?
- Question 4: Problems with an Aggressive Dog: What should a person do about a neighbor’s aggressive dog? My husband was attacked (but barely injured) by a neighbor’s dog. No one else was in the room at the time. Our children often play at this person’s house, and the dog has always been friendly in the past. How do you suggest handling the situation? Should we allow our children to play with the dog, as we always have in the past? What should the owner do about the dog?
After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”
To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.
The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Q&A: Secular Humanism, European Colonizers, Dangerous Dogs, and More. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:
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I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in these topics!
Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
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This weekend, I fixed the only major lingering headache from the process of converting NoodleFood from Blogger to WordPress. During that conversion, the author data was lost, such that “Diana Hsieh” was listed as the author of every post, even though just over 1,000 of NoodleFood’s more than 6,000 posts were written by someone else, mostly Paul.
I’d procrastinated on the task of fixing that for over a year and half because I feared that I’d have to update every post not written by me by hand. That would have been mighty, mighty unpleasant work.
However, I’m pleased to report that my technical skills — particularly my regex geekery — came in handy, such that I was able to automate the update by spending a few hours massaging the data. I had to:
- Extract data about posts authored by people other than me from Blogger’s exported XML file
- Integrate that with htaccess redirections so as to obtain a unique WordPress post ID for each of those posts
- Create and issue appropriate commands to SQL to update the relevant 1000 entries in the posts table with the correct author id
Much to my delight, that worked just fine, despite a few hiccups and setbacks.
I’m so grateful for my prior existence as a web programmer and sysadmin. I’ve been able to do so much with Philosophy in Action as a result of those skills. Even now, I surprise myself with what I can do! Heck, now that I’ve mucked around in SQL again for the first time in a few years, I might make use of that for some future projects and upgrades. That would make much of Philosophy in Action’s backend so much cleaner and easier to manage, I think.
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This article — What International Air Travel Was Like in the 1930s — fascinates me. If you just look at the pictures, like this one…
… it’s easy to think, “Oh, people had it so much better in the past! Now we’re all cramped in planes like sardines!” But once you read the text, you’ll surely change your tune.
Consider this, for example:
Imperial Airways appealed to the consumer who desired the most luxurious way to travel. But it wasn’t always very pleasant, despite the most advanced technology of the time. People would often get sick, and bowls were discreetly placed under the seats to ensure that passengers had a place to throw up. The widespread pressurization of cabins wouldn’t occur until the 1950s, so altitude sickness often meant that people needed to receive oxygen.
The temperature inside the cabin was also a major consideration, since horror stories of incredibly cold flights were common in the late 1920s.
Nearly 50,000 people would fly Imperial Airways from 1930 until 1939. But these passengers paid incredibly high prices to hop around the world. The longest flights could span over 12,000 miles and cost as much as $20,000 when adjusted for inflation.
A flight from London to Brisbane, Australia, for instance, (the longest route available in 1938) took 11 days and included over two dozen scheduled stops. Today, people can make that journey in just 22 hours, with a single layover in Hong Kong, and pay less than $2,000 for a round trip ticket.
See what I mean?
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Two of my favorite places to shop — Amazon and The Great Courses — have particularly fabulous deals today. Philosophy in Action has affiliate accounts with them, so please use the links in these posts to give our tip jar gets a small kickback.
First, Amazon is offering 30% off any one print book until the end of day today. Enter the code BOOKDEAL at checkout.
Second, The Great Courses (formerly, The Teaching Company) has every course on sale today!
You don’t have as much time left as that image says… so don’t delay!
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Just in time for the holidays — for the whole month of December — I’m offering two special deals on my new book Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. These deals will disappear with 2013, so be sure to take advantage of them while you can!
Special Deal Number One: $5 Off the Paperback
Amazon is currently selling the paperback of Responsibility & Luck for $17.52, but you can get an extra $5 off by using the discount code of V2QBHDPL at checkout. $12.52 is a damn good price for all that philosophical goodness!
Special Deal Number Two: Signed Paperback for $25
If you’d like something a bit more special, I’ll send you a signed paperback of Responsibility & Luck, inscribed however you please, for just $25. (That’s just for the US. I’m willing to ship overseas, but I’ll have to charge a bit more for the postage. Email me to figure that out.)
I have 20 copies ready to sign and ship anytime. However, after those run out, I’ll have to order more copies from Amazon, and they’ll take about 10 days to arrive at my door. Hence, if you want a signed copy as a Christmas present, I’d recommend ordering as soon as possible. Otherwise, your order might arrive in January.
Also, if you buy a signed copy, I’ll give you access to the ebook versions for free.
To order, fill out the form below. Then, pay me $25 using one of the following methods: PayPal, Dwolla, Chase QuickPay, or US Mail (Diana Hsieh; P.O. Box 851; Sedalia, CO 80135). If you have any problems, questions, or special requests, please email me!
About Responsibility & Luck
Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame?
In his famous article “Moral Luck,” philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters — even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the “problem of moral luck.”
Philosopher Diana Hsieh argues that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle’s theory of moral responsibility, Hsieh explains the sources and limits of a person’s responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, she shows that moral judgments are not undermined by luck.
In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.