Isn’t it curious that tattoos, piercings, and scarifications are considered cool, but circumcision is considered a barbaric mutilation?
I wonder why pundits describe certain politicians as ideology-free, since that’s not possible. Everyone has some view of the world. Besides, even what we call an unprincipled person assumes the truth of one principle: The one that states that people like him are the smartest and ought to rule.
Strangely bad reasoning: "God hasn’t stopped human beings from committing evil. Therefore I withdraw my faith from God and place it human beings instead.”
Someone sent me a letter arguing that the abortion of unwanted babies should be legal because they should not be “forced to live a ceaseless hell.” Observe that the argument would also apply to the destruction of the unwanted weak, poor, sick, sad, and aged.
Monday news flash: Using styrofoam dishes is endangering the environment because of waste plastic. Experts urge using china instead and washing it in hot water. Tuesday news flash: Washing china in hot water is endangering the environment because of heat and detergent pollution. Experts urge using styrofoam.
“We haven’t been married long. How long should we wait to have children?” If you’re married, you’re ready to have children. If you aren’t ready to have children, you aren’t ready to be married.
Wrongly put: “He’s good at what he does, but he’s not very bright.” Intelligence is not a thing, but a bundle of things. To be good at what he does, he must be bright in some respects. So the question is in what respects he isn’t.
“You believe in God only because you were taught to believe in God in childhood.” Is that something like saying that I believe in arithmetic only because I was taught to believe in arithmetic in childhood?
Displacement of ends by means: The desire for a powerful government in order to pursue certain goals seems to have given way to desiring certain goals because they require a powerful government.
Part one: “I prefer to spread the Gospel by example, not by words.” It is always impressive to come across someone so far advanced in sanctity that people are awed just by seeing him go about his life. But unlikely.
Our grandparents knew that the rhyme about little girls being made of sugar and spice but little boys being made of snakes and snails was an affectionate jest. For us it is hardening into dogma.
Part two: Suppose you really are so far advanced in sanctity. Even so, without words, isn’t it more likely that people will attribute whatever good they see in you to the wrong cause?
Classical higher learning sought to calibrate and correct the common sense meter. Our own higher learning seeks largely to disconnect it. The paradoxical result is that in some respects, educated people are less perceptive than uneducated people, and are certainly less independent in thought.
“I don’t need to believe in God. I’m my own boss.” In which god don’t you believe? I can think of one that you believe in.
"There isn’t any natural law. When I do the right thing, I just do it because it seems good.” If there isn’t any natural law, then how do you know that it’s good? How do you know that good ought to be done? And how do you know that good is not merely whatever you happen to like?
Although God is said to test people at times, the reason does not seem to be that He needs to find out something about them. Rather they need to find out something about themselves.
Question: When the knight came upon the dragon, did he estimate whether the dragon could be overcome in his lifetime? No. He stood up and fought.
Anyone can learn from a good teacher. The real test is being able to learn from a bad one.
Odd comparison: “Believing in God is like believing in Zeus.” They aren’t even “gods” in the same sense of the term. Zeus was a contingent being which something else caused to exist. God is the necessary being who causes all else to exist.
Wednesday news flash: If all the used disposable diapers were stacked on top of each other, the stack would reach to the moon. Thursday news flash: NASA says it may be possible to reach the moon by building a stack of used disposable diapers. Scientists urge contributions.
The people of the future will certainly not view our age as golden, but they may look back on it as epic. In our day the exercise of even the everyday elements of moral character, such as honesty and chastity, is beginning to look like heroic virtue.
Suspicion: The most powerful reason why some persons want to coerce conscience – for example, to force medical workers who object to abortions to participate in them anyway – is to have as much company as possible in their own bad conscience.
I wonder why the Old Testament prophets are pegged as hurlers of harsh condemnations. They seem to have spent more time weeping. Their judgments were warnings; they sprang from divine compassion.
It is a very good thing that any citizen who wants to vote may do so. It is not necessarily a good thing that they all do.
Why is it said that believing in the doctrines of the Church makes one a “conservative Catholic?” It would be closer to the truth to say that it made one a Catholic.
Liberal activists tend to be utopian about society; they get angry if it doesn’t measure up to their idea of perfect righteousness. But liberal and conservative activists alike tend to be utopian about their political party; they get angry if it doesn’t behave like a social movement.
With due respect to Mr. Dylan: Some people do need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing.
Subtlety is discerning in an appealing error the truth that it includes but distorts, and not being caught by the distortion.
The proper use of blunder is the acquisition of insight. How much more deeply the sages of the future will understand certain matters, having studied the annals of our mistakes.