Spiritual: February 2007 Archives

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Is ethics just a matter of right or wrong+people's comment There's plenty of debate about what it means to say something is right or wrong (and thus about what ethics is really about), but I've never heard of anyone questioning whether ethics is even about right and wrong to begin with. is it against god to commit suicide It's most immediately against yourself, but given what Genesis 9 says about taking human life, isn't it a capital crime due to its being against someone made in the image of God? Of course, the death penalty gets administered in the process. republical lizard tax conspiracy Occasionally I get a search where no snarky comment I could write seems to do it justice. I think this is one of those cases, unfortunately. what if the president and vice president didnt get 270 votes There's no constitutional requirement of getting 270 electoral votes. Given the current assignment of electoral votes to states and given that only two candidates get any electoral votes, whoever gets at least 270 votes will win. But the assignment of electoral votes can change. Last I had heard, it might change by 2008 with Utah getting one more vote and nothing else changing (in exchange for D.C. getting a representative who can vote in the House), but that actually still leaves 270 as what's needed to win. Certainly we could end up with a situation where a third candidate gets enough votes that the winner has fewer than 270, even with the current assignment of votes to states. I'm sure that sort of thing has happened lots of times, although not recently. But imagine what would happen if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, the Republicans nominate John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani runs as an independent. I don't think that scenario is all that likely, but it's not impossible, and I think Giuliani would probably get a fair number of electoral votes if that were to happen. If both of the others also got enough electoral votes, as I think would be likely, then whoever won would get less than 270.

Profanity

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Peter Leithart has a very thoughtful post on profane language, looking quite closely at a couple passages sometimes thought to have some bearing on the issue. Jollyblogger agrees that Leithart's post is excellent and offers some thoughts of his own. I can't agree with every statement in either post, but I'm not really motivated to detail the disagreements I have on minor points at the moment, and I thought some of the readers of this blog might find this of interest.

Gnu at Wildebeest's Wardrobe reflects on the relationship between philosophy and faith in the scriptures in Philosophy and Canon.

I don't agree with his take on Ecclesiastes, because I see the positive elements throughout the book and the narrator simply framing it and putting it all in perspective, without there being anything really false about the statements of Solomon within the main text.

I'd also change his (3) to "The OT explains how authentic divine predestination is compatible with authentic moral responsibility." That's what it doesn't do. I think it does implicitly affirm that the two are compatible by affirming them both, even in the same breath in some instances (e.g. in Isaiah 10).

But those are minor quibbles. His overall point is worth considering, particularly the way that an intelligent reading of the Bible leads to seeing the Christian's approach to the scriptures as challenging the views of the reader in the same kind of thoughtful way that philosophy at its best will do.

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