Friday, 12/11/15

  1. STEM, humanities, “reality”
  2. #FleeTheBern
  3. To gun or not to gun?
  4. Let’s compromise my way
  5. He shall be great

1

Student life at Yale:

“The fact that the large majority of the faculty that signed this letter in support of the Christakises are in STEM just shows how far-removed from reality these people are,” van Donselaar wrote. “Maybe we should require faculty to take an ethnic studies class too?”

(Via Jonathan Adler)

Yup, what we need is to get these STEM dreamers some reality-based modern humanities education.

2

I like the counter-hashtag #FleeTheBern so much I wish I felt more antipathy to Senator Sanders.

3

While I’m on inner turmoil, be it noted that my opposition to mostly-Democrat gun control schemes does not make me a gun fan.

  • I was a conscientious objector (to my conscripted participation in war, for those of you too young to remember).
  • I’ve always felt that self-defense was morally licit, including lethal force.
  • I think I would be emotionally capable of using lethal force against an attack on me, or on one of my family, or against a forcible home entry.
  • I’m aware of statistics on who is likelier to get shot by a gun in my home.

I’ll leave you guessing whether I have resolved that tension against or in favor of keeping a gun in my home.

Meanwhile, be it noted that the Left is advocating denying guns based on a “no-fly list” that is deeply flawed.

So how about if we don’t allow anyone on the no-fly list to speak freely, petition government for redress of grievances, refuse to quarter troops in their homes, etc.?

4

Several years ago, I was invited to an international bioethics conference as a panelist on euthanasia. My co-panelist was a Dutch ethicist who supported his country’s liberal legalization regimen. We sparred courteously for an hour, and although the discussion remained cordial, we found no points of agreement, either on means or ends.

At the end of the convention, one participant—a UN bureaucrat—told me angrily that many people were upset because I was not willing to engage in “conversation.” I was surprised. “I flew 6,000 miles to engage in conversation,” I replied. “I have respectfully listened to opposing views and been civil in presenting my own opinions.”

“But you refuse consensus,” he complained. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t been invited to discuss and defend my viewpoint. Instead, I was brought there to reach an agreement, to find a compromise, by accepting “a little euthanasia” as the middle ground.

(Wesley J. Smith, reminding me that “let’s compromise my way” is alive and well in the culture of death.)

5

If I forgive The Donald everything else he has done, it will still be hard to forgive him for making me cringe at Lessons and Carols when they read from Isaiah 1 “He shall be great ….”

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.