The Press is Failing to Deal with Trump’s Falsehoods

Today I’m seeing a lot of tweets like the following:

Ryan Lizza ratchets up the rhetoric:

I agree with Lizza, but I think we’re past the point of simply calling out Trump for his lies–including using the word “lies” to do so. There was and probably still is debate among the press to use that word, but more and more journalists and news outlets seem more willing to use it now. In my opinion, we’re way past that issue. What should the press do instead? I’m not entirely sure, but here’s one thing that comes to mind. Continue reading “The Press is Failing to Deal with Trump’s Falsehoods”

Notes on The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

A thread for thoughts and questions about this book. (Note: The posts may not correspond chronologically with the book.)

Here’s a brief description of the book. Haidt has three ideas to explain why people have great difficulty agreeing upon political and religious matters. First, most people are influenced by intuition and emotions, more than reason, when it comes to choosing political and religious positions. Haidt uses the metaphor of a rider (reason) sitting on an elephant (intuition). For the most part the elephant is in control. Second, for Westerners morality involves reducing harm, and that which does not harm someone is morally acceptable. Haidt argues that there are actually five other moral domains, and conservatives tend to use all six, while liberals tend to think in one or two. This can create a barrier and source of misunderstanding between the two groups. Finally, religion has the power to cohesion in a group, but it also can impair judgment and reasoning. (I’m not sure about the last point, because I haven’t completed that section of the book.) With this knowledge I believe Haidt’s goal is to help people from different political and religious backgrounds to better understand and communicate with one another.

Climate Change Thread

I’m not sure there is any point to this thread, unless others need convincing this is a problem. I’m not in that camp. Still, even if this is the case, is there a good reason to keep informed about this? I guess the quick answer is that you can’t answer this because you can’t assess the value of information you don’t have. The only way to assess the value of being informed is to keep one’s self informed.

Anyway, I’m also hesitant to start this thread because the stream of news just seems grim. Take this bit of news that I just came across: Continue reading “Climate Change Thread”

Whose Jump Shot Would You Want to Have?

Since Mitchell isn’t a big basketball fan, I’ll also include the pitcher you’d want to throw like. By the way, I guess you can answer the question however you want, but I’m thinking about aesthetics just as much as effectiveness. For example, Jamaal Wilkes was a pretty good shooter, but I really wouldn’t want me jump shot to look like his. Bird’s jumper didn’t look that great, either. OK, here are some shooters off the top of my head: Continue reading “Whose Jump Shot Would You Want to Have?”

Build the All-Time Greatest NBA Team

Don told me that he and Gregg had a discussion about this, and we started a discussion between us, but never finished it. I’m not sure about the parameters, but I think it involved choosing starters only, and choosing them with building the best team in mind, not just choosing the five best players. For example, if Kareem, Wilt, Russell, and Shaq made your top five all-time greatest NBA players, you probably wouldn’t choose them for your all-time greatest team (unless you’re willing to start four centers). Don, who did you and Gregg pick? Off the top of my head, here’s my selection Continue reading “Build the All-Time Greatest NBA Team”

2018 NFL Injury List

This is a thread to track injuries. Here a few guideline I plan to use. First, I want to track major injuries, which I loosely define as anything that will keep a player off the filed for more than a month, with emphasis on season ending injuries. Second, I will focus on good players and starters. Finally,I want to track when these injuries occur, at least making a distinction between injuries that happen before the regular season versus during. We’ve already got at least one season-ending injury that I know of. (By the way, please add or make any corrections.) Continue reading “2018 NFL Injury List”

If a Culture and Society Reflects Christianity Less and Less, How Should Christians Respond?

What does it mean for a society and culture to reflect Christianity? That’s a pretty big question to answer, and I prefer avoiding it. So let me start by an example. Let’s say that homosexuality becomes a social norm. Some Christians may not believe homosexuality is prohibited by Christianity, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that it is. How should Christians respond? Let’s rule out changing this via laws. Should Christians invest energy overturning this? There are many ways this could be done. Christians, particularly prominent Christians, could speak out about this. They could fight against the use of school curriculum that normalizes homosexuality. There are many ways of doing this, that don’t involve legislation or electoral politics. Let’s use another example. What about divorce, premarital sex, and objectification of women? In what ways should Christians act to make this less of a social and cultural norm?

Honestly, I don’t have a clear answer on any of this. A big part of my attitude assumes that secular–that is, worldly–society and culture will not reflect Christianity very well. Therefore, culture and society moves further away from Christianity, a part of me feels this is natural, and something I shouldn’t fight to stop.

Then again, shouldn’t Christians try strengthen certain norms and institutions. If Christians took steps to strengthen marriage, including the quality of the relationship, wouldn’t that be a good thing? If women were less objectified, less seen as sexual objects, I don’t see how that wouldn’t be a good thing, and something that would be a worthy goal for Christians.

Perhaps, the problem comes down to the means by which Christians achieve these objectives. And maybe the motivations and degree of effort Christians put forth. For example, Christians could be motivated because by a desire to preserve a culture and society they are most comfortable with, and maybe this becomes more important than their relationship with God and loving others.

Again, I don’t clear answers for this, which is why I started the thread. What do you guys think?