Notes on The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss by David Bentley Hart

Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, philosopher and cultural commentator, and he has written a response to atheism, which seems in vogue now. He claims that his objective isn’t to prove God’s existence, but to clarify a false premise in the debate. Here’s how he puts it:

If one imagines that God is some discrete object visible to physics or some finite aspect of nature, rather than the transcendent actuality of all things and all knowing, the logical inevitable Absolute upon which the contingent depends, then one has simply misunderstood what the content of the concept of God truly is, and has nothing to contribute to the debate (p. 327)

Using this as a starting point, Hart discusses the way this conception of God relates to problems with a strictly materialistic view of the world (which he generalizes, rightly in my opinion, as the main world view of the New Atheists.), going into three aspects of the concept of God that highlight this problem—-being, consciousness, and bliss/

As in other “notes” threads, I’m going use this to jot random thoughts and notes as a way to help me process the book.

Russell Wilson Thread (2017-)

If you guys have time or interest, I’d be interested in hearing your comments about the pass protection in all the sacks Wilson took in 2017:

To what extent do you think this is Wilson’s fault?

Some things that I think are important:

1. Look at the number of pass rushers. It seems to me that the vast majority have four rushers, some three or five. Almost none are all-out blitzes. Do you guys have the same impression?

2. Show me a defense that can consistently generate good pressure/hits/sacks with four pass rushers, and I’ll show you a dominant defense. The Seahawks turned every opponent into a dominant defense!

3. Obviously this doesn’t include instances when Wilson avoided a sack despite bad protection. I wouldn’t be surprised if these plays equal the number of sacks, if not exceed it.

4. The number of plays where the OL provides really good to really good pass protection is important. Let’s say out of 30 pass plays per game, on average, 20 are good to very good, five are so-so, and the other five are awful. That might not be so bad. If you give a QB consistently good pass protection, I think he can deal with the few instances of bad pass protection. Having said that, my guess is if we were to show the instances of good to really good pass protection that number would be really small in comparison to instances of bad, really bad pass pro.

The Challenge of Covering Trump

Even though the press coverage of Trump frustrates me at times, I also recognize and believe that Trump poses unique challenges to the press, challenges that aren’t easy to overcome. Ideally, I should take the time to write a more organized post, listing and describing some of these challenges. However, I just saw a tweet that made me think of one of these challenges, and I want to comment on this before I forget. Here’s the tweet: Continue reading “The Challenge of Covering Trump”

Congressional GOP and Fox News Are Worse Than Trump

As I mentioned in the other thread, in a way, I think the Congressional GOP and conservative media outlets (including radio pundits) that either actively enable Trump or largely stand by silently are actually worse than Trump. I actually believe that if they vigorously and vocally opposed Trump, it could actually be a kind of proud moment in our history (or at least mitigate the way Trump has embarrassed and disgraced us), and it could serve as a big blow to authoritarian regimes like Russia. But, alas, something close to the opposite has happened. Like the other thread, I’m going to use this thread as a collection of evidence for this claim. Here’s one I saw today from Fox News’s Sean Hannity:

Continue reading “Congressional GOP and Fox News Are Worse Than Trump”

2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees

I don’t really have much to say–really, I’m just starting this because I wanted to bring up one question, and there’s no other appropriate thread: Is Jim Thome really better than Edgar Martinez? Thome played for kinda long and hit a lot of home runs, right? Still, didn’t Edgar play for a long time, too; and, to me, he was a hitting machine. I feel like he’s underrated. (The other picks seem reasonable to me.)