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October 30, 2006

A Reasonable Man

I think I can come to a fairly reasonable understanding of athiesm.

After all, I've never directly perceived in all of its powerful being in all of its power and glory. My assumption is that such a direct experience with the Almighty would leave me incapable of doubting its Divinity. I've witnessed inexplicable phenomena in my life, but that doesn't necessitate a belief in God. If the inexplicable were guarantees of God's existence, then it wouldn't really be inexplicable anymore.

I can also understand why someone would become so frustrated with evil and suffering in the world, that he would doubt the existence of an all powerful God.

I can see certain social benefits in athiesm. If this world is all we have, if there is no Heaven or Hell, or Divine Judge to sort everything out in the end, then this should motivate us to be even more active in the pursuit of peace and justice. Some people might say that athiesm would lead to anarchy and lawlessness, but I don't think that is necessarily the case. Just because laws would be completely man-made, one does not necessarily have to disregard them. It becomes all the more important to reinforce social harmony, because worldly accord is the closest we might ever get to paradise.

Furthermore, I can understand why someone would think religions lead to chaos and suffering given the track record of religiously-inspired warfare in history and most especially in the religious extremism of the Middle East today.

I can totally see why someone would look at scandals among the clergy and come to the conclusion that religious authority is too dangerous for humans to wield, and that it can be used as a shield for evil men. And I can see why someone might think that religion was invented as an ideological state apparatus to convince people to obey laws.

I can also empathize with a desire to shirk religiously-inspired morality. Relieving myself of sexual morals and concepts of sin certainly looks like it would unfetter me from a guilty conscience, and allow me to do things that look pleasurable.

I can see why belief in an unseen, but supposedly omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient God would seem like a contradiction.

I feel like I can understand the position of the athiest, so how come I never seem to come across an athiest who accurately depicts the way I view the world?

Posted by Peter Terp on October 30, 2006 at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2006

Status update

With this post I am making explicit what you've probably noticed if you've been logging on the last few days - I (personally - Peter may post in the interim) am on a little blog hiatus for the next few days.  As I cryptically alluded to earlier, there will be some developments on this site and then I will start blogging again at my usual pace.  Until then I ask for patience from regular readers, and your prayers, as always.

Posted by Thomas A. on October 29, 2006 at 09:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2006

Job Opportunity

I'm a professional grader. It's what I do. I've been told I'm a bit harsh, but I've never been told I'm unfair. In fact, I rather imagine that I'm harsh because I'm so very fair.

Now most of what I do essentially consists evaluating people's rhetorical arguments, whether it be in freshmen writing or more advanced literature classes. I try to teach my students to argue well, but, alas, I can't say that all of my students earn A grades. I can teach them what to do to earn A's, but there is no way I can compel them to follow directions.

Anyway, surfing the Internet, it becomes painfully clear that what is needed is some form of accountability and evaluation. Just scanning blogs or taking a quick look at feedback on Youtube makes it woefully obvious that some objective, rational eye needs to start assigning some kind of grade to feedback. It's a daunting task, and requires time that I do not always have to volunteer.

Thus, I am offering my services as an official Internet rhetoric grader. For a mere $70 an hour, I will read all the comments on your Website, and assign each comment a letter grade. For $100 an hour, I will even offer your commentators, liberal or conservative, online tutoring sessions to help them improve their presentation skills, argumentation, and rhetorical flourishes.

It is the least I can do to repay the Internet community for all it has given me.

Posted by Peter Terp on October 27, 2006 at 09:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2006

Jack Bauer vs. Chuck Norris

I think we may have a winner...

Chuck Norris:

Alleged Chuck Norris Fact: "Chuck Norris' tears can cure cancer.  Too bad he never cries. Ever." 

There was a man whose tears could cure cancer or any other disease, including the real cause of all diseases – sin. His blood did. His name was Jesus, not Chuck Norris.

If your soul needs healing, the prescription you need is not Chuck Norris' tears, it's Jesus' blood.

By the way, I wonder if Chuck Norris needs a dog.

Posted by Thomas A. on October 25, 2006 at 01:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006


Dr. Peter makes his publication debut! Check out the fourth bulleted article in the Fall/Winter 06 issue http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html...(even though my professional name isn't Peter, it should be obvious which one is mine given the nature of this blog):

Of course, it's pretty far away from my primary field, so it probably won't land me a job anywhere...but it's easily the best news I've gotten all day (the worst news being that I just realized that all my job applications are due next week and I still haven't dropped them off at the Career Center yet...I've got this absent-minded professor bit down real good...and I ain't even a professor yet).

I'll be popping up in MLA searches and everything now. Sweet.

Posted by Peter Terp on October 23, 2006 at 10:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Political Conversions

Via Isabel...

I didn't know that John Giannetti was a pro-life Democrat. Apparently, he just switched teams to join the Republicans after losing the Democratic primary. Below is an excerpt from his Website:

I am driven by my personal values, and often times these values do not fit squarely into typical 'Democratic' or 'Republican' categories.  I am pro-life, yet I responded to the calls of my constituency that desperately wanted additional Stem Cell research funded in Maryland, and so I worked hard to craft a Stem Cell bill that could pass muster with other Catholic legislators, in order to get the bill passed. I succeeded tremendously on this front, as the legislation passed with my changes, and my vote, and is now law.

from http://www.johngiannetti.com/

Posted by Peter Terp on October 23, 2006 at 05:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2006

YouTubing Missionary Work

Fr. Bill used his expert video editing skills to edit a set of videos sent to him by Sister Dierdre (also his  sister) from the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart in Kenya...


Posted by Peter Terp on October 20, 2006 at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Stay tuned...

for a seismic shift.

Posted by Thomas A. on October 20, 2006 at 12:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New Saint

Ok, by blog-news standards this is old, old news, but I kept forgetting to post on it. 

You know that there is now another American saint.

Here you can read about St. Mother Theodore Guerin, of Indiana.

Posted by Thomas A. on October 20, 2006 at 12:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2006

Doesn't surprise me

CNN: Confident students do worse in math

I think the article tries too hard to make it sound like this bizarre paradox, as if you have to be miserable and hate yourself and math to be good at it.

If you looked at it a different way it might make more sense.  How about, "Complacent, easily satisfied students who have been conditioned to care more about how they feel than about how they perform do worse in math; bad news for US."

This should be nothing new.  I seem to recall in high school (this is a generalization, of course) that before a test, the best students were the ones most concerned and anxious about what grade they were going to get and the worst students the least concerned; after the test it was the other way around.

Posted by Thomas A. on October 18, 2006 at 06:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack