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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Horace

   Ask not ('tis forbidden knowledge), what our destined term of years,
Mine and yours; nor scan the tables of your Babylonish seers.
Better far to bear the future, my Leuconoe, like the past,
Whether Jove has many winters yet to give, or this our last;
THIS, that makes the Tyrrhene billows spend their strength against
the shore.
Strain your wine and prove your wisdom; life is short; should hope
be more?
In the moment of our talking, envious time has ebb'd away.
Seize the present; trust to-morrow e'en as little as you may.

-Horace Odes

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lincoln

We've been watching the PBS documentary "God in America" and it was interesting to hear their description of how Lincoln's attitude toward religion changed as the civil war progressed. Initially it sounds like his thoughts were roughly the same as Dylan's With God on Our Side. As the war progressed though, and casualties increased, he felt compelled to the belief that this was all God's plan, that God wanted the civil war and wanted the north to win.

I suppose it was the only way he could think to justify all that pain. I wonder what sorts of beliefs about the afterlife Lincoln held that could foster anything but disdain for the Christian God. Initially Lincoln was more of a deist but his later belief, according to the film, was in a more personal (and rather horrifying) God.

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Friday, October 15, 2010

help design a new site dedicated to philosophical discussion

If you're familiar with StackOverflow then you likely know how valuable it is for programmers. Its great advantage seems to be how it handles reputation and how that impacts the quality of Q&A.

Anyhow, this is a proposal to create a similar site for philosophy. If you commit to it, it's more likely to happen and you can have some impact on how the community is formed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

atheism, liberalism and...

wait for it... monogamy. Didn't see that coming.
intelligent people are more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history. Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds.

via ScienceDaily