Some links from the past week.
So two controversial points about transgenderism follow from this. First, that we are not talking here about simply the discovery of “another” minority condition that demands recognition and emancipation, but rather about a necessary extended footnote to the rendering of homosexuality as the new norm. For once we give equal status to attraction towards “the same” as to attraction towards “the other”, we have already rendered sexual difference a subordinate irrelevance.
Secondly, that the contradiction I described earlier is still there: “transgender” oscillates between being merely a matter of choice, and being something unchosen, something lodged in a presumed non-pathological soul.
Andrew Perriman: 16 Reasons for Thinking that the Conversion of the Empire was at the Heart of NT Eschatology. Controversial but stimulating thesis.
Once you understand moral criticism this way, you can see why people feel deceived by hypocrites. In another set of studies, we found that people viewed hypocrites as dishonest—more dishonest, in fact, than people who uttered outright falsehoods. Remarkably, hypocrites were rated as less trustworthy, less likable and less morally upright than those who openly lied: e.g., characters who wasted energy after explicitly stating that they never wasted energy.
It seems to me that the widespread character of the belief that politicians are generally hypocrites can help us to understand why people might prefer a politician who is patently a liar.
Against the Renting of Persons, a conversation with David Ellerman
Shakespeare in the Bush—trying to explain the meaning of Hamlet to West African tribespeople
People who betray Jesus can still teach us about being Christian. Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ shows us how. Interesting discussion of the subject from Elizabeth Bruenig.
The Antiheroine Unveiled. Stimulating reflections on the character of the antiheroine, as distinct from the female antihero or female villain.
Origins of Atheism: “Modern atheism did indeed emerge in Europe in the teeth of religious, i.e. Christian, opposition. But it had only a limited amount to do with reason and even less with science. The creation myth in which a few brave souls forged weapons made of a previously unknown material, to which the religious were relentlessly opposed, is an invention of the later nineteenth century, albeit one with ongoing popular appeal. In reality . . . modern atheism was primarily a political and social cause, its development in Europe having rather more to do with the (ab)use of theologically legitimized political authority than it does with developments in science or philosophy.”
Incredible trick shot in Bristol sports bar:
North Koreans Try American BBQ