Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Truth May Be Like Water

Douglas Murray, following a debate with fellow atheist Richard Dawkins, wrote an interesting piece for The Spectator (2/9/13):
"Schopenhauer said that truth may be like water: it needs a vessel to carry it.  It is all very well to point out--as Dawkins did again the other night--that Adam did not exist.  But to think that this discovery makes not just the story of Eden but the narrative of the crucifixion and resurrection meaningless is to rather startlingly miss the point.  You can be in agreement with Professor Dawkins that Adam did not exist, yet know and feel that the story of Eden speaks profoundly about ourselves." 
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Black Box

From Joel Lovell's NY TIMES article on the writer George Saunders:
"I began to understand art as a kind of black box the reader enters,” Saunders wrote in an essay on Vonnegut. “He enters in one state of mind and exits in another. The writer gets no points just because what’s inside the box bears some linear resemblance to ‘real life’ — he can put whatever he wants in there. What’s important is that something undeniable and nontrivial happens to the reader between entry and exit. . . . In fact, ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ seemed to be saying that our most profound experiences may require this artistic uncoupling from the actual. The black box is meant to change us. If the change will be greater via the use of invented, absurd material, so be it.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Venus Consoling Cupid Stung by a Bee
Benjamin West, 1802
"Cupid: his disgrace is to be called boy; but his glory is to subdue men."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Pope and the Pillars

According to George Weigel (WSJ), the new pope--whoever he may turn out to be--faces a Herculean challenge:  
"He must help an increasingly deracinated world--in which there may be your truth and my truth, but nothing recognizable as the truth--rediscover the linkage between faith and reason, between Jerusalem and Athens, two of the pillars of Western civilization.  When those two pillars crumble, the third pillar--Rome, the Western commitment to the rule of law--crumbles as well.  And the result is what Benedict XVI aptly styled the dictatorship of relativism."