Virtual Front Page, Monday, May 17, 2010

Kind of a slow day, especially on the local front:

  1. Justices Bar Life Terms for Youths Who Haven’t Killed (NYT) — Thank goodness for the Supreme Court on a slow Monday. I hear Lindsey Graham’s meeting with Elena Kagan tomorrow. I hope the first question he asks is, “Will you promise to release interesting rulings on slow news days?”
  2. Court: No Need To Free ‘Sexually Dangerous’ Inmates (NPR) — While we’re at it, let’s put both big Supreme Court stories on the front.
  3. West sceptical over Iran nuclear deal (BBC) — I’m glad somebody knew how to react to this proposal; it puzzled me. Here’s an analysis by The Washington Post.
  4. Thais must step back from brink, says United Nations (BBC) — How many of the people rioting in the streets do you suppose will be brought to heel by this?
  5. A New Clue to Explain Human Existence (NYT) — Some of us are satisfied with the short answer: “God.” But the science boffins continue to work up a sweat trying to explain basic questions of existence mathematically. Near as I can tell, this story deals with what Scotty once said to Captain Kirk: “Captain, you can’t mix matter and antimatter cold! We’d go up in the biggest explosion since…!” Or something like that.
  6. Lott receptive to managing police forces (The State) — Yeah, this was in the paper way back on Sunday, but I wanted something local, and this was the strongest thing in the last couple of days.

10 thoughts on “Virtual Front Page, Monday, May 17, 2010

  1. Karen McLeod

    No doubt in my mind that God created. I find the “how” fascinating. I have no problem with the fact that since he created us in His “image and likeness” that we are succeeding, slowly, in discovering that “how.”
    BTW, I trust in God. It’s not a matter of scientific credence, nor the refusal to accept any given, demonstrated theory. It is not something to be refuted, scientifically. It is not in that realm.

  2. Phillip

    The line in Genesis about God creating man in “His image and likeness” has troubled me since the day I first read it, as that idea seems to me to be a self-serving construct of man himself, which has in turn served to justify just about everything man has ever done, for ill as well as good.

    To the extent that I believe in some kind of unknowable First Cause, I’d have to say that insofar as He-She-It created man in His image, He also created single-celled amoebae in His image, or igneous rocks, or airless space, or kangaroos, etc.

    The whole Genesis thing implies that man is somehow the culmination of God’s creation, the highest plateau, which just seems dubious considering A) the blink of an eye which comprises the whole duration of man’s existence compared to the earth’s history, and B) the significant mathematical probability that highly intelligent and evolved life exists on other planets in the universe.

  3. Brad

    Phillip, Genesis is evocative literature. The “image and likeness” part is poetic language for the fact that we are creatures capable of contemplating good and evil, and choosing between them. Other creatures can’t, as much as we’d like to assign such moral values to them.

    I had a reminder of that this morning. I got up to find that my dog — during the part of the night BEFORE he woke me up whining to go out — had gotten into the garbage and chewed and torn and spread it all over the kitchen and another room, in SPITE of the fact that I had put it in the cabinet under the sink and secured it with a big rubber band, specifically to keep him out of it.

    He must have spent most of the night on it. I’m still not sure how he did it without opposable thumbs.

    As I was fuming and ranting cleaning it up, I was thinking how horrible and wicked it had been for him to do this so deliberately. Which was, of course, idiotic on my part.

    I had put in the garbage a paper towel with which I had wiped a plate full of juices from a steak dinner. The smell must have driven him half mad.

    And he’s just a dog. He’s just like all the other creatures in the Garden. But if a grown human who had been thoroughly warned about this did the same, I’d be rushing to get my flaming sword…

  4. bud

    Good and evil are not absolutes. Some people find it good to execute people. Some folks can even justify the mass slaughter of civilians during times of war. The Romans were OK with gladiator fights. At various times homosexual acts have either been ok or a mortal sin. Humans are capable of reason, but that reasoning does NOT provide absolute rules for good or evil. Same with a dog. Only difference dogs lack the reasoning skills necessary to make a thorough evaluation. We really are no better than dogs, just more evolved.

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    Oh, my Weimaraner knows the difference between good & evil, all right, at least as defined by my German Shepherd, the alpha bitch. Lucy will get a look when she knows she’s in dangerous territory. She’s got the scars to show how she learned….

  6. Karen McLeod

    Bud, I think there is real good and evil. People only gradually come to learn what they are. And we are certainly a ‘fallen’ creation.

  7. bud

    A New Clue to Explain Human Existence (NYT) — Some of us are satisfied with the short answer: “God.”

    But how do you explain the existence of God?


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