Doctor Science Knows

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Now playing

Mixed bag of recent comments, to keep track of what discussions I'm in where.

More at Dreher's Culture and the knowability of truth:

the stupid Chris:

Shucks, my blushes. But really, you *have* to laugh -- when Copernicus did it, it was a watershed in human thought. At this point, it's a long-running gag.
the essence of the contemplative life is to banish C/certainty and A/authority as we muddle our way toward T/truth.
I think it's significant that various schemes for contemplative lives (in many traditions) all involve great discipline and stability in what you actually *do* with your time. Contemplatives may banish ontological certainty, but they generally live to very strict schedules. They still meet the basic human emotional need for stability, just not in philosophical matters.

at Ta-Nehesi Coates' It's the Racism, Stupid:

What was the gain from white supremacy? If not material, then what spiritual gain could people think they were getting? Something big enough to kill over, something important enough to forgo material gain in order to preserve. What?

Their place in the hierarchy.

As long as blacks were "in their place", not being "uppity", a white man -- no matter how poor and ignorant -- could not be the bottom rung. Upper-class or educated white men can afford not to be racist, because they won't fall to the very bottom just because blacks are in the hierarchy. But the further down the ladder a white man is, the more threatened he is by black equality.

I think the exact same process drives homophobia in the black community. As long as homosexuals are despised, no straight black man can be the very bottom of the social scale.

At Plumb Lines' Are "We" Guilty of Torture?:

our shared cultural belief that the body is different from the person
Wow, do I disagree. One would then assume that a less dualistic culture would be less prone to war crimes — the Japanese, for instance.

No, I think the reasons for both the high-level and low-level torture policiess were perfectly outlined by John Dean several years ago, in Conservatives Without Conscience: this is authoritarianism.

At Daniel Larison's Of “Centrists” And Moderates:

what pundits and journalists usually describe as “centrism” is capitulation to the other side on high-profile pieces of legislation by going against the grain of one’s own party in a melodramatic way and usually by backing the position that had won the approval of political establishment figures.
This is why a *lot* of us wanted you to get a Times/Post slot. Still want — surely they can swap out Krauthammer, now that he has re-defined “bottom of the moral barrel”?

At hilzoy's Disbar them:

I also really, *really* want to see professional sanctions against the doctors and psychiatrists. Are there any moves being made in that direction?

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