Animal ethicists have recently debated the ethical questions raised by disenhancing animals to improve their welfare. Here, we focus on the particular case of breeding hens for commercial egg-laying systems to become blind, in order to benefit their welfare. Many people find breeding blind hens intuitively repellent, yet ‘welfare-only’ positions appear to be committed to endorsing this possibility if it produces welfare gains. We call this the ‘Blind Hens’ Challenge’. In this paper, we argue that there are both empirical and (...) theoretical reasons why even those adopting ‘welfare-only’ views should be concerned about breeding blind hens. But we also argue that alternative views, which (for example) claim that it is important to respect the telos or rights of an animal, do not offer a more convincing solution to questions raised by the possibility of disenhancing animals for their own benefit. (shrink)
The claim that argumentation has no proper role in either philosophy or education, and especially not in philosophical education, flies in the face of both conventional wisdom and traditional pedagogy. There is, however, something to be said for it because it is really only provocative against a certain philosophical backdrop. Our understanding of the concept "argument" is both reflected by and molded by the specific metaphor that argument-is-war, something with winners and losers, offensive and defensive moments, and an essentially adversarial (...) structure. Such arguments may be suitable for teaching a philosophy, but not for teaching philosophy. Surely, education and philosophy do not need to be conceived as having an adversarial essence-if indeed they are thought to have any essence at all. Accordingly, philosophy and education need more pragmatic goals than even Pierce's idealized notion of truth as the end of inquiry, e.g., the simple furtherance of inquiry. For this, new metaphors for framing and understanding the concept of argumentation are needed, and some suggestions in that direction will be considered. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between identities and the bicycle as portrayed in films. The analysis finds that taking the viewpoint of the bicycle emancipates the bicycle from being subjected to closure, as the constructionists would have it, and thus articulates the differences with which the bicycle can communicate to its rider. The paper examines the bicycle as depicted in three films: Premium Rush, A Sunday in Hell and Life on Earth. It engages with the concept of ‘interpretative flexibility’ and (...) the development of the bicycle, as examined by Wiebe Bijker and others, and argues that the interpretative flexibility of bicycles does not cease just because the high-wheeler was abandoned and the ‘safety’ bicycle was universally accepted. The fight for the role of the bicycle continues and the bicycle is subject to constant transformations in order to reconstruct it according to human needs. Andrew Feenberg’s modified constructivism is applied to re-examine the technical development of the bicycle, claiming that technology is dependent on specific social structures as well as human agency. The paper argues that just as social structures are negotiable and unfixed at any point in time, the bicycle too is never neutral but remains negotiable and unfixed. Consequently, since the bicycle constantly ‘speaks’ back to the user, there is never closure in the technical development of the bicycle. Drawing on the writings of Bruno Latour and the Deleuzian idea of assemblages, the bicycle and its rider are considered as an organic entity that is constantly forged and un-forged. Understanding the rhetoric of the bicycle machine helps the convergence of a bicycle becoming with becoming a rider, marking the bicycle as equal to its rider. Viewed in this way, the hierarchy of agency collapses and a crystallization emerges out of the rider and bicycle entwinement. (shrink)
The aim of the present investigation was to describe and to classify significant ethical problems encountered by the members of the staff during the daily clinical work at a hospital medical department. A set of definitions was prepared for the purpose, including the definition of a 'significant ethical problem'. During a three month period 426 inpatients and 173 outpatients were admitted. Significant ethical problems were encountered during the management of 106 in-patients (25 per cent) and 9 out-patients (5 per cent). (...) No significant difference was found between the frequency of ethical problems in female and male patients, but a positive correlation was noted between the number of problems and the patients' age. The problem types were classified according to a problem list. The results of this investigation suggest that greater attention must be paid to discussions about ethical problems among doctors and other categories of health personnel and that, among others, medical students ought to be taught the analysis of ethical problems. (shrink)
To the historian of art, it is evident that the two authors’ notion of ‘art’ is of very recent date, and not shared by everybody. They claim: ‘The purpose of art, surely, is not merely to depict or represent reality -- for that can be accomplished very easily with a camera -- but to enhance, transcend, or even to distort reality’ . They do not explain how one could photograph Paradise or Hell, the Creation of the World, the Passion of (...) Christ, or the escapades of the ancient gods -- all subjects that can be found represented in our museums. Nor is it more legitimate to generalize from certain Indian conventions of representing the female nude than it is for the academic tradition to take the Venus de Medici for the same purpose. Even a fleeting visit to one of the great museums might serve to convince the authors that few of the exhibits conform to the laws of art they postulate. [followed by response from V.S. Ramachandran]. (shrink)
In arecent article, Michael Murray critiques several versions of universalism-that is, the doctrine that in the end all persons are saved. Of particular interest to Murray is Thomas Talbott’s version of universalism (called SU1 by Murray), which puts forward a strategy for ensuring universal salvation that purports to preserve the autonomy of the creatures saved. Murray argues that, on the contrary, the approach put forward in SU1 is not autonomy-preserving at all. I argue that this approach preserves the autonomy of (...) the creature at least as well as the approach posited by the traditional doctrine of hell. Since SU1 clearly does more to preserve the well-being of the creature, it follows that, on the assumption that God loves all His creatures, SU1 is preferable to the doctrine of hell. (shrink)
I have been a Daniel Callahan reader for over thirty years. My first published review was of Abortion: Law, Choice, and Morality. Callahan's latest book, The Five Horsemen of the Modern World: Climate, Food, Water, Disease, and Obesity, is a sustained and detailed explanation of a series of challenges facing humankind in this century. Callahan's prognosis is bleak, his analyses credible, and while hope is not lost, the moral of the story is that we had better get our act together (...) fast. Callahan argues that when we face challenges like these, rational persuasion is insufficient. Human emotions must be engaged. Without knowledgeable emotional engagement by millions of people, we are done for. It seems to me that he is really calling for a national cultural conversion experience, rather as, almost three hundred years ago, Jonathan Edwards declared that if there is a hell, it makes good sense to frighten people out of it! (shrink)
A certain conception of Hell is inconsistent with God's traditional attributes. My argument is novel in focusing on considerations involving vagueness. God is in charge of the selection procedure, so the selection procedure must be just; any just procedure will have borderline cases; but according to the traditional conception, the afterlife is binary and has no borderline cases.
Commençant par rappeler les objections traditionnelles ou habituelles à l'Enfer de la part des meilleurs croyants , l'auteur évoque d'abord les raisons qui militent en faveur de l'Enfer, notamment dans les propos même de Jésus : opposition entre le bien et le mal, intransigeance à l'égard du mal, langage pédagogique des paraboles, propos qui paraissent surtout contradictoires. Une aporie surgissant de l'enseignement même de jésus, l'auteur examine quelques théories pour en sortir pour examiner ensuite les implications de la liberté créée (...) et de ses risques, et de l'incertitude comme statut existentiel. Pour finir, il se concentre sur « l'enfer des démons », celui de ces anges déchus qui, hors de l'humanité, auraient librement choisi la damnation, ce qui ne contraint pas la théologie à des certitudes définitives, mais plutôt à la modestie.The author begins by recalling the traditional or habitual o1~ections to Hell by some of the strongest believers . He then gives the reasons that militate in favor of Hell, notably in the very remarks of Jesus : opposition between good and evil, intransigence towards evil, the pedagogical language of the parables, and remarks that appeared especially contradictory. The author examines some theories to overcome the aporie that arises from, the very teaching ofjesus «< the surgical hell » of J. Elluin, the « hope for everyone » of H. Urs von Balthasar) in order to then examine the implications of matedfreedom and its risks, and of uncertainty as an existential status. Finally, he concentrates on « the hell of demons », that of those fallen angels, who, beyond humanity, would have freely chosen damnation. This does not limit theology to definitive certitudes, but to a certain modesty. (shrink)
continent. 2.1 (2012): 22–28. Jeroen Mettes burst onto the Dutch poetry scene twice. First, in 2005, when he became a strong presence on the nascent Dutch poetry blogosphere overnight as he embarked on his critical project Dichtersalfabet (Poet’s Alphabet). And again in 2011, when to great critical acclaim (and some bafflement) his complete writings were published – almost five years after his far too early death. 2005 was the year in which Dutch poetry blogging exploded. That year saw the foundation (...) of the influential, polemical, and populistically inclined weblog De Contrabas (The Double Bass), which became a strong force for internet poetry in Dutch in the years to follow. In the summer of that year, a lively debate raged in the aftermath of Bas Belleman’s article “ Doet poëzie er nu eindelijk toe ?” (“Does poetry finally matter now?”), on a blog specifically devoted to this question. Up to that point, the poetical debate in the Netherlands had largely been confined to literary reviews (which were often subsidized), having become mostly marginalized in more mainstream media, where poetry could be covered by only a small number of so-called authorities. As a result, literary debate had acquired a rather placid quality. Though a variety of camps with different aesthetics could be discerned, most poetical positions shared a general acceptance of poetry as a form of art somewhat apart from fundamental political concerns. Late modernists would pursue subtlety and density of reference. Others would insist poetry was best understood as a form of entertainment that should ideally be accessible and work well on the stage. Still others would insist that poetry is mostly a play with forms. Linguistically disruptive strategies were valued highly by some, but mostly for their aesthetic effect. Values of disinterested playfulness reigned supreme everywhere. Any idea that poetry could be a field in which one confronts politics and the world was decidedly marginal. This led to a climate in which most attempts at polemics were DOA, often based on far too superficial positioning and analysis. The greatest polemical debates were revolving around the question of whether poetry should be difficult or easy, with both camps defining their ideas of difficulty and accessibility in ways that were so utterly shallow as to make the entire point moot. Debates were performed, rather than engaged with. It was a postmodern hell of underarticulated poetics. Half-consciously, people were yearning for new forms of criticism that could put the oomph back into poetry. Weblogs provided for ways to explore debate directly outside of the clotted older channels of the reviews and the newspapers. Belleman’s essay and the resulting online activity had shown that there was a widespread eagerness to take poetry more seriously as a social art form. It was in this environment that Mettes started his remarkable project Dichtersalfabet . At that moment, Mettes was active mostly in academic circles, having become noted at Leiden University as a particularly gifted student of literary theory. Within the Netherlands, the field of literary theory has a very odd relationship to literature as it is practiced in the country. Academic theory tends to have a mostly international view and engage with international debates of cultural criticism, literary theory, and philosophy, with academics often publishing in English and attending conferences around the world. Literature itself however is much more concerned with domestic traditions. Consequently, in the Netherlands, there exists a language gap between academic theoretical practice (as it is studied in the literary theory departments) and literary practice (which, academically, gets studied in specialized departments of Dutch literature). The Dichtersalfabet can be seen as Mettes’s attempt to close this gap. It is also an attempt to bridge the divide between theory and practice, in which he could apply his theoretical knowledge in a very unorthodox and unacademic critical mode that moreover could reach far beyond the domain of conventional criticism. Mettes’s goal was to trace a diagonal through Dutch poetic culture, to “strangle” what he perceived to be its dominant oppressive traditions of agreeable irrelevance, in order to see whatever might be able to survive his critical assaults. But he could only do so by means of a very serious engagement with poetry itself. To this end, he would go systematically through the poetry bookshelf of the Verwijs bookshop (part of a mainstream chain of booksellers) in The Hague, buying one publication per blog item, starting from A and working his way through the alphabet, reading whatever he might encounter that way in the restaurant of the HEMA store (another big commercial chain in the country). He would subsequently write down his reading experiences, refraining however from trying to write a nuanced book review. Rather, he would write about anything that caught his attention and sparked his critical interest. This way of working would yield vast, at times somewhat rambling, dense, lively, and generally brilliant essays, in which he held no punches. He never hesitated to pull out his entire arsenal of concepts from the international theory traditions, while never degenerating into mere academic exercise and pointless intertextualities. The attempt was rather to live the poetry that he read, and to engage it with the full range of political, academic, cultural, and personal references that he had at his disposal—all that composed the individual named Jeroen Mettes as a reader. Often what he wrote would not be according to the standards of what we usually think of as a critical review of a book of poetry. Sometimes he would even be a little sloppy in his judgments of poets or representations of the books he read, for example by basing an entire essay on the blurb of a book rather than its poetry content. But what he did was always brilliant writing nonetheless—virtuoso riffs on poetic fragments randomly found within capitalist society, exposing an incisive and insistent poetical sensibility. Mettes read poetry for political reasons, to see whether poetry could offer him a way to deal with a political world he detested. The right-wing horrors of the Bush years, the Iraq war, and the turn of Dutch public opinion towards ever more conservative, narrow-minded, and xenophobic views alongside a complete failure of the political left to present any credible alternative, were weighing heavily on the times in which Mettes reported on his reading. Poetry was to measure this world, diagram it, to lay bare its inconsistencies and faults, to indicate where lines of flight might be found. Amid the ruins of a world wrecked by imperialist policies, corporate capitalism, and doctrinal neoliberalism it would have to show the possibility of a new community. And it was, through its rhythmical workings, to release the reading subject from his confinement to ideologically conditioned individuality and lead him into the immanent paradise of reading. The stakes were high. Much higher than anything Dutch poetry had seen for many years. Mettes’s blog was widely read from the start. His posts sparked lively debates. Some of these subsequently led to the publication of extensive essays on a few key poets in some literary journals, particularly Parmentier and the Flemish journal yang , for which Mettes would become a member of the editorial board, a few months after starting the Dichtersalfabet . This could have been the start of a brilliant career, but this was not to be. The initial manic energy that fueled the blog gradually subsided. The Alfabet was updated less and less regularly. Mettes sometimes just disappeared for many weeks, then suddenly returning with a brilliant essay. Until, on September 21, 2006, he posted his final blogpost, consisting of no text whatsoever. That night I learned from his mentor at Leiden University that he had committed suicide. Mettes and I had had some fruitful exchanges on poetry, rhythm, music, and form, mostly on the blogs, but also by email. Three weeks before his death was the last time I heard from him: a very sudden, uncharacteristically curt note saying “My old new sentence epic.” Attached to that message I found a DOC-file of a work so major that I felt intimidated. This was N30 , a text he had been working on for over five years. After his death, it took me a long time before I dared to read it in its entirety. In the meantime, the work of preparing the manuscript for publication was entrusted by his relatives to his colleagues at yang magazine. It took them a few years to brush up the text and to edit the Dichtersalfabet -blog (which, apart from the Alphabet project itself, incorporated many other fragments of political, polemical, and theoretical writing) into book form along with the essays. The result of this labor was finally published in 2011 as a two-book set, and Mettes burst onto the Dutch poetry scene for the second time. The work was widely reviewed, on blogs, in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Many critics who had not followed the blogs in 2005 showed themselves surprised, baffled even, by the intensity of Mettes’s critical writing. But for those who had read the blog, the main surprise was in the poetry. During Mettes’s lifetime, some of his poems had already been published in Parmentier . Although these were strong texts by themselves, in no way did they prepare readers for N30 . Nothing like it had been written in Dutch before. Instead, N30 explicitly follows the American tradition of Language Writing, directly referencing Ron Silliman and his concept of The New Sentence. However, it would seem that much of the poetical thinking around his use of this technique puts him closer to a writer such as Bruce Andrews. For Mettes, using non sequiturs as a unit of poetic construction was not only a way of reinventing formal textual construction, but it was another way of finding the fault lines in the social fabric. From the perspective of the Language tradition, one may put N30 somewhere between Silliman and Andrews. N30 shares an autobiographical element with Silliman’s New Sentence projects, and as in Andrews, there is a concern for mapping out social totality within text—what Mettes refers to as a “textual world civil war.” Again this shows a formal textual strategy for allowing the person “Jeroen Mettes” to be absorbed by the world, which here appears as a whirlwind of demotic and demonic chatter, full of violence, humor, intensity, beauty, disgust, sex, commerce, and strife. Influenced as it may by American precursors, Mettes’s tone and form end up quite different from his American counterparts, consistently referencing a world that is Dutch, all too Dutch, taking on the oppressive orderliness of Dutch society with its endemic penchant for consensus by introducing chaos into its daily life and laying bare its implicit aggressions. The work’s 31 chapters each have a different feel and rhythmical outline, but none of them follow a predetermined pattern. Rather, Mettes would consistently edit and reedit the text, randomly rewriting parts of it, as he explains in his poetical creed Politieke Poëzie (Political Poetry). N30 – referring to the 1999 antiglobalist protest in Seattle – was to be the first text of a trilogy. The work itself was written “in the mode of the present.” A second text was to be written in the mode of the future, and a third one, in the mode of the past, was going to be an epic poem about the Paris Commune, and to form an alternative poetic constitution for the European project. I still deeply regret that Jeroen Mettes never got to complete those projects, just as I would be very keen on knowing what he might have had to say about more recent political developments. Instead, in 2006, he remained stuck in the horrors of the present, that ended up consuming him completely. He left Dutch literature with some of its most piercing criticism and its most profoundly moving, exciting and powerful poetry. Excerpts from N30 Translated by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei from Jeroen Mettes. "N30." In N30+ . Amsterdam: De wereldbibliotheek, 2011. Published with permission of Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek, Amsterdam. Chapter 1 1999. A day is a space too. And another man, who had chained himself, had his ribs crushed, and a motor has driven over somebody’s legs. Dutch health care system spends ±145 million guilders per year on worriers. A spiderweb vibrates as I pass by. Randstad renovating. She slaps her bag against her ass: “Hurry up!” OPINION IS TRUE FRIENDSHIP Your skin. It doesn’t express anything. “But the use of the sword, that’s what I learned, and you’ll need nothing more for the moment.” Just try to interrogate a guy like that. Gullit in Sierra Leone. Codes silently lying all around. But that’s simply what belongs to “that it’s just allowed”: that sigh of “world” (a word expressing that the trees are now standing along the water like black men with white bags in their hair); that’s nothing else right? And you see how everything has to move, and first of all what cannot do so. Without Elysium and without savings, barbarians lashing out, horny for an enemy, staring across the water, staring into the air—staring to get out of it. “You’ve never showed me more than the mall,” she said. All those “dreams” in the end—and now? It was lying on the stairway, so I picked it up and took it upstairs. Chapter 3 “You know what?” Telecommunication. For love… I don’t really like that cheap cultural pessimism, but… The holy city is on pilgrimage in the earthly bodies of the faithful until the time of the heavenly kingdom has come. The end of an exhausting autumn day behind the computer, my eyes filled with tears of fatigue. KITCHEN / INSTALLATION / SPECIALIST. Network integration. In the sun, stretched out on a sheet. (…) I don’t believe what I’m reading, because I want to believe something else. An illusion? Suits me. There’s a variety of shapes and tastes… “So what?” you may think. 102 dalmatians can’t be wrong. But I want more, dear… A feel good movie. I’m smashing the burned body. So what? We continue to save the European civilization. What’s there to win? Plato with poets = Stalin without gulag? Ball against the crossbar. No wonder. She comes straight to her point. She’s standing in the kitchen eating an apple. (…) The godless Napoleon had used her as a stable and wanted to have her taken down. “Our” Rutger Hauer. Ready or not here I come. Psst… are you also wearing a string? Nobody understands our desire. Cliffs breaking the waves and shattering the sunset. I used to be a real romantic (as a poet). A typical fantasy used to be the one in which I brutally raped mother and daughter Seaver from the sitcom Growing Pains . Nevertheless you only contain bad words. Eyelashes. Automatic or manual? That your skin always in the afternoon. Integration. The air is empty. Too bad! Hand in hand on their lonely way. Alaska! Chapter 12 May 5, 2001 [10:00-10:30] A dust cloud on a hill. Globe. Indian (British) (tie) / pope. Damascus. Rape. We’re carrying the ayatollah’s portrait through the streets. At the moment the girl is mostly suede jacket with white ribbons on her sleeves. A small explosion flares up/impact. Camouflage. Close up. We’re analyzing the situation. He’s dead right? Dead dead. Dead. Everything without, these, and only with the body. Indices signal death. Dollar bills are printed in factories. Holes. Light patch. Globe in a box. Microphone. What’s the situation? Grey impact on a green hill (field?). The water is blue. He has no lips. Interns on the background with skirts that are too long. This is an example of a sonnet. An Islamic woman pushes against the door of an electronics shop. Arrows (percentages (prices)). Is this what awaits the American? Touch screen interface. The word, an island, can only be a sign in that situation. We pull up a chair, join in on the fun. On the shelves only books about computers. One glance in the distance is enough to lighten up a luna park in the distance. She’s really desperate, especially when she laughs. Click. Ah. Next. And now it’s raining, but that’s ok. Yellow stains sliding over the south. Shallow caves light: clothes, boots, electrical equipment. 45. 22:10. Nothing gives you the right to eat more than people starving to death. The Hague. Slam dunk. Traffic light. Two H’s, one L (standing for the L (little prick)). We’re happy to say something. Clouds, small suns, temperatures, cities. The truth is never an excuse. Yellow. Yellow. Green. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Green. Green. Yellow. Will you email me? Skeleton: “No.” Ex-nerds in brand-new and brightly red sport cars. $$$. I love. Shihab. Hooves in the sand. Skinny senior with over-sized sunglasses; old jockey (cap, trophy) smiling in slow motion. And there I am again, flashback, crying with my head in between my hands. Sometimes I’ve got the feeling that cannibals. Eyes: blue. Cancer. Why would I wait until tomorrow? Golden beams protruding from the lifted/lit earth. May 5, 2001 [11:30-12:45] You’ll remember this for the rest of your life. Graphs, diagrams. Bu$ine$$. Blue shirt, white collar, no neck (porn star). A name lights up. I’m hysteric. Will you join us? Letters falling in their words. Fingers set up a tent and start to dance. Young entrepreneurs from poor neighborhoods (read: black) guided by Microsoft. Kinda makes me happy, that sort of kitsch. A sense of exhaustion/impotence to see anything but the present. (…) Wouldn’t you like to? Orange explosion in an industrial zone. YOU’RE DOING THIS FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. Would you. A familiar face. Clouds and blossom. Sunflowers. Supermodels. Mountainous area in a rectangle: shades of brown, from dark to beige, more green toward the south. Tents and next to them (it’s all a blur) people. Plane. Stadium. Geometrical block of people. No, I ain’t crying. I don’t speak no more. I just want. Quote + photo. (Positive:) screaming crowd. Three-piece suit, seen from the back, before entering the arena. On the back: “Daddy abused me.” Oh, bummer. State of emergency has been declared and everyone has to cooperate. She’s cut her wrists. What we do know (…) is that there’s never been a unique word, an imperative name, nor will there ever be. [Click here for work that suits you.] Barefooted children are watching it (coherent pieces revelation of what’s lying below). Who knows how she’s changed during those two years. “Everything used to be better” + sigh. And here we are. An empty field of parquet. A city lying behind it. Explosion. Blue. A rain drop falling in my coffee. May 5, 2001 [14:30-15:30] A young Arafat on video speaking with raised finger. “I’m calling from my convertible.” Names on walls, victims, numbers… Tourists. Yellow. Yellow. “Your own child! Really, what kind of human are you?” I don’t want to hear it no more. A woman jumping out of the water in a yellow bikini against a background of fireworks and the Cheops pyramid. Thy sorrow shall become good fortune, thy complaints laudation. All planets will float and wander. Wo die Welt zum Bild wird, kommt das System (…) zur Herrschaft. It is something, but is it? May 5, 2001 [18:30-19:00] Iris. Leaves. NASDAQ. Open / and white and. For the one who’s doing nothing, just waiting. (…) NO DEFEAT is made entirely up of defeat -- since / the world it opens is always a place / formerly / unsuspected. October 2002. “Jeroen, I’m leaving for the cemetery, byeeee.” The rise of the middle class. My entire oeuvre is an ode to the. My entire head is a fight against the. God always demands what you cannot sacrifice. You may take that the easy way, but… “The state hasn’t made us, but we make the state” (Hitler). A stork exits the elevator. Skeletons of. Moscow. Helsinki. Palermo. Paris. Chapter 30 Like your paradises: nothing. United Desire, as only remaining superpower. And even though the sea is now calmer and the wind is blowing pleasantly in my face… Heart! Who determines whether a tradition is “alive”? The yellow leaf or the white branch? Mars. This sentence is a typical example. Most Dutch people are happy. No consolation. When I see a girl sitting at a table with a book, a notepad, a pen, a bottle of mineral water, her hand writing in the light—then I consider that one thing. “Presents,” “poetry,” “classics.” We are what we cannot make from ourselves. “Left”: mendicant orders, missionaries. Saint-Just: “A republic is founded on the destruction of its enemies.” She crosses the street with a banana peel between her fingers. (…) We chose our own wardens, torturers, it was us who called all this insanity upon ourselves, we created this nightmare… But “no”? Girl (just like a beach ball) talking rapid Spanish (Portuguese?) in a mobile phone. Do I have a chance now that her boyfriend is getting bold? CLIO, horny bitch. What else do you want? An old woman, between the doors of the C1000, is suddenly unable to go on; her husband stretches out his hand, speaking a few encouraging words. Selection from. Der Führer schenkt den Jüden ein Stadt. How can it reach us if we haven’t been already reached somehow? It doesn’t “speak.” No problem. Each word she uses is a small miracle, as if she doesn’t belong to it, to language, but wanders around with a pocket light looking for the exit; she’s never desperate (maybe a little nervous), lighting up heavy words from the inside. But indeed, we’re free. But the predicate is not an attribute, but an event, and the subject is not a subject, but a shell. That’s why also samurai, knights, and warriors raised the blossom as emblem: they knew how to die. Locked up in a baby carriage with a McDonald’s balloon. Blue helicopter, the blue sky. Whether you want to refer? The point is. How / Motherfucker can I sing a sad song / When I remember Zion? You’ll feel so miserable and worthless that you think: “If only I were dead!,” or: “Just put an end to it!” “So you’re an economist?” Her card—two little birds building a nest, her handwriting shaking—is still on the mantelpiece. Guevara: “No, a communist.” A straw fire, such was our life: rapidly it flared up, rapidly it passed. I’m fleeing, coming from nowhere. (…) Eazy-E drinking coffee with the American president. If I’d scream, would that be an event? Drown it: the cleaner it will rise up from the depths. No! The night, so fast… As if there’s something opened up in that face. Come on, we may not curse life. He shows me his methadone: “If you drink that all at once, you’ll die instantly.” The last one dictates how we should behave to deserve happiness. One shine / above the earth. “I want to go to Bosnia,” I said bluntly. I don’t even know the name of the current mayor. Let’s despise our success! “There is no future; this is the future. Hope is a weakness that we've overcome. We have found happiness!” Sun. Sushi. Volvo. I feel like a bomb about to explode at any moment. Makes a difference for the reconstruction right? The decor moves forward. Daughter of Nereus, you nymphs of the sea, and you Thetis, you should have kept his tired head above the waves! Alas! This sentence has been written wearing a green cap. I receive my orders from the future. A frog jumps into it. Her husband has turned the Intifada, which he follows daily on CCN, into his hobby, “to forget that he doesn’t have his driver’s license yet." Suddenly the sun slides over the crosswalk. Her (his?) foot is playing with the slipper under the table. Is this how I’m writing this book now? I’m not a fellow man. I hate you and I want to hurt you. These are my people. Their screaming doesn’t rise above the constantly wailing sirens which we've learned to ignore. My whole body became warm and suddenly started to tremble. Unfortunate is he who is standing on the threshold of the most beautiful time, but awaits a better one. Arafat’s “removal” is contrary to American interests. Jeep drives into boy. What you can do alone, you should do alone. A food gift from the people of the United States of America. Two seagulls. [...]. (shrink)
The case is discussed for the doctrine of hell as posing a unique problem of evil for adherents to the Abrahamic religions who endorse traditional theism. The problem is particularly acute for those who accept retributivist formulations of the doctrine of hell according to which hell is everlasting punishment for failing to satisfy some requirement. Alternatives to retributivism are discussed, including the unique difficulties that each one faces.
Christians have often held that on the day of judgment God will condemn some persons who have disobeyed him to a hell of everlasting torment and total unhappiness from which there is no hope of escape, as a punishment for their deeds up to that time. This is not the only way that hell has been or could be conceived of, but it has been the predominant conception in the Christian church throughout much of its history and it is the (...) one on which I shall focus in this paper. (shrink)
Theodore Sider’s puzzle in Hell and Vagueness has generated some interesting responses in the past few years. In this paper, I explore yet another possible solution out of the conundrum. This solution implies three ways of denying a binary conception of the afterlife. I argue that while these solutions might first seem tenable, they might still succumb to a Sideresque revenge puzzle.
Liberalism is commonly believed, especially by its exponents, to be opposed to interference by way of enforcing value judgments or concerning itself with the individual's morality. My concern is to show that this is not so and that liberalism is all the better for this. Many elements have contributed to liberal thought as we know it today, the major elements being the liberalism of which Locke is the most celebrated exponent, which is based upon a belief in natural, human rights; (...) the liberalism of which Kant is the best known exponent, which is based on respect for persons as ends in themselves; and the liberalism of Bentham and the Mills, which is based upon utilitarian ethical theories and most especially with concern for pleasure and the reduction of pain. These different elements of liberalism have led to different emphases and different political and social arrangements, but all have involved a concern to safeguard values and to use force to that end. Today they constitute strands of thought which go to make up liberal thought as we now know it, hence it is not simply a historical fact about liberalism, but a fact about its philosophical basis, that liberalism is firmly involved in certain value and moral commitments. In the remainder of this paper I shall seek to bring this out. (shrink)
We argue that it is most rational for God, given God's character and policies, to adopt an open-door policy towards those in hell – making it possible for those in hell to escape. We argue that such a policy towards the residents of hell should issue from God's character and motivational states. In particular, God's parental love ought to motivate God to extend the provision for reconciliation with Him for an infinite amount of time.
Ted Sider’s paper “Hell and Vagueness” challenges a certain conception of Hell by arguing that it is inconsistent with God’s justice. Sider’s inconsistencyargument works only when supplemented by additional premises. Key to Sider’s case is a premise that the properties upon which eternal destinies superveneare “a smear,” i.e., they are distributed continuously among individuals in the world. We question this premise and provide reasons to doubt it. The doubts come from two sources. The first is based on evidential considerations borrowed (...) from skeptical theism. A related but separate consideration is that supposing it would be an insurmountable problem for God to make just (and therefore non-arbitrary) distinctions in morally smeared world, God thereby has sufficient motivation not to actualize such worlds. Yet God also clearly has motivation only to actualize some member of the subset of non-smeared worlds which don’t appear non-smeared. For if it was obvious who was morally fit for Heaven and who wasn’t, a new arena of great injustice is opened up. The result is that if there is a God, then he has the motivation and the ability to actualize from just that set of worlds which are not smeared but which are indiscernible from smeared worlds. (shrink)
Pesetsky’s (1987) ‘‘aggressively non-D-linked’’ wh-phrases (like who the hell; hereinafter, wh-the-hell phrases) exhibit a variety of syntactic and semantic peculiarities, including the fact that they cannot occur in situ and do not support nonecho readings when occurring in root multiple questions. While these are familiar from the literature (albeit less than fully understood), our focus will be on a previously unnoted property of wh-the-hell phrases: the fact that their distribution (in single wh-questions) matches that of polarity items (PIs). We lay (...) out the key data supporting this claim, embed the PI nature of wh-the-hell phrases in the theory of polarity developed in Giannakidou 1998, 1999, 2001, and establish the link between the lexical content of these phrases and their PI status by identifying wh-the-hell as a dependent PI. We subsequently exploit the PI status of wh-the-hell to explain the more familiar puzzles mentioned above, showing that these are not peculiarities specific to wh-the-hell but manifestations of the general properties of the class of PIs that wh-the-hell belongs to. The syntactic aspects of the polarity analysis of wh-the-hell are shown to have important consequences for the fundamental properties of wh-movement in English. (shrink)
Jerry L. Walls aims to demonstrate in his book Hell: The Logic of Damnation that some traditional views of hell are still defensible and can be believed with intellectual and moral integrity. Focusing on the issues from the standpoint of philosophical theology, Walls explores the doctrine of hell in relation to both the divine nature and human nature. He argues, with respect to the divine nature, that some traditional versions of the doctrine are compatible not only with God's omnipotence and (...) omniscience, but also with a strong account of His perfect goodness. The concept of divine goodness receives special attention since the doctrine of hell is most often rejected on moral grounds. (shrink)
In this article I respond to Thomas Talbott's criticisms of the view of hell I have defended. In particular, I argue that coherent sense can be made of the choice to be eternally separated from God. Moreover, Talbott does not successfully show how God can save everyone without overriding their freedom. Finally, I argue that there is no significant sense in which sinners defeat God or sin with impunity on the view I have defended. Talbott's case that universalism necessarily follows (...) from God's perfect love and power then fails. (Published Online April 21 2004). (shrink)
The text Jié tuō dào lùn, or Chinese translation of *Vimuttimagga mentions the Avīci Hell all of a sudden in the section on the cognitive process. The problematic phrase wújiān shēng Āpídìyù has been interpreted in different ways by several scholars. Japanese scholars tend to skip the phrase, or regard the term Āpídìyù as a typographic error. Given that we do not have an original text, however, the phrase needs to be understood as it is. In contrast, the English translation (...) interprets the term wújiān as a name of hell, and considers it as a synonym of Āpídìyù, namely the Avīci Hell. Even though the Chinese term wújiān itself is usually understood as the Avīci Hell, namely, Wújiāndìyù or Āpídìyù, of which the corresponding Pāli is Avīci-niraya, it is not the case here since a hell as such has nothing to do with the cognitive process. Assuming that the term Āpídìyù is not a typographic error, I propose to understand this problematic phrase as the simile in the sentence ‘seven mind-moments [immediately proceed just as one who has performed] the Five Sins is reborn into the Avīci Hell [as soon as he dies]’. The term wújiān meaning ‘no-gap’ in the cognitive process section conveys that there is not any intermission between the successive mind-moments. In Pāli perspectives, it implies that the successive mind-moments are in the proximity condition. The Jié tuō dào lùn was likely to use a metaphor in order to set a rule for governing the cognitive process rather than making a specific technical term. (shrink)
J. H. Hexter, an American historian of early seventeenth-century history, terms himself whiggish and claims whiggishness is returning after the misguided popularity of Marxism. The distinction "whiggish" is more elusive than his claim suggests, and the accuracy of its application to Hexter's claim is unclear. Three characteristics commonly assigned to whig interpretation by its critics can be seen as reflections of broader, unresolved historical issues. These are: attention to political and constitutional issues; a tendency to refer to the present in (...) interpreting the past; and a belief in inevitability. It is difficult to ascertain whether Hexter's attention to political matters is a result of his view of them as intrinsically important to historical inquiry or as particularly relevant to historical accounts of Stuart England. The charge of presentism cannot confidently be made against him, as he is not guilty of anything as crude as anachronism, and subtle presentism is neither avoidable nor necessarily reprehensible. Inevitabilism is not only difficult to define, it is not displayed by Hexter. If he displays the weaknesses of whiggishness it is only through implication, in the body of ideas underlying his text. (shrink)
Umerez’s analysis made me aware of the fundamental differences in the culture of physics and molecular biology and the culture of semiotics from which the new field of biosemiotics arose. These cultures also view histories differently. Considering the evolutionary span and the many hierarchical levels of organization that their models must cover, models at different levels will require different observables and different meanings for common words, like symbol, interpretation, and language. These models as well as their histories should be viewed (...) as complementary rather than competitive. The relation of genetic language and human language is the central issue. They are separated by 4 billion years and require entirely different models. Nevertheless, these languages have in common a unique unlimited expressive power that allows open-ended evolution and creative thought. Understanding the nature of this expressive power and how it arises remains a basic unsolved problem of biosemiotics. (shrink)
Ted Sider argues that a binary afterlife is inconsistent with a proportionally just God because no just criterion for placing persons in such an afterlife exists. I provide a possible account whereby God can remain proportionally just and allow a binary afterlife. On my account, there is some maximum amount of people God can allow into Heaven without sacrificing some greater good. God gives to all people at least their due but chooses to allow some who do not deserve Heaven (...) to enter out of grace. Although this model implies a precise cutoff between those who enter Heaven and those who do not, I have argued that there is a precise point where God best serves justice and some greater good. Although God’s actions may appear arbitrary and ‘whimsically generous,’ it is merely because we are ignorant of the precise cutoff point that best serves his purposes. (shrink)
Heightened concern with global issues has led to shifts in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. To capture the distinct nature of this global focus, researchers have developed a three-generation CSR typology. In this paper, we first evaluate the usefulness of this typology for understanding corporate approaches to CSR by examining how several companies position themselves thematically in CEO introductions to sustainability reports. On the basis of this, we then evaluate the practical value of this typology for assisting those who work (...) with CSR strategy. The analysis revealed expressions of all three CSR generations, with third-generation thinking being apparent, but not dominant. It also verified that the three-generation CSR typology can be an instructive means of both evaluating as well as framing a company's approach to sustainability, though with modifications. On the basis of the identified strengths and weaknesses of the typology, we develop a practitioner-focused, three-tiered model that can strategically guide the development of CSR programs. (shrink)
The modern corpuscular theory of radiation was born in 1905 when Einstein advanced his light quantum hypothesis; and the steps by which Einstein's hypothesis, after years of profound scepticism, was finally and fully vindicated by Arthur Compton's 1922 scattering experiments constitutes one of the most stimulating chapters in the history of recent physics. To begin to appreciate the complexity of this chapter, however, it is only necessary to emphasize an elementary but very significant point, namely, that while Einstein based his (...) arguments for quanta largely on the behaviour of high-frequency black body radiation or ultra-violet light, Compton experimented with X-rays. A modern physicist accustomed to picturing ultra-violet light and X-radiation as simply two adjacent regions in the electromagnetic spectrum might regard this distinction as hair-splitting. But who in 1905 was sure that X-rays and γ-rays are far more closely related to ultra-violet light than to α-particles, for example ? This only became evident after years of painstaking research, so that moving without elaboration from Einstein's hypothesis to Compton's experiments automatically eliminates from consideration an important segment of history—a segment in which a major role was played by William Henry Bragg. (shrink)
In this paper I contribute to the ongoing debate on hell in three ways: (1) I distinguish between three questions that play a key role in any discussion of the doctrine of hell; (2) I argue positively for the need of a doctrine of hell for Christian theism; (3) after evaluating several theological positions, I argue that the doctrine of hell should be construed as intrinsically bound up with the Christian conviction that God is love and wants to live with (...) human beings in a relationship of mutual love and fellowship. From this perspective on hell I provide some fresh criticisms on the positions of John Hick, Thomas Talbott, and Charles Seymour. (shrink)
Miss G. E. M. Anscombe has said that, in order for progress to be made in ethics, we must have some determinate idea of ‘human flourishing.’ I want to cite in what follows the work of a number of writers in the psychiatric field who seem to me to throw light on just what it is for a human individual to flourish, for a human community to flourish, and for a human individual to flourish in relation to or in spite (...) of his community. (shrink)
Epistemologists have not usually had much to say about believing ‘in’, though ever since Plato's time they have been interested in believing ‘that’. Students of religion, on the other hand, have been greatly concerned with belief ‘in’, and many of them, I think, would maintain that it is something quite different from belief ‘that’. Surely belief ‘in’ is an attitude to a person, whether human or divine, while belief ‘that’ is just an attitude to a proposition? Could any difference be (...) more obvious than this? And if we over-look it, shall we not be led into a quite mistaken analysis of religious belief, at any rate if it is religious belief of the theistic sort? On this view belief ‘in’ is not a propositional attitude at all. (shrink)
Entities of many kinds, not just material things, have been credited with parts. Armstrong, for example, has taken propositions and properties to be parts of their conjunctions, sets to be parts of sets that include them, and geographical regions and events to be parts of regions and events that contain them. The justification for bringing all these diverse relations under a single ‘part–whole’ concept is that they share all or most of the formal features articulated in mereology. But the concept (...) has also prompted an ontological thesis that has been expressed in various ways: that wholes are ‘no ontological addition’ to their parts ; that to list both a whole and its parts is ‘double counting’; and that there is ‘no more’ to a whole than its parts: for example, that there is no more to a conjunction than the conjuncts that are its parts, and whose truth or falsity determines whether it is true or false. For brevity, I shall express the thesis in the last of these ways, as the claim that entities with parts are ‘nothing but’ those parts. (shrink)
The recent drastic development of agriculture, together with the growing societal interest in agricultural practices and their consequences, pose a challenge to agricultural science. There is a need for rethinking the general methodology of agricultural research. This paper takes some steps towards developing a systemic research methodology that can meet this challenge – a general self-reflexive methodology that forms a basis for doing holistic or (with a better term) wholeness-oriented research and provides appropriate criteria of scientific quality.From a philosophy of (...) research perspective,science is seen as an interactive learning process with both a cognitive and a social communicative aspect. This means, first of all,that science plays a role in the world that it studies. A science that influences its own subject area, such as agricultural science, is named a systemic science. From this perspective, there is a need to reconsider the role of values in science. Science is not objective in the sense of being value-free.Values play, and ought to play, an important role in science – not only in form of constitutive values such as the norms of good science, but also in the form of contextual values that enter into the very process of science. This goes against the traditional criterion of objectivity. Therefore, reflexive objectivity is suggested as a new criterion for doing good science, along with the criterion of relevance. Reflexive objectivity implies that the communication of science must include the cognitive context, which comprises the societal,intentional, and observational context. Ina ccordance with this, the learning process of systemic research is shown as a self-reflexive cycle that incorporates both an involved actor stance and a detached observer stance. The observer stance forms the basis for scientific communication.To this point, a unitary view of science as a learning process is employed. A second important perspective for a systemic research methodology is the relation between the actual,different, and often quite separate kinds of science. Cross-disciplinary research is hampered by the idea that reductive science is more objective, and hence more scientific, than the less reductive sciences of complex subject areas – and by the opposite idea that reductive science is necessarily reductionistic. Taking reflexive objectivity as a demarcator of good science, an inclusive framework of science can be established. The framework does not take the established division between natural, social, and human science as a primary distinction of science.The major distinction is made between the empirical and normative aspects of science,corresponding to two key cognitive interests.Two general methodological dimensions, the degree of reduction of the research world and the degree of involvement in the research world, are shown to span this framework. The framework can form a basis for transdisciplinary work by way of showing the relation between more and less reductive kinds of science and between more detached and more involved kinds of science and exposing the abilities and limitations attendant on these methodological differences. (shrink)
‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’ is, as we all recognize, the inscription over the gate of Dante's hell; but we perhaps forget what precedes that memorable line. Hell, the inscription says, was built by divine power, by the highest wisdom, and by primordial love. Those of us who remember Dante's vivid picture of Farinata in the perpetually burning tombs or Ulysses in the unending and yet unconsuming flames may be able to credit Dante's idea that Hell was constructed (...) by divine power; and if we understand ‘wisdom’ in this context as denoting an intellectual virtue only, then we might agree that only divine wisdom is capable of making something like Dante's hell. (shrink)