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  • April 2010
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Lincoln, Days of Gladness Past



After the war was well on, a patriot woman of the West urged President Lincoln to make hospitals at the North where the sick from the Army of the Mississippi could revive in a more bracing air. Among other reasons, she said, feelingly: “If you grant my petition, you will be glad as long as you live.”

With a look of sadness impossible to describe, the President said:

“I shall never be glad any more.”

One of the most sobering passages in the book. Posted for reflection and meditative purposes.


links for 2010-04-17

  • // Reading this might make your head explode. Just FYI.
  • Quote:"Polkinghorne considers that "the question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality" and quotes with approval Anthony Kenny: "After all, if there is no God, then God is incalculably the greatest single creation of the human imagination." He addresses the questions of "Does the concept of God make sense? If so, do we have reason for believing in such a thing?" He is "cautious about our powers to assess coherence," pointing out that in 1900 a "competent undergraduate could have demonstrated the 'incoherence'" of quantum ideas. He suggests that "the nearest analogy in the physical world [to God] would be the Quantum Vacuum."

    He suggests that God is the ultimate answer to Leibniz's question "why is there something rather than nothing?" The atheist's "plain assertion of the world's existence" is a "grossly impoverished view of reality," he says, arguing that "theism explains more than a reductionist atheism can ever address.

  • Quote:"The multiverse theory is increasingly popular, but it doesn't so much explain the laws of physics as dodge the whole issue. There has to be a physical mechanism to make all those universes and bestow bylaws on them. This process will require its own laws, or meta-laws. Where do they come from? The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse.

    Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.

  • // My question is only this: why were there not statistics provided comparing gun violence/gun accidents for Vermont and Alaska (two states that also have no carry regulations)? If there are concerns about untrained people carrying guns having more accidental discharges or in using lethal force improperly, there should be some evidence for this in those two states. So where is it?