The paces of reading

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. This meant a total cessation of all high-intensity physical activity, which meant I had to cease doing several of the major things that bring me joy and keep my happy hormones regulated and high. The rest has been wonderful for my back (and probably my…More

Bound to my word (apparently)

When a person articulates an idea, they are less likely to change their minds because they must first admit that they were initially wrong. Maintaining an erroneous notion, such as a first impression, causes less anxiety than admitting an error and adopting another position. I found a couple things in these two sentences fascinating.…More

OHPT: Thoughts on Omniscience (Chapter 6)

Ooooo this chapter is bringing me BACK. My first real undergraduate philosophy class was on the Problem of Evil, and I wrote my paper on theories of God’s omniscience. At the time I found my conclusion frustratingly trite and non-philosophical (“there is no good explanation for how we can retain freedom and God’s omnibenevolence and…More

On living a full life

What does a “full life” mean? What are its parts? How does one do it? I recently bemoaned how often I default to reading when I have free time, and how I rely too much on books to fill my moments. What I had in mind were all the OTHER things I love doing —…More

The joy of editing

As much as I love writing and would love more than anything to be in a group of thinking writerly friends like the Inklings, I’ve never been part of an intimate writing group. I did join an online group back when I was on facebook. I don’t remember much about my engagement with the group,…More

Being vs. acting good — is there a difference?

One of the things I like most about fiction is the way it presents ethical issues in helpful and novel (har har) ways. Every fictional story presents some kind of ethical conflict and its resolution, highlighting different kinds of people, different ways of thinking, different ways of relating to others, etc. Really, when we read…More

OHPT: Theology and Mystery (Chapter 4)

Chapter 4 is “Theology and Mystery” by William J. Wainwright. Wainwright is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Philosophy with University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. His research focused on the philosophy of religion and theology in the 17th and 18th centuries. He definitely has “philosophy of religion” credentials, as evidenced by the books he has authored. I was…More

To exist means you can be named

Recently I read Saul Kripke’s absolutely enthralling (for me, anyway) Naming and Necessity. It was fantastic. I enjoyed almost every page. I read it after a healthy dose of Tolkien, and the juxtaposition was perfect — like when I crave something salty after too much sweet. (And vice versa!) Plus, given Tolkien’s obsession with language…More

OHPT: Science and Religion (Chapter 3)

For a running list of all my reviews on the articles in the Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, visit here. I really, really enjoyed this chapter and what it got me to think and articulate. You can tell by the WALL OF WORDS I wrote about it. This article is entitled “Science and Religion” and…More

Your Brain on Philanthropy: Availability Heuristic

Isn’t “heuristic” such an intellectual-sounding word?! I feel erudite. I also love the way it sounds, considering what it means. A heuristic is a way of approaching a question or problem that values the practical and easy over the accurate. Basically, it’s our brain jumping to conclusions, rather than taking a beat and doing the…More