Friday, January 30, 2009

Apropos of nothing......

Part of the confusion about the nature vs nurture debate is that its all an artifact of the way we chop up realms of knowlege. When you refer to something as 'biological' you pretend that that doesn't encompass sociological and anthroplogical considerations as well.
A better illustration of what I mean is the misuse of the term "natural." Human society is a part of nature. Therefore strip-mines, auto-assembly plants and breast implants are every bit as 'natural' as beaver-dams and coral reefs

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Klein links to Sully - I comment

The system is correcting itself after one of the most unbalanced periods in American history. But it took the self-restraint of one man to do it.
Do we want to credit this to the system or an individual? If McCain had won would Sully still call the system self-correcting?
I detect a severe amount of wishful thinking here. The system is still broken. The crimes of the torturers are still unpunished. Rove is still ignoring Conyers. The telecoms are still officially above the law.
Obama may understand the Constitutional limits of the Presidency but that doesn't mean that they have been restored. We just got lucky this time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Posted on an Amy Sullivan thread

I look at the whole problem as a window into human nature. As JayAck points out above the same people who object the loudest to abortion rights also object to sex education and other forms of contraception. This clearly demonstrates that their objections have less to do with the fates of unborn souls than it does with discomfort over recreational sex.
So what is the association between authoritarian religious beliefs and discomfort with pleasure? And why do the same people who experience such discomfort with sexual pleasure nevertheless have such enthusiasm for warfare? Again, it's obvious that concern over innocent souls has absolutely nothing to do with the question.