archive of posts from March, 2016

Zeppelin II

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A More Sinister Silhouette

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A More Natural Silhouette

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My iPod [28/03/2016]

Last Week’s Most Played Track:
Leave The House [live@goodson House, 03/01/2015] | The Twilight Sad | 2015

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Imagine…

When considered as a conceptual resource for those who wish to justify violence, Islam is no more or less useful than any other major religious tradition. In The Justification of Religious Violence I look at case studies in which Christian, Buddhist, Islamic and Jewish religious doctrines have been used to justify violent acts, and I show that all of these traditions offer rich conceptual resources to those who wish to justify violence. These conceptual resources involve variations on three themes that repeatedly appear in religious justifications of violence. These are: (1) Narratives about a “cosmic war” taking place between good and evil forces, over the course of history, in which it is held to be desirable, or necessary, to contribute to the war effort on the side of the good. (2) Narratives about an afterlife in which rewards are available for those who conduct certain sorts of violent acts. In salvific religious traditions the rewards on offer are everlasting happiness, and reprieve from the threat of everlasting torment. In the Buddhist (and Hindu) tradition the available reward is reincarnation in a state that is superior to the reincarnation that would have been obtained had the approved violent acts not been conducted. (3) Specification of particular places, buildings, scriptures, rituals, relics and people as sacred; along with the authorisation of violent responses to deter or punish any act of disrespect towards, or mistreatment of, the places, items and people that are considered sacred.

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Zombie

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It’s the same everywhere…

… there’s an incredible amount of anger being directed toward the media by the roughly half of the Democratic Party that supports Bernie Sanders.

Clinton supporters and many self-professed “neutral” journalists sagely inform the rest of us that this anger is little more than sour grapes or denial-stage grief; it’s the numbers that matter — they say — and if only Sanders supporters cared about hard data in the same way that Clinton supporters and (say) “neutral” bloggers for The Washington Post do, or even the editors at The New York Times, everyone would just calm down and accept the incipient inevitability of the ugliest and least substantive general-election campaign in the history of the United States: Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. more »

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