The Physicists Have Known Sin

Oppenheimer had this to say about the atomic bomb:

“Despite the vision and the far-seeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists felt a peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting and, in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons, as they were in fact used, dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose” (Quoted in John Grant’s Corrupted Science).

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Death and Radical Self-Autonomy

There is a helpful article about death over here at First Things.

Does radical self-autonomy extend even to death?

If death is purely subjective,
1) Those in power get to decide who is and who is not important. (Hitler can arbitrarily decide the Jews are non-humans.)
2) A man with a life insurance policy could self-identify as dead so he, his wife, or his family could cash his life insurance check.

Slavery and the American Civil War

Slavery was a secondary, important issue of the Civil War, but centralization of government was the primary issue.

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the
Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If
I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would
do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves
I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving
others alone I would also do that.” — Abraham Lincoln, August 22, 1862, letter to newspaper editor, Horace Greeley

An Old Book

Two minds
Traveling centuries
Through darkness
Finally meet.
They find
They’re friends
And long
To embrace,
But one
His body
Has lost.

The Alienness of Man

Whenever I meet a new person, I am struck by his or her alienness. This person has a whole life narrative and web of relationships of which I can scratch the surface, but cannot know comprehensively. To make matters more complicated, this person has a heart the size of a cavern with many unexplored chambers. Human beings are aliens, sojourners, and exiles on this earth. When two souls explore each other, it is a holy, fearful thing.

The Goodness of Violence?

What is the relationship between secular humanism, the desire for sex, anti-humanism, and the desire for violence?

Consider the typical Enlightenment argument in a nice AAA-1 syllogism:

All sexual desires are natural desires.
All natural desires are good.
Therefore, all sexual desires are good.

Then, consider in an identical AAA-1 syllogism a similar argument of some in the counter-Enlightenment:

All desires for violence are natural desires.
All natural desires are good.
Therefore, all desires for violence are good.

If we take the premise “all natural desires are good” seriously, we are brought to a troubling conclusion, what Charles Taylor calls anti-humanism: “Anti-humanism is not just a black hole, an absence of values, but also a new valorization of death, and sometimes violence” (A Secular Age, p. 638).

To follow Jesus, Christians must say not all of our natural desires are good (Matthew 15:19). We oppose 1) anti-humanism’s valorization of death and violence, and more controversially we oppose 2) secular humanism’s approval of sexual immorality.

Jesus says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19, emphasis mine).