Caring about things I don’t want to care about

The content of my last blogpost at Big Think was on how often many of us are engaged in “debates” that shouldn’t be debates at all: gay marriage, legalized a abortion, euthanasia, and so on.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t legitimately care about these, nor that these aren’t discussions worth having, or are simple to solve. But, if more people – often opposing – were willing to critically examine WHY they are opposed to these problems – instead of reacting “from the knee” – we would either have less vitriol, less discussions or better quality ones. [Read more...]

Opposing homosexuality (in France)

Since 18 May, same-sex marriage has been legal in France. Despite the rather obvious nature for why you should support it, many still oppose it.

From the New York Times:

Thousands of French marched on Sunday, France’s Mother’s Day, to protest the recent legalization of gay marriage. Despite initial worries, the demonstration was largely peaceful, with the police estimating that about 150,000 people took part.

150,000. That’s quite a bit.

Of course, the actual number of those who really think or oppose gay marriage might be less. But then we might have the lazy homophobes who didn’t attend or were away. Or who killed themselves on the Notre Dame altar. [Read more...]

What can we consensually do with another adult?

In response to an essay on extreme hardcore pornography (bondage, public nudity and humiliation, etc., all done with the performer’s consent), Rod Dreher writes about why he is concerned.

I have to live in a world in which utopians are working very hard to tear down the structures of thought and practice that harnessed humankind’s sexual instincts and directed them in socially upbuilding ways. I have to raise my kids in a world that says when it comes to sex, there is no right and no wrong, except as defined by consent.

The problem is consent is a difficult topic, by itself. Dreher’s response does stem from his opposition to the goals of people called “utopians”, who are trying to direct sexual instincts toward “socially unbuilding [sic] ways”. A lot of his response is disgust mutating into rushed reasoning, that reads a little too much like Helen Lovejoy. [Read more...]

Yeah, but what does he mean by “good”? UPDATE

Reuters reports:

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in the homily of his morning Mass in his residence, a daily event where he speaks without prepared comments.

He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.

“Even them, everyone,” the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. “We all have the duty to do good,” he said.

“Just do good and we’ll find a meeting point,” the pope said in a hypothetical conversation in which someone told a priest: “But I don’t believe. I’m an atheist.”

Francis’s reaching out to atheists and people who belong to no religion is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict, who sometimes left non-Catholics feeling that he saw them as second-class believers.

The problem is what the Pope means by “good”. [Read more...]

On the blog’s name

This is a slightly edited and older post explaining why the blog is entitled ‘The Indelible Stamp’. My position still hasn’t changed since writing this, though I do think I wouldn’t be so “yellow”, as one commenter called me, when writing (flowery language, forcing metaphors, etc.)

——————-

The blog’s name, as some might know, comes from Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man (1871). Since I’ve had to start thinking about a thesis-topic, I’ve had to aggregate my views and, indeed, the views I oppose into neat headings. Thus, when contemplating what it is I stand against, what the special contentions are that manage to crawl beneath my skin, set fire to my blood and dance between the raised hair on my skin, I came to a conclusion: it is the persistent view that our existence, as a species, is something meaningful beyond the bounds of human ties. [Read more...]

So it begins

For some unknown reason, I got an email and now find myself here. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode, so I’m still a bit disorientated and giving one of the worst performances of my life. Seriously, there’s something on the wing!

Oh that’s my name.

In fact, that name on the right isn’t a misspelling or garbled message from beyond the grave: no, that’s mine. And yes there’s a “Q”. And yes there’s an “AU” – which is meaningless, since it phonetically doesn’t even make that goddamn sound when you pronounce it (properly).

In fact, let’s get this out the way: It’s pronounced to rhyme with Warick, garlic, sorry, etc. Not – definitely bloody not – rhyming with squeak, leak, seek, meek, etc. Think stick. Or prick. (Knowing the nature of Internet comments, I’ll probably get some wonderful rhyming words tossed my way soon enough.)

I do want to stress that who I am is actually unimportant. What matters and will matter more to this blog are the ideas, arguments, analysis, etc., that will be written on. I’m really not as fascinating as the topics of infanticide or incest: Do you really care about my favourite make of car (the one with wheels), or do you want to know good and bad reasons for supporting infanticide, euthanasia, drugs, guns, sex work, nonmonogamy, incest and so on? I thought so. Me too. Those are topics that will make this screen as they’ve made others around the Internet.

I write a regular blog at BigThink.com called “Against the New Taboo“, where weekly (at a minimum) I write on topics that have caused people to react with outrage when they think about or encounter them.

But: What doesn‘t elicit outrage, you might ask? People kill each other over computer games, throw children out of school who had lesbian relationships and let women die because abortion is so incredibly wrong of course (/sarcasm). However, I try to encircle ones that most people – including myself – haven’t considered. Suggestions are always welcome, too.

My aim for this blog is for it to be shorter, sharper, more direct: splinters if you will. I’ll write shorter posts, pose questions, make something metaphorically bleed. I’ll try find interesting links, responses. I’ll be shameless and indicate where I’ve written things. I’m sure you’ll tell me about interesting responses to, indicating why I’m wrong.

There’s little else I can consider interesting for a beginning post. Tomorrow I will reblog an old post explaining the name, though given this audience it’s probably not hard to know its origin (hint, hint) and why I chose it. In the mean time, I’ll take my cue from my new friend Ally and open it up to you. I’ll update with answers as they come in (assuming anyone asks or cares). Here’s an about.me page, too.

You can follow me on Twitter, too.

UPDATE: I’ve not decided on a comments policy. However, for this first post, I’m just going to let all comments in. Thank you so far for the kind wishes and congrats.