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Monthly Archive: July 2005

Jul 15 2005

Why I blog

I reached a kind of landmark this week with this blog. I have been making entries since January 26th, posting one item each weekday, except for a three-week break in June. As a result I have now posted over 100 entries and consisting of over 100,000 words, longer than either of my two published books. …

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Jul 14 2005

“I know this is not politically correct but….”

One of the advantages of being older is that sometimes you can personally witness how language evolves and changes, and how words and phrases undergo changes and sometimes outright reversals of meaning. One of the interesting evolutions is that of the phrase “politically correct.” It was originally used as a kind of scornful in-joke within …

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Jul 13 2005

Should professors reveal their views?

During the last academic year, UCITE organized a faculty seminar on whether, and how much, of their own views professors should reveal to the students in their classes. One faculty member recalled one of her own teachers admiringly. She said that he had guided the discussions in her college classes very skillfully and in such …

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Jul 12 2005

Catholic Church reversing course on evolution?

It was only on May 19 that I compared religious reaction to two major scientific revolutions, those identified with Copernicus and Darwin, and showed that in each case religious objections to the new theories only arose more than a half-century after the theories were published, and then began with Protestants, rather than the Catholic Church. …

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Jul 11 2005

Public and private grief

One of the things that strikes me is America seems to have a fascination with memorials and ceremonies honoring the dead. There are memorials for the various major wars, there is a memorial built for the Oklahoma City bombing, for the Lockerbie disaster, and there is the present bitter argument over the proposed memorial at …

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Jul 08 2005

Undermining faith in the judiciary

I have always believed that people tend to behave better than one might expect them to when placed in positions of trust where high standards of behavior are expected of them. One particular kind of occupation exemplifies my belief, and that is judges. The public expects members of the judiciary to act according to higher …

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Jul 07 2005

Should one use raw political power or govern by consensus?

The second parallelism I saw between political developments in Sri Lanka and in the US has been the breakdown in the usual rules of behavior regarding building consensus. To some extent, politics in both Sri Lanka and the US are insider’s games. The people in the leadership of the two main parties tend to be …

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Jul 06 2005

“The Bible says…”

One of the things I benefited most from once being an ordained lay preacher was having to study the Bible in a fairly formal way. The Bible is a fascinating book, and studying it in some depth reveals treasures that might be missed by those who just pick outs bits here and there. For example, …

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Jul 05 2005

Politics and religion-3

There is no doubt that people’s religious beliefs often have political implications. For example, if your religious beliefs require you to live according to certain principles, and the actions resulting from those principles bring you into conflict with the law, then one has an obligation to work to change the laws. Typically this is done …

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Jul 01 2005

Politics and religion-2

As I said before, the significant beginnings of Buddhist religious involvement in Sri Lankan politics began with the 1956 stunning landslide parliamentary victory by an underdog candidate who ran on a platform that shrewdly mixed nationalist politics with an appeal to the ethnic-religious Sinhala-Buddhist population that they would receive favorable treatment under his government. While …

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