Friday, May 17, 2013


    There is a way of reading the Bible that says if your interpretation is not charitable, then that reading cannot be the case because it does not conform to this overall principle of interpretation. The principle states that whatever you interpret the passage to mean, it should conform to the way we advance the cause of Christ, which is through our good works of charity. As we read about how Jacob stole his birthright from Esau, for instance, we are to apply this story to how we help our neighbors by perhaps asserting our right over giving away tasty soups for our inheritance.

    This might not be the direct application that they would promote, but some form of exchange, where our intentions are to help our neighbor, are to be primary in how we understand this passage in Genesis.  The trades that we make should be in conformity with a charitable intention with whom we exchange. So perhaps what we seize is ours if our famished friend is willing to give up what seems like a small legal matter in exchange for a meal. This deal between Jacob and Esau was completely unequal, but when these proponents interpret the scriptures with charity as an overall framework, then they will end up taking the events like how Jacob took advantage of Esau as a moral lesson.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Arguer and their Arguement

    A charismatic leader can persuade their followers through their enticing words. These influential ones can impress us with their tricks that tell us that they must know what they are talking about. They have great skill in showing us a picture of what they are urging us on to accomplish. Their standing among the crowd gives weight to what they are saying.  But their arguments cannot be evaluated until we know who they are. If we know who they are, we can then decide if their words have any worth. So before evaluating their arguments, we must mark the arguer for their background.

    But arguments should be evaluated on their own terms you might object. Regardless of who is speaking, truth remains truth. You may be right, but if you look at the entire picture which includes the artist as well as their art, you will see who would make such an argument in the first place. This point is important because an argument would have a different meaning depending upon who uses it.  Your reputation gives an argument weight because your words are empty, if you have no way to show your audience that you are right. So arguments are dependent upon the arguer for their worth.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review of an Unbeing

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula is about a vampire. No kidding. He is hunted down by a band of investigators including Jonathan, his wife Mina, Seward, and Van Helsing, who each have an interest in tracking down this evil creature. The book begins with Jonathan traveling to Transylvania to arrange some business with the count.  He becomes trapped inside of Dracula’s castle, so that he, the count, then travels to Britain to take over the property there without Jonathan interrupting his plans.

    But what are vampires? They seem to be beings, who need the blood of another to live through the pain of their own curse. They are cursed with the problem of not having to die, so that they must seek life in other people or animals to survive. They feed usually on people that are weak and are prone to put their trust in strangers. So a vampire can be described as an unbeing where you do not know whether it is either a human person or a monster.

    But to say that Dracula is a book might be misleading because it is actually a series of journal entries, newspaper clippings, and recordings from old pieces of technology. And from these documents you learn about each of the characters who become involved with each other due to the vampire’s reign of terror that he has brought upon Britain. He has been luring the woman to become these unbeings, which we call vampires.

  At first Jonathan, a property guy, provokes Dracula to travel to Britain. Lucy, another character from the book, eventually becomes vampirized, so that others attempt to keep her life. In the second half of the book, the informed assailers plan to bring down Dracula as they learn from the journal entries that were written when they were assaulted by the blood drinker.

    The story is told from the perspective of different characters who seem to be at the mercy of Dracula until they begin to work together to rid Britain of this monster of a foreign land. This gives the reader a sense of this vampire from different angles, which allows us to see the conflict from an informed viewpoint. As we read about their struggles, we are freed from the prejudice of a single character, which must defeat evil without anyone’s help. The book suggests that there is strength in numbers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Just information Widget man

    Technology and the writing process can conflict with one another. On the one hand you want your writing to stay up to date, but on the other hand, what you usually read does not have the same level of technology as what you are used to. Perhaps, you do not encounter new technology in what you are reading because it is not worth writing about, unless you are a marketer of such products. If you write about such widgets, then you are promoting a product instead of writing about things that matter, which is important for writers.

    If you have a social network that promotes their concerns to their patrons and customers, then you have an economy that is promoting their product for mass consumption. You as a consumer need to know about this issue that we are throwing out, so that you are on the same page as we are. And when you have a grip on what we are up to, then you are an informed consumer of the media that you have been paying close attention to. So the reward of using technology that seemingly is not worth writing about is that which is going on through social media is informing you of what they are promoting.

    This criticism of social media tells you how they promote themselves to inform you of their concerns. So this new technology becomes a personal organization, not a platform for your need to inform your world. As people move closer together, their concerns become more personal, rather than descriptive of the concerns that you might have other than how your friend is doing. So the new technology is described in personal terms, even though it is a medium for communication much like the older technologies. And if the new tech is a person who promotes his wares, his costumers will interact with him as their widget provider.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fun and Games

     I have received a letter telling me that my methods lead to an undesirable consequence that I did not foresee. The groups that we associate with will have consequences that we cannot anticipate at the time of our association with them. As we interact with our groups, we will find a comfortable place within them at first, but then we are compelled to either lead or follow in our groups. This leading and following drives group interaction.

    I feel somewhat responsible for her unfortunate death. Jamie was found dead in her apartment along with a note explaining how she did not want to have a relationship with Dr. Dave, who I could not get a hold of. He must have gone somewhere, but I do not know where to begin to look. I just tend to my research and can only forewarn you to be careful in the groups that you choose to associate with.

   So this example shows us to be careful with what groups we seek to be with. Some of them are dangerous depending upon your willingness to cater to their demands once you agree to their unwritten laws. These laws can be found, if you decide to interact with them, in their actions. Look for repeated patterns of behavior that suggest something about the group as a whole. Their actions will tell you what the group is like more than their written material that they have available for the public.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Heal the Sick

    Yeah, uh, hi! I have been looking at some the groups that you suggested that I might be looking at. There was this group of medical men who sat around discussing the issues of the day in their office. One of them suggested that I should leave, but I appeased him by giving him my phone number. Then he allowed me to sit down, and so then I listened with invested interest. But after they left, I felt that I gained nothing out of their exercise. And Dr. Dave keeps asking me to come by his office in the evening, but I told him that I was sick.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Buying a Portrait of a parking Ticket

The world is a vast wilderness until you find a place where you can sit yourself down to scan the landscape. This landscape is too large to be taken in all at once, so you must pick a spot and sit there for a while before you come up with any idea of what the landscape is.

Within this landscape are groups of people such as young poor persons and the elderly of Japan. We will begin our study of the landscape by separating out these people groups from the landscape as a whole to focus on making observations about certain groups. In other words, we must focus our study on specific groups of people, in order to not be lost in the vast wilderness of events.

Now some groups you can further divide until you drive down to an individual person. This individual person will find their identity within the group they associate with. So our focus is still on people, not persons.

What makes people interesting to study might be their buying and selling of property within the group that they associate with. So if you spend time among lawyers, you will want to work with them, in order to get out of a parking ticket for parking in an handicapped space. This kind of transaction is determined by the profession of the person that you work with.

So the items used within these groups tells you about how they operate. You can find more examples by thinking of the groups of people that you associate with. And by looking at parking tickets, you gain a sense of the landscape through the groups that use those items.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Inquiry into the Past

    The inquiry into the past can be seen as a way to find out how people behaved to justify a present action. Some people in the past worked this way, so we should work this way to. At first this argument seems to be a logical fallacy of some sort. But even if you were to charge to argument with being a formal fallacious, there is still an insight to be gleaned from the argument, which is the fact that the past can be a guide for present action.

    Once we have a firm grasp of the events that are important to us, then we can begin to move forward in our plans, which are based upon our understanding of these important events. Usually these events are either pleasurable or painful experiences that we wish either to run after to avoid or seek after to brook. But these personal concerns are too trivial though because no one cares about them. So we must look to pubic events to begin our inquiry into these important matters.

   The happy experiences of mankind have been found in their work though managing either their own property or the people who live on that property. Note that this post is not about slavery, but rather what people enjoy in their work. In either case, their property has been the source of enjoyment because of the yield from it such as grain from a farm. People then trade items that are either man-made or found in nature to gain a benefit from them. These products come from land, which is the focus of mankind for their happy experiences. We seek to improve the functions of these sources of happiness through our labor over our property that has been given to us.

    The painful experiences of mankind have been through the disputes that they have over their property. Conflicts begin over disputes over the right to property. These fights are not going to be resolved any time soon, so it seems to be the natural outcome over disputes about ownership. And usually the winner of these fights are the the stronger willed ones, who relentlessly pursue what is theirs. So we are impressed as historical inquirers over the struggles of mankind and seek to find a reason why these painful experiences happen.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Haunting the Obscure

    There is a feeling that suggests that you have a certain range of choices available to you. This feeling can be taken away once time passes, and you are left in the dust, so to speak. This loss of options gives you new ones to choose from, but the pattern of lost chances happens again and again for those who decide not to follow on new paths.

   There is also a need to look at past events that have not been explored before. This need is satisfied once past events come to light to folk who have these feelings. There are events that are available to the seeker of a past that has not been explored before. Or at least, there have not been many people who have seen this option of haunting the obscure. That is, the past events that are not popular are the hunting ground of people with these feelings.

    If you spend time in the past that seemingly no one else has seen, you will become trapped in a certain mindset, which seeks isolation from the present that is thought to be harmful in some way. If you feel threatened by current events, you would seek refuge in the past to calm your fear of failing to live up to present events. So these obscure past events are a kind of sanctuary, where you can spend your time to get a better feel of how to measure up to current events.

   Now we have a dilemma because if you seek a safe shelter in the past, then this seeking is itself a present action, which suggests that the haunting that you seek after is a present one, rather than an action that is in line with the past. For example, if I want to escape a current battle that has been raging by reading up on how men in the past counted their grain, then that action is in line with the present, rather than the past.

   This outworking tells us that it is a fool's paradise to escape the present realities that we should deal with. As we study the past, we bring up new problems to deal with. To haunt the obscure is to say that there must be a better way than how we are currently handling our problems. So our looking back on how men have handled their problems can give us direction on how we should handle our difficulties now, but we cannot be under the spell of refuge from our current problems.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making Meaning out of Experience

    Ayer's Language Truth & Logic claims that the principle of verification is what makes propositions meaningful. And the principle itself is Experience. But 'Experience' is vague and needs to be defined.

    There is a "weak" and a "strong" kind of verification that Ayer gives:

    The "weak" kind is where a particular sense-experience confirms a proposition.

    For example, let's say that we have the proposition, "My dog barked.", then I could find out if the proposition "My dog barked" (Bd) is true by checking Experience for the sound of 'my barking dog'. This verification is weak because Bd itself is not something you hear, since Bd is a proposition and not a sense experience. Your experience of Bd is not Bd itself.

    The "strong" kind of verification is the other type that explains a sense-experience.

    So if an observation statement explains the barking dog in a given time and place, then that statement is meaningful because it explains the experience of a barking dog. This verification is 'strong' rather than 'weak' because propositions that can be verified are either statements of Experience or your experience of Experience.

    So making Meaning out of a given proposition is a private experience, whereas verification requires both the proposition and the experience of who formed the proposition. So we make Meaning out of propositions that have been confirmed by others, who have had the experience of what those propositions refer to.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Confessing Textual Variants

        Years ago, James White posted a brief debate that he had with Douglas Wilson over textual critical issues. Wilson represented the traditional viewpoint of using the textus receptus or the received text, which the Refomers used, while White pressed the matter of getting back to the original wording of the Apostles though the course of the debate. One point concerning a particular definition is interesting to look at.

        During White's rubuttal, he asked Wilson to define what he ment by the "confessing historical Church" to which Wilson responded, "Confessing refers to creeds and confessions, and historical refers to the providence of God as He has protected and led the Church over time. Thus the confessing historical Church has determined that the Bible contains 66 books and that Mark 16:9-20 is in one of them. A few readings remain to be settled, but the settling is to be done by the confessing historical Church—not Zondervan. Individualistic efforts may be believing work, and yet not submitted to the authority of the Church. Secular canons of academic text criticism do not require ecclesiastical review."

        The assuption is that the canon of scripture includes all of the verses that were held as canonical at the time that the confessions were written.  It is dubious since the denotative definition given in the first chapter of the Westminster Confession, for instance, does not clearly articulate all the chapters and verses that are cannonical, only the books. More generaly, Wilson trusts the sources that the Reformers used for their textual selections. But Erasmus had a ten manuscripts to work from, which is far less than the thousands of manuscripts that scholars have access to today.