Friday, May 27, 2022

A Klein word on Christianity

The writer Ezra Klein offers an essay on Christianity in the NYT International on April 3rd, 2022:

"Christianity . . . is a religion that insists on the dignity of all people and centers the poor and the marginalized. . . . What I, as an outsider to Christianity, have always found most beautiful about it is how strange it is. Here is a worldview built on a foundation of universal sin and insufficiency, an equality that bleeds out of the recognition that we are all broken, rather than that we must all be great. I've always envied the practice of confession, not least for its recognition that there will always be more to confess and so there must always be more opportunities to be forgiven."

Quite a confession for a confessing Jew to make of Christianity's institution of confession.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Carter Kaplan wants you:

to do what Mack Hassler and Cara Gilgenbach did: Emanations for Special Collections.

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Subtle Line Between Merely Bad and Absolutely Terrible

"I think, therefore I am," quod he to me.
Said I, "But what happens if your mind goes blank?
And quoting others takes no thought, I think.
To put another's words in verse is worse
than keeping silent, or so I believe."

Wednesday, May 04, 2022


Scott Herschovitz wrote in a recent NYT issue (May 3, 2022) of an interesting question posed by his four-year-old son: "Is God real?"

His father turned the question back on the lad: "What do you think?"

He replied: "I think that for real God is pretend and for pretend God is real." His father asks for explanation, and the son says: "God isn't real, but when we pretend, he is."

This is called "fictionalism," Herschovitz tells us (assuming that he has understood his son), and it means that the statement "Dumbledore teaches at Hogwarts" is true because in that fictional world, Dumbledore does teach at Hogwarts.

Similarly, the statement "I teach at Harvard" is true because in my fictional world, I do teach at Harvard. So from now on, I'll introduce myself as follows: "Pleased to meet you. I'm Jeffery Hodges, and I'm a Harvard professor."

The onus is on them to realize that I'm speaking of the fictional world, a world in which I excel in many fields.