Monday, July 11, 2016

Guns. Drawn.

I’ve previously stuck to themes related to leaving Christianity on this blog, but occasionally I have thoughts about other things I want to write about and share. Not to mention, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. So, as they say on Monty Python: "And now for something completely different."

Earlier this morning I was reminded of another senseless act of gun violence that took place just outside of New York City over in New Jersey. A couple of grown men (I won’t say what color their skin was because that wouldn’t be politically correct) decided to settle their differences by blasting away at one another. One of them was left dead in the aftermath. Apparently he had openly disrespected the other one to some of his friends. Naturally, when the authorities started investigating the shooting, everyone who was present said they saw nothing. Eventually a grand jury indicted the killer for murder, but he fled the arrest warrant.

The guy that was shot and killed left behind a wife and seven kids. Of course, he had a reputation for getting around and even publicly admitted to having at least one mistress. What’s so sad is that this guy had just lost a teenaged son only three years before to the same kind of senseless gun violence. You’d think these people would learn. What kind of messed up culture is this?

Not surprisingly, neither of these men grew up with their father in the home. What was surprising, though, is that the killer’s father and grandfather had supposedly been well-respected members of the clergy in their community. It led me to wonder what kind of warped values this community was passing on to its young people, that they would grow up thinking this kind of senseless violence is an appropriate way to settle their differences. How did they come to think it was OK for grown men to just shoot it out whenever one supposedly disrespects the other?

What’s even more messed up is that both of these men had been leaders in a violent movement openly calling for revolution (again, I won’t say the name of it because that wouldn’t be politically correct). Needless to say, this movement was pushing for equal rights and complaining about supposed oppression, disenfranchisement, exploitation, and mistreatment from the government. Where did these people get off complaining about violence and oppression from the authorities when they so often commit this kind of violence within their own communities and against their own kind? Shouldn’t they solve these kinds of issues among themselves before they start pointing the finger at the lawfully appointed people who are just trying to do their jobs and return home to their families? They’re the ones trying to protect them, enforce the laws, and keep order, for crying out loud.

What’s even worse is that now people are making tons of money off this story and glorifying these two thugs by writing rap songs about them. People in the entertainment biz just can’t get enough of it and won’t stop buzzing about it. Impressionable young people everywhere are now repeating the words of these rap songs and listening to them over and over. Pop culture is now turning this dead man into some kind of role model. Not surprisingly, our President is a huge fan and has even invited some of these rappers who’ve written songs about these two thugs to perform at the White House. Thanks, Obama.

Oh, in case you haven't caught on yet and were unaware, today marks the 212th anniversary of the duel between former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr, a pair of upstanding Ivy League educated Founding Fathers. Happy dueliversary! What did you think I was talking about?

"Weehawken. Dawn. Guns. Drawn."


  1. Replies
    1. PS: though it ended when I caught sight of the drawing. You might want to hide it somehow, or remove it.

  2. You got me, though I'd love to hear a rap song detailing this event!

  3. Hi - I tried commenting on a much older post and it doesn't seem to have been posted. I know you don't blog so much anymore. I'm really interested to know if you can share a link to, or any details you can remember about the, article you referred to when talking about the canon. ("not all forms of epistemic circularity are equal (I’ve seen a fairly solid argument for Empiricism that did a pretty good job of escaping the charge of circularity altogether)")

    I am neither a troll nor someone trying to engage in a pointless argument. I'm just interested in the same kind of thing. Perhaps you might email me at apastasea at bjoc dot me [another dot] uk. That's a forwarder, I don't want to post my real email address on a public forum but will reply from my real address if you are willing to share the link. Very much appreciate your time and your writing.

    1. Hi Barry. I think that post was from nearly four years ago and unfortunately I can't recall the source. I looked through some of the files I've saved over the years because I'm almost certain it was from a paper published in a Philosophy journal that I found in .pdf form. Alas, I could not find it. It's probably on a thumb drive somewhere. I typically save stuff like that to the cloud now to avoid these kinds of circumstances. I can't recall enough about what sort of "justification" the author provided or even if she/he escaped the circularity that way or put forth some sort of pragmatic approach. I don't want to hazard a guess.

      You're probably aware that philosophers have been arguing about that sort of thing for ages, so maybe I was being overzealous in that parenthetical remark. I believe in the instance in which I brought it up, I was trying to point out that attempts made by empiricists and rationalists were at least better than what Reformed Presuppositionalism was serving up for reasons I went on to elaborate. Basically they are trying to sail a barge of (often contradictory) axioms into a crack of epistemic uncertainty.

      I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. Thanks for reading.

    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm aware of these arguments and I too am guilty of reading something great and then forgetting where it was; the internet is just too full of great stuff. I try to use evernote for such articles these days, but even still I forget/misplace things. I've read a fair bit about the problem of indicution already but none that entirely escapes the circularity so my interest was piqued. I think the other point you were making, that also seems relevant, is the need for us to become philosophers & theologians in order to justify our loss of faith when no such hurdle was required in order to join the faith.