Monday, May 31, 2021

I Hate The Title

Back in the day, when my group at work did murder boards for VIP presentations, there was a running gag. You'd put up your first slide and some wag would say, "Well, I hate the title." Everyone would laugh and we'd get down to the real work of crafting the message. Sometimes the title did, in fact, stink. Most of the time, it was a joke about how some people like to feel important by finding fault with everything. 

And, yes, I do own a mirror. :-)

I'm just starting Richard Rohr's smash hit book, The Universal Christ. I don't hate the title, but the first paragraph made me want to put the book down and never pick it back up again.

In recent years, I have come to see something that my have been obvious to many for a long time. When we argue about religion and theology, we're actually arguing about the kind of world we want to live in.

Italics in the original. Three paragraphs farther in, there are swipes at white men, so you can kind of see where this thing is going.

That gibberish paragraph wasn't written by Rich, who is perfectly capable of writing his own gibberish, it was written by Brian D. MacLaren. Other than the fact that he ends sentences with prepositions and writes nonsense, I have no idea who he is and don't plan to track him down. Let sleeping nitwits lie, I say.

If I wanted a solid definition of religion and theology, I'd turn to Peter Kreeft, but this is a blog post, so it's my job to pontificate with an unfounded air of authority, so, like Brian, I'll just wing it.

Religion and theology are fields of philosophy. They attempt to describe the world as it is. They are governed by logic and must withstand the tests of objective reality. You can do as you like with reality after that. As a Catholic, I'm all in on the Nicene Creed, but the Creed doesn't inform my opinions on tax policy or the designated hitter*.

Conversely, when I argue in favor of personal freedom and personal responsibility, I don't whip out the Catechism. As Ben Shapiro would tell you, it's an argument from authority when the other person might not grant the authority in the first place. If you do grant the authority of the Catechism, it's possible that I might use it was a cudgel in an argument. The hardbound edition on the end of a stick would be most efficacious in certain discussions. Still, it's not universally accepted, so I don't use it often.

It seems to me that in the paragraph quoted above, Brian is telling us what informed his theology, at least in the past. He wanted to trash white men in prose, so he came up with a religion that helped him do that. That's the opposite of the scientific method and logic in general. "I want it to be true, now let's justify it," is no way to build a philosophy.

And so it goes. I'm 20 pages in and trying to remain open-minded. That's not easy to do, but we'll give it a go.

This is a tree from Alabama. It has nothing to do with the post, but I liked the scene. So there.

* - The designated hitter is self-evidently an abomination in the sight of God.


Ohioan@Heart said...

The designated hitter is self-evidently an abomination in the sight of God.

Can I get an amen. I think the thing about the DH that bugs me the most is its inconsistency with the rules of baseball. Yes, I know there is a section how to use a designated hitter, but the very first rule in the rules of baseball is:

1.01 Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.”

Nine players. To me that’s the end of it.

Mostly Nothing said...

If it is a game of 9 players, why are there 26 on the team?

As you may or may not know, I'm still very closely involved in baseball. I am the score keeper for the high school team that my kid played on 6 years ago. I am not a coach, though the boys call me that. I do fill in the gaps when the coaches say something and then leave the dugout to coach the bases.

This year has been particularly good. They are a young team, no seniors and 3 juniors. So there is a lot of learning going on. They won their first playoff game last night.

In high school, at least in Minnesota, a kid can DH for themselves. It seems odd, but it works. An opponent did use that this year. The kids are at all different levels. The best player on the team, is a Junior, and has been playing varsity since 8th grade. He's the best pitcher, hitter, and catcher. There isn't a worst player on the team. We have some that are very good fielders, but are having trouble hitting. And we have some that can pitch, but can't really play any other position. The DH provides a way for all the kids to participate.

Back to the MLB, that has a big "get off of my lawn" issue (see mirror above). I don't want to see an automatic out every 9 batters. Yes, there are outliers, Otanni (sp), and Kershaw occasionally.

But think back, KT, when you and I went to the Murph to see Nolan Ryan pitch against the Padres; were we jacked up to see him hit?

Did I want to see Big Papi play first base? Do I understand why Albert Pujoles is on the Dodgers?

And the ultimate question. Is the players union going to allow baseball to get rid of 15 or so positions for players? Or are they going to want to add 15 more?

How is it possible that this wonderful cerebral game is declining and the NBA a disasterous, horrid warping of a great game is succeeding so well. It has a lot to do with KT Lizard Empire.