Joel Pett by Joel Pett

Joel PettNo Zoom

Comments (13) (Please sign in to comment)

  1. Stipple

    Stipple said, almost 3 years ago

    This is odd, all the folks I have met that claim god is asking and telling them stuff are really speaking to themselves.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that….

  2. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    In biology there’s a principle called “carrying capacity”. Technology has TEMPORARILY expanded the production side of the food chain for certain crops, but the SOIL has been wiped out, and populations keep increasing, and each new mouth also is demanding more “goodies”, like cars, TVs,, and technologies that further degrade the capability of a closed system to cope. Those agricultural “gains” btw were largely driven by petrochemicals, as in “fossil fuels”, that are finite. Now we’re having another little problem as well, called drought, in many of the formerly most productive lands, like the Imperial Valley, and Central Valley of California, dependent upon IMPORTED water, that’s drying up at the source, many miles away.

    The planet IS starting to say, “He IS heavy, he’s my BOTHER!”

  3. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, almost 3 years ago

    What would God think of your inane generalities and intolerance?

  4. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, almost 3 years ago

    There are ocean liners and lions in the Midwestern plains?

  5. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, almost 3 years ago

    What’s the Lion King standing on? My mistake, I thought it was the bow of a ship, but I now think it’s a rock outcrop. So…rock outcrops in the Midwestern plains?

  6. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, almost 3 years ago

    ^A few acorns fell from the tree!

  7. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    I don’t mean to intrude, but I find the question interesting, and I have to say that from a secular humanist position (more or less my position) I’m not at all sure why learning is valuable. (I have some ideas, but they are very tentative.) But let me try from a different angle, as I try to imagine what a religious person might think. Let’s say that salvation is not the only thing that’s important. In addition, it’s important (for some reason) to worship God. Each person should then worship God as he or she can. One way to worship God is to perform various rituals (which presumably God likes to witness), and in addition, one can worship God by being a moral person. But in addition to these forms of worship, one can worship God by trying to understand God more fully. If, perhaps, Nature is in some sense God (if one is a pantheist) or if Nature is a manifestation of the mind of God, then gaining a better understanding of Nature is a way of getting a better understanding of God. Those who can only do rituals and be moral, well, that’s okay, they are doing what they can. But those who can try to understand God better by understanding Nature better should do that, too. Now since I’m not a religious person, these ponderings of mine may not be worth much, but I’d be interested to hear a reaction, from the religious as well as from the non-religious.

  8. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    Well, as I said, I’m not religious, I’m just trying to imagine what a religious person might say. Personally, if I were a believer in God, I would want to understand why God made such a mess of things. The human body, for instance, is an engineering nightmare. Any first year design student could do better. Why, for example, are the trachea and the esophagus so closely connected? That’s a design decision that’s just bound to cause problems. If that design is part of God’s plan, I’d like to know how. My wife these days is really wondering about the point of hot flashes. One can go on and on.

  9. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    But from the secular humanist side, I still am not sure that learning is such a good thing. As you know, I was brought up in a nuclear family, that is, my dad worked on nuclear policy for the government (his training, actually, was philosophy, in particular, the philosophy of science, but he ended up in a policy position working on the test ban and then on more general nuclear policy.) So I grew up around all these physicists, including several who worked on the Manhattan Project. My best friend’s father worked gaseous diffusion. I grew up with the great history of modern physics as bed-time stories, and I still think that there is almost no story of modern times more fascinating as a display of collective genius. But then there’s the bomb. So whatadya do?

  10. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    Thanks for your remarks on my eye. I love visual art, but I don’t have any talent that way myself. I’m jealous of your ability and training. I’m a musician by training first of all, then I immersed myself in ancient Greek and Latin poetry, which I now teach for a living. I’m just a sucker for beauty.
    DrC and I don’t agree all the time, but we get along. We don’t conspire, we just converse.

  11. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    I had an interesting discussion with a good friend of mine a while ago — he teaches philosophy here, mostly of the Continental variety, and also Jewish Studies in the Religious Studies department. He was telling me that in some philosophic circles there has been a revival of interest in the philosophy of religion, to some extent based on the later Wittgenstein’s idea of language games. I suppose he means that religious language would have a kind of validity independent of the validity of logical language. Well, I was puzzled. I mean to ask him more when I get the chance. I can accept the idea of language games, but I don’t think Wittgenstein was ever very clear on what he meant, and there are various interpretations. Some of what Austin did with non-assertive sentences (imperatives, promises, etc.) would seem to be included, and then perhaps figures, such as metaphor. But how far does one go, and what does one claim for each new game? If poetry is a language game, for instance, involving metaphor and symbolism, that’s fine, but I would not claim, as a student of poetry, that it makes truth claims. The value of poetry is elsewhere. So if religious language is a language game, I would also be hesitant to allow it to make truth claims. But if religious language doesn’t make truth claims, what is it for?

  12. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    Thanks for these references — this is a big gap in my education. I will look these up.

  13. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    Say more; I don’t quite get what you mean. How is religion a structure? What are some other comparable structures? If it is a structure, how is it different from those other structures?
    When I talk about truth claims, I just mean that science (and some other ways of talking and thinking) aspire to making statements that are true, and if a statement is not true it is modified or abandoned. Science thus can get more accurate. (It’s a little more complicated than that, but maybe that will do.) Literature, which is where I spend my time, doesn’t aspire to making true statements, and it doesn’t necessarily get better. There is nothing particularly true about Homer’s Iliad, but that doesn’t matter, it’s still a great work of literature. As history, it’s not so good.
    Is religion closer to science or to literature?

  14. Refresh Comments.