Greg Krehbiel's Crowhill Weblog - Content

Thoughts on life — News, culture, politics, beer, art, science, education, religion and ethics

Other Crowhill sites:
Crowhill PublishingGreg's Book Publishing blog
Greg's Marketing blogHome Brewing blog

Naming modern demons

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 April 2015

I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which is an interesting book, but a little too rude and crude for my tastes. (Not sure if I’ll finish it.)

The basic idea is that “gods” — in a very expansive definition of the word — get transported to America as believers in those gods leave their native lands and them worship them here. “Worship” is also used somewhat loosely. E.g., if somebody in America puts out a bowl of milk for the pixies, that will make a genuine pixie here in America.

Anyway, there are the old gods and there are the new gods, like Internet and TV and such, and they’re having some big conflict.

That got me wondering …. If I was going to personify modern “gods,” or demons, what would they be? I was leaning more in the direction of philosophies, or bad mental habits or attitudes. Somewhat along these lines.

Modern people wish, at least in their minds, but they don’t have anybody to wish to. No God, no Leprechauns, no Genie of the Lamp.

Modern people have a remnant of human ethics, but they’re increasingly detached from the framework in which that ethical system makes any sense.

Modern people tend to regard art as good because it’s popular, rather than the reverse. (I think a lot of musicians are popular because they crossed some tipping point among the cool kids, not because people actually like their stuff. E.g., I’m not sure a lot people, in their heart of hearts, really liked Bob Dylan’s music — although they may have learned to.)

I think we also suffer under an idea that our lives have to matter. It’s a kind of narcissism. We feel like we have to be somebody or accomplish something. I don’t know if that’s worse now than it’s been in the past, but it seems that way. People will do some horendous thing because they want to be remembered.

There are some others that are commonplace, like we don’t have a close relationship with the fruits of our labors and we spend lots of time away from our families. But anyway, what demons would you add to the list?

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

A warming climate will wake the dragons

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 April 2015

Emerging evidence indicates that dragons can no longer be dismissed as creatures of legend and fantasy, and that anthropogenic effects on the world’s climate may inadvertently be paving the way for the resurgence of these beasts.

They’ve been sleeping — actually “brumating,” according to the article — but the warming climate will awaken them.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Boycott Apple

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 April 2015

Conservatives need to learn to punch back. Twice as hard.

-- 9 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Interesting take on “sacred beliefs”

by Greg Krehbiel on 31 March 2015

This story (HT Instapundit) has an interesting definition of “sacred beliefs.”

“One way to define the difference between a regular belief and a sacred belief is that people who hold sacred beliefs think it is morally wrong for anyone to question those beliefs,” Dagny wrote. “If someone does question those beliefs, they’re not just being stupid or even depraved, they’re actively doing violence. They might as well be kicking a puppy. When people hold sacred beliefs, there is no disagreement without animosity.”

What’s particularly interesting to me about her take on “sacred beliefs” is that religion has nothing to do with it. Secularists hold “sacred beliefs” in the same way that religious people do. We’ve seen that on display in the last couple days.

Why is that relevant? Well, many secularists love to pretend that it’s only irrational religious people who hold to beliefs in that way. That bonehead Chris Mooney comes to mind, as do the rest of the “new atheists.”

They want to pretend that religion is a threat to civilized society because it uniquely engenders these sorts of beliefs. But secularists have “sacred values” as well, and as many writers have pointed out, plenty of horrific evil has been done by secular organizations.

You don’t have to think that your belief comes from God to hold to it fiercely, emotionally and irrationally.

It’s important to note that this view of “sacred beliefs” cuts against some common conservative arguments as well. Many conservatives will say that secularists have no basis for their beliefs. But aside from some abstract philosophical argument, what difference does that really make?

Who could possibly argue that the left-wing demogogues who have been screaming and stamping their feet about Indiana’s new law hold their views any less “sacred” than some bunch of Baptists? IOW, secularists are perfectly able to hold “sacred beliefs.”

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-31  ::  Greg Krehbiel

States should pass RFRA laws today and push back against bullies like Connecticut

by Greg Krehbiel on 31 March 2015

It’s time for other states to join with Indiana and fight back against the hate, dishonesty and intolerance of the left.

States that don’t already have a RFRA law on the books should pass one immediately and tell the bullies on the left to go soak their heads.

States should also start taking “back atcha” actions against Connecticut and other bullies. If a state boycotts Indiana, boycott that state.

Here are three good articles about the issue.

Corporations Can’t Have Consciences, Unless They Oppose Mike Pence

Want Evidence of Hysterical Anti-Christian Bigotry? Look No Further than #BoycottIndiana

The New Intolerance: Indiana isn’t targeting gays. Liberals are targeting religion.

-- 6 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-31  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Kids don’t have many rights

by Greg Krehbiel on 30 March 2015

I haven’t looked into this very carefully, but I think I agree with the court’s decision that a school has the right to overrule the “free speech” rights of students.

Supreme Court rejects free speech appeal over Cinco de Mayo school dispute

The school has to be concerned about students’ safety, and if they have a reasonable basis for believing that a particular shirt is going to cause trouble, they can tell the kids not to wear it.

I’m not saying I agree with all the decisions involved here, only that the school’s interest in safety trumps the free speech of minors.

-- 13 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-30  ::  Greg Krehbiel

SSM: from tolerance to shakedown

by Greg Krehbiel on 30 March 2015

Here’s an interesting quote from this article about the relevance of the social and main-stream media hysteria regarding Indiana’s RFRA law.

The myth that religious liberty can meaningfully exist in any historic sense of the term alongside gay marriage has now been debunked. … You can’t have it both ways. [You can’t have] a world where religious liberty is protected while endorsing a jurisprudence that describes opposition to gay marriage as animus.

The article is written in that unfortunate “I’m trying be smart” style, but the point is essentially correct. It’s not that it’s theoretically impossible for the two to co-exist. It’s just practically impossible because of the way the modern left works.

We’ve moved from “we’re only trying to get equal rights” to “anyone who disagrees must be crushed.” We’re now in the shakedown / crackdown phase.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-30  ::  Greg Krehbiel

No, Governor, the PC version of tolerance is definitely a 1-way street

by Greg Krehbiel on 30 March 2015

Mike Pence: Is Tolerance a Two Way Street or Not?

If a florist has to provide flowers for a gay wedding, does a doctor have to perform an abortion, or assist someone’s suicide (if it’s legal in that state)?

One of the problems with debates about rights is that people think there’s some sort of bright line that can be drawn that protects everybody. That’s an illusion. Often when you give one thing your take away something else, and it’s a matter of finding an appropriate balance.

If we continue on the path the left is on, pretty soon we’ll be requiring pastors to perform same-sex marriages, or requiring churches not to discriminate against people who are divorced and remarried.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-30  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Modern comedy is Russian Roulette

by Greg Krehbiel on 30 March 2015

I saw a headline about a comedian who is in trouble because of a tasteless joke. It doesn’t matter who or why.

ISTM that the majority of jokes from most modern comedians are tasteless. It’s just that people put up with them — until they offend the wrong person or group, and then all of a sudden the comedian is a pariah.

It’s not as if there’s a clear, objective difference between the tasteless jokes that don’t get you in trouble and the tasteless jokes that do. It seems like a mine field, and eventually your career is going to blow up in your face.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-30  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Fiorina and O’Malley impressed me

by Greg Krehbiel on 29 March 2015

I heard them both on talk shows this morning and they both did better than I expected they would. O’Malley wasn’t as boring as I thought he’d be and Fiorina was quick on her feat and combative.

There may be an interesting primary season this time.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-03-29  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2015-03-28 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Let there be peace on earth …
2015-03-27 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Impeach him if he signs the deal
2015-03-26 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Those dirty dogs
2015-03-24 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Not the internet’s policeman?
2015-03-24 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Don’t underestimate Cruz