January 09, 2009

Friday in the wild: January 9, 2009

Some time ago, I regularly posted interesting links from other blogs on Fridays. That trailed off, but I thought it might be nice to start again. Here are a few posts from around that I thought were worthy of a second read.

First Things responds to a recent article by Stanley Fish, intellecually vacuous, king of pomo law professor:

A recent article, "Professor, Do Your Job," provides a good example. As a former academic administrator, Fish know how goofy undergraduate education can get. He denounces glib "opinion-sharing sessions" that masquerade as "values education." He censures professors who imagine themselves "agent of change" and who turn lecterns into political pulpits. All good punches thrown against the intellectual vacuity and ideological smugness that blemish American universities today.

Yet, as he always seems to do, Fish quickly overreaches. He adduces Yale College’s mission statement, which includes the goal of developing students' "moral, civic, and creative capacities to the fullest." Anodyne, yes, but Fish throws up his hands. "I'm all for moral, civic, and creative capacities," he writes, "but I'm not sure that there is much I or anyone else can do as a teacher to develop them." Apparently Aristotle had it all wrong. Virtue is not taught; it just happens.

[Read Stanley Fish Goes to College]

Al Mohler takes on the recent atheist bus-ad campaign in Britain:

I must admit that I find the British campaign nearly humorous. In any event, it is certainly not threatening to the Christian message. No one is really likely to be converted to atheism by seeing a sign on a bus -- and almost certainly not by a sign that declares that "there's probably no God." Probably?

In some sense, this campaign almost looks like a joke on atheists planned and performed by believers in God. The use of the word "probably" does more to demonstrate the weakness of the atheistic argument than could ever be done by outright condemnations of atheism.

Atheism supposedly declares its central conviction that there is no God. But this central conviction doesn't appear to be held very strongly - not if you look at the advertising message the atheists in Britain have chosen for their own campaign.

[Read Atheists Play Their Hand - Probability]

Yep. "There's probably no God" means "there's possibly a God" - and so maybe it's something I need to think hard about.

Finally for this week, Jivin J fisks a pro-abortion article published to the HuffPo, about whehter a fetus is a human being:

Instead of looking to an embryology textbook to figure out if the developing unborn child is a human being, Sedaei claims they are not because scientists use a term to describe unborn organisms at a certain stage of development. This is like someone saying teenagers aren’t human beings because science clearly calls some vertebrates who aren’t yet adults "adolescents."

Plus, while Sedaei used the Merriam-Webster dictionary to find the definition of viable, he curiously didn’t use that same dictionary to find the definition of fetus, which reads, in part, "a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth."

[Read Pro-Choice is the "Compromise" Position"?]

That's it for this week. Later!