Thursday, September 25, 2008

25 ’Elul 5768: National One-Hit Wonder Day

Greetings.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. “What drives Ahmadinejad's combative rhetoric”: In summary: Ahmadinejad expects or acts like he expects the Mahdi to come soon. When one expects an immanent major change in the order of the World, one may logically act on it. E.g., if one knew that an asteroid would hit the Earth tomorrow and wipe out humanity, there would be no point in taking care of one’s health so as to be able to live a long life.  Ahmadinejad is accordingly making preparations for the coming of the Mahdi.  However, there is a big question as to whether the Mahdi really is coming soon, because if he is not, Ahmadinejad may be risking Iran for nothing.  Jihad may be important in Islam, but it is probably not practical for Iran to fight a jihad if Israel collectively feels threatened enough to bomb Tehran into the planet’s largest pile of rubble.
  2. “Ben & Jerry's asked to use breast milk”: (I know: Ew!)  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is at it again with another dubious issue, this time trying to get Ben & Jerry’s to use human milk in their ice cream.   To quote:
    PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman told WPTZ-TV her organization's suggestion is merely common sense.

    "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," she said.
    Now, it is true that milk production originally evolved among mammals as a means of feeding babies. However: 1) Adult humans consuming human milk is extremely strange. I am not aware of any society where the practice is normal or considered proper. Humans are probably able to nevertheless do so, but it is probably not something they were naturally selected to be able to do. 2) Cows have been bred by humans to produce milk for them, and humans on much of the planet have been naturally selected for the ability to digest milk in adulthood. Cow milk is “meant” for humans at least as much as it is for baby cows. This whole business looks very much like a transparent attempt at animal rights activism at human expense.
  3. “Intellectual arrogance”: This is an excellent essay on why one should listen to experts, namely because they know what they are talking about. That may sound obvious, but there are people who overlook the obvious. Unfortunately, this is a problem which comes up in the study of religion.
Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is The Periodic Table of Videos. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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