Thursday, September 3, 2009


Jewish date:  14 ’Elul 5769.

Today’s quasi-holiday:  Skyscraper Day.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. Hitler's Children”:  (Submitted by Dad.)  This is on a documentary being produced on the children of high-ranking Nazis.  To their great merit, these people with accursed ancestry were not doomed to repeat the mistakes of their parents; rather, many went to extremes to be good despite their origins.  This should be a warning to everyone not to take moral and logical shortcuts based on origin (the genetic fallacy) and instead judge people on their own merits.
  2. German court lets boy be named 'Djehad' — holy war”:  The parents do not seem to be doing anything strictly fallacious.  However, the objection raised that the name “could be harmful for the child given the associations with Islamic terrorism” is dead-on.  Despite attempts to emphasize non-violent forms of jihad, one of the major meanings—and the first one that will come to mind for many—is war mandated by Islam.  Among non-Muslims not enamored with the idea of holy war, “Jihad” in any variation as a name is likely to be controversial at best and may be taken (or mistaken) as a sign that the parents who bestowed such a name are not big on tolerance and equality.
  3. Mich. church enlists Satan in advertising campaign”:  Interesting tactic.
  4. Bible politics: Every word counts in faith & culture wars”:  This article deals with the New International Version of the Christian Bible and variations on it.  The last revision, Today’s New International Version, drew a lot of criticism over issues of treatment of gender, and they are now discussing the next version in which they hope to avoid a lot of the same mistakes.  However, there is an inherent flaw in the politics of this discussion:  they are dealing with translations.  Except maybe under strictly defined conditions, translations never mean exactly the same thing as the original text.  It does not matter how good a job they do and how few people want to burn them at the stake; whatever they produce is not going to mean quite the same thing as the original. And since the original text is scripture, meaning is of paramount importance.  Why are they putting so much effort into translations?  Why do they not instead put effort into making sure every Christian knows Hebrew and Greek so he/she can read the Christian Bible in the original languages and not have to read an inherently imperfect translation?
  5. Eurabian Safari”:  Major rule:  Wishful thinking and one-sided tolerance does not work.
Today’s news and commentary:
Today’s weird thing is “Wile E. Coyote’s Budget”.
song chart memes
Enjoy and share the weirdness.

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