Life as an Extreme Sport

Ayer, On Theism

So this Ayer piece is incredibly engaging – to the point that you be forgiven for thinking this was one of my CHID teaching documents, I have scribbled it so purple. (Fellow chiddies who took classes with me, or for that matter received graded papers from me, know precisely what I am talking about. “What do you mean, did I dip this in purple koolaid?…”) So as Ayer goes through this chapter on the critique of ethics and theology, he says the following: For it is characteristic of an agnostic to hold that the existence of a god is a possibility in which there is no good reason either to believe or disbelieve;… As for the agnostic, although he refrains from saying either that there is or that there is not a god, he does not deny that the question whether a transcendent god exists is a genuine question. He

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disappearing into experience

The things that make you disappear into experience are random things. Or, to place it in Sartre’s terms, since I really should be writing about Sartre and not the other things swirling in my mind, some things hit so hard and fast they drop us from the reflective into the non-reflective, me-in-the-world. Like the red stained wood and Elliot Bay ferry images of Seattle’s Best Coffee. It’s funny; Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t really make me homesick. It makes me laugh, because the closest they’ve been to Seattle is some alternative world Seattle where you go north on 99 from Queen Anne to get to Downtown. There are occasionally things I recognize, like flyers for the 5 Spot, but it’s so obviously a fictional place I feel no greater affinity for it than I do any other place I’ve never been. But for just a moment, the pure, non-reflective experience of this

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wide reflective equilibrium and HIV testing recommendations

I spent a few hours this evening reading, and writing up a rough proposal for a paper due soon. This is that proposal,… Thanks so much for the recommendation of Norman Daniels. I’m not sure how I’ve not come across him so far, but I’ve picked up both “Seeking Fair Treatment: From the AIDS Epidemic to National Health Care Reform” and “Justice and Justification: Reflective Equilibrium In Theory and Practice” and they’ve helped crystalize a lot of the more abstract nature of Rawls for me. For the first paper topic, as we already briefly discussed, I would like to do an applied analysis of the new CDC HIV testing guidelines. While there are several major changes in the new recommendation guidelines, what I am specifically interested in discussing is, I suppose, the fairness or justness of testing adolescents, particularly those in the 13-18 year old age range. Limiting my scope

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Bad Jokes

The worst philosophy joke, as told to me earlier this evening by Professor Jerry Levinson: A young man is going out on his first date, and is very nervous. He asks his father what should he do, if conversation fails? The boy’s father tells him this is easy, just remember family, food and philosophy. “The three ‘fs’.” So the young man and his date are driving back from the movies, and conversation has indeed failed. Desperate, he remembers his fathers advice and asks, “So, do you have any brothers or sisters?” “I’m an only child.” She replies shortly. “Oh.” He thinks, and remembers the next ‘f’ is food. “Uh, do you like broccoli?” “No, I hate it.” “Oh.” He thinks a little longer, remembers the third categorty, and asks, “So, if you had a brother, would he like broccoli?” …yes, I laughed. Hard. We all did. And then Pete followed

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Late and Early

Insomnia struck tonight – I guess that’s what happens when I don’t take something to help me fall asleep. I’m running low on that arsenal, though, and can’t afford to pick up Lunesta on my own. I have to wait for both finaid and my prescription card to get here, and who knows how long that will take. So I thought, since I was sleepy, I’d just wait for the sleepy to become the sort of sleepy where, well, you go to sleep. It’s 5:15am, and that hasn’t happened yet. So on the one hand it’s late. I had a full day, too – the first day of class. I think I’ll enjoy it; phenomenology with Ron. It looks like it will be a good blend of familiar while also pushing what I know. After class, I wandered through the graduate student office, chatted with a couple of people, and

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