May 28, 2017

Media Hyperbole is Not Helping

No Photography at CNN 

Bob Woodward offered some worthwhile advice to reporters tasked with covering the Trump administration: "calm it down and listen more" (video available here). I sincerely hope that they hear him and that the on-air personalities at our nation's 24-hour cable news shows heed his advice.

May 26, 2017

What This Liberal Thinks About Islam

Twilight of Islam and ChristianityI am a liberal. When it comes to the left-right political spectrum, I am far to the left. And when it comes to the libertarian-authoritarian pole, I am far to the libertarian side (you can see a visual representation of where I fall if you are interested). Admittedly, this might be somewhat misleading because I am also a freethinker. That means that I do not toe the line on any particular ideology. I am liberal on many economic issues but not all of them, and the same goes for being libertarian on many but not all social and cultural issues.

As a freethinker, I don't blindly follow any political party, dogma, or accepted narrative. I consider the issues and think for myself. I know of no political candidate I would not criticize, and I reject the claims that any particular ideology is somehow beyond criticism. Bad ideas must be criticized, regardless of their source, and better ideas must be offered as alternatives.

May 24, 2017

A Brief Review of 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield LaneAlthough I liked Cloverfield (2008), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) was a film I forgot to see when it was first released. I wanted to see it because I liked the first one and because I have liked John Goodman in almost everything I've seen him in. I even remember seeing a trailer for the film and wanting to see what he'd do with a role like this. But for whatever reason, I forgot all about 10 Cloverfield Lane until stumbling across it recently. Kind of like Don't Breathe, this is a film that is tricky to review without giving too much away and ruining it. Once again, I'll be careful not to do that.

To say that I came into 10 Cloverfield Lane with few expectations would be an understatement. I don't recall reading any reviews of it, and I remembered only 3 things about it: John Goodman was in it, it had something to do with an underground bunker, and it should not be considered a sequel to Cloverfield in that it bore little resemblance to the first film. Now that I've seen it, I'd have to say that this last point is fairly close to being accurate. Someone watching this film because they want Cloverfield 2 is likely to be disappointed. This film is so divorced from the previous one that one can safely watch it without ever having seen Cloverfield. It really is its own story, and a much better one, in my opinion.

May 23, 2017

Could Atheism Replace Religion?

mountain church

I was asked recently whether I thought atheism could replace religion. I said that I thought atheism could replace religion only in the sense that religion could eventually die out and then I suppose one might say that atheism had replaced it. In the absence of religion, we'd have atheism. I recognized that this wasn't really what the other party was really asking about, and so I explained that I did not think atheism could replace religion in the sense of being a viable alternative to religion or in meeting the various needs some have that are met by religion. Atheism doesn't have enough content to do anything of the sort. It is not a belief system and offers nothing beyond an answer to one small question. As far as a real substitute for religion, it seems like a poor one.

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