Category Archives: Philosophy

In defense of a good monster…

My parents taught that horror stories have no place in the Christian life.  Halloween in my house was celebrated by turning out all the lights and pretending not to be home.  Monsters are the devil’s thing and not something to celebrate. Perhaps I’m inclined to agree, but monsters come in a great many different shapes.  There are always the old classics like werewolves, zombies, and vampires.  (Remember when vampires sucked the marrow from bones rather than from life?)  Ghosts and spirit stories are thousands of years old.  In fact, there is at least one ghost story in the Bible.  (I Samuel 28:3-25 if you’d like to read it.  It’s the earliest …

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Posted in Horror, Philosophy.

Story and Art

Awhile ago I wrote this post about whether or not video games are art:   If you don’t have time to read it, let me summarize.  I’m of the opinion that video games are art since they are made up of components that are art (writing, drawing, music, etc.) The only part of a video game that is even open to the “what makes art” debate is the gameplay itself.  I still think gameplay could be art in itself, but I landed on the fence. I was thinking back on that post while I drove to downtown Indy the other day and realized that the same question could be asked …

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Posted in Language, Media, Philosophy, Writing.

What’s In A Name?

A love-struck 13 year old girl in a Shakespearean play thought it was nothing.  I disagree.  A rose by any other name would certainly smell as sweet, but I’d never bring home a flower called a “poopoo” for my wife. We tend to give more credence to names than we realize.  Common names are more “hirable” than uncommon names.  You can flip through a highlight of some published studies in this BusinessInsider article.  Some of this is just cultural bias, but there is also a concept called nominative determinism.  Nominative determinism is why all Randys have worked as mechanics and why there is an unusual number of Meryls working in …

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Posted in Philosophy, Writing.

Symbolism in Life

I’m busy taking an online class where I read Science Fiction and Fantasy with people from all over the world.  I’ve now read no less than three forum posts saying “Why can’t a story just be a story?”  After all, real life doesn’t have symbolism in it.  Things are just things. For instance, the guy that came into my office and yelled at me because I informed him that he couldn’t park in our reserved spots doesn’t represent the waning of respect in a culture fixated on entitlement.  He’s just a douche. However, some life events do have a symbolic meaning — at least as far as the person experiencing it …

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Posted in Philosophy, Writing.

To the Fans: My Husband is not an Embittered Soul

Yesterday, after some gentle pleading on my part and some not-so-subtle hints, I convinced Dawson to drive with me to Brown County. We walked around a lake and took some pictures of the fall foliage. It was a trip that benefited the soul, as I am from upstate New York and miss the mirage of colors autumn provides. Halfway through our walk, Dawson made a joke. The punch line was something along the lines of, “I’m a bad person, but you made an eternal vow to love me despite me saying dick-headed things.” My husband likes to remind me of this on a day to day basis. “You married me …

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Posted in Hurt, Philosophy.

Begging and Chosing

Beggars can’t be choosers, but humans have to be.  It’s my uninformed opinion that the mental wellness of an individual is directly correlated to the amount of control that individual has in his or her own life.  Being rich and trapped is worse than being poor and free.  Sure, some may disagree and none of this empirical.  I’m merely observing. The issue of begging and choosing came up back when I was in Montana.  My father is a pastor and spends a great deal of his time helping, or trying to help, others.  While Marissa and I were there, one particular hard-luck case came to him.  This man has a wife …

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Posted in Montana, Philosophy, Travel.

Fantasy Worlds

Sometimes I make myself sad.  (Ok, I make myself sad a lot, but that’s not really the point of this discussion.)  I got to thinking the other day about Middle-Earth.  Those of you who are huge nerds have had this problem before.  Middle-Earth is enormous.  It spans The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and has it’s own creation mythos in the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, etc.  Tolkien spent the better part of his life building Middle-Earth.  He even took the time to create fictional languages — as was his academic interest.  In all honesty, this sounds like the work of a crazy person, but 50 years later people are still …

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Posted in Media, Philosophy, Writing.

Dead Skin and Very Vain People

There is a popular urban legend that states “About 70 – 80% of dust in your household is actually dead skin cells that you have sluffed off.” Which sounds really gross, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Here’s why:

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Posted in Humor, Philosophy.

On Governance

I don’t align well with English philosophers.  See, most of the good English philosophers — Hobbes, Locke, Mill, etc. — were mostly concerned with matters of governance.  They wrote about social contracts and government as a monster.  I tend to think more about Russian philosophers who deal with existential problems and suffering. This post will be more English in nature.  I want to talk about government systems.  Now I haven’t finished hashing out this idea yet, and I doubt I will.  Rather this is more along the lines of thought experiment.   The government of the United States is intended to be static.  The three branches pull against each other and …

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Posted in Philosophy.

Are You Still Beating Your Children?

Yes or no?  It’s a yes or no question! Answer quickly. Obviously this is a trap and a common philosophical problem.  Yes or no is how one stops a discussion.  Perhaps that is occasionally desirable if we only want facts but wherever the facts are vague, unknown, or subjective it creates a problem. Marissa was kind enough to point this out in one of our discussions today. The question was asked, “Do you believe the Bible is inerrant?”  Now this is a loaded question from the start because you and I know that anyone who asks this is preparing to make a value judgement on the eternal resting place of your immortal soul …

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