Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bits and Pieces

* Something new about Augustine that I learned from Stephen Carlson: St. Augustine quotes the Gospel of Thomas. An opponent quotes it in an argument to the effect that the Old Testament is evil, and Augustine dismisses the saying as being derived from some unknown apocryphal text. The Augustinian work in question, the Contra Adversarium Legis et Prophetae, is one I don't know well at all. Does anyone know the state of scholarship about it?

* Something else I recently learned about St. Augustine: He has a MySpace page. It was put up in his behalf by a group of Augustinian monks. Starting August 28th (his feast day), St. Augustine will start blogging his Confessions. People are already pretty enthusiastic about it. It actually says something about the unlocked potential of MySpace, which has for the most part been seen as (with the exception of musicians, who have managed to thrive there) the slums of the blogosphere. But there's much more there than meets the eye, and it's interesting that a fifth century bishop is hip enough to engender some interest.

* A very odd map morphing Tolkien's Middle-Earth onto (prehistoric?) Europe.

* John Haldane discusses the the role of philosophy in the search for meaning. Haldane is a Thomist and analytic philosopher at the University of St. Andrews.


* John Wilkins critiques the Species entry of the SEP, and says some interesting things in the process.

* Since today is the Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, it seems fitting to link back to the most famous St. Anthony legend, Saint Anthony and the Fishes.

* The abortion debate is always frustrating for everyone; but both sides might consider remembering that some people hold worse views than one's primary opponents do:

The abortion debate, on the whole, is between the Pro-Life and the Pro-Choice lobbies. Benatar holds a candle for the Pro-Death view. He thinks that any woman needs 'excellent reasons' not to abort her child.

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