Lovin’ Logic

•June 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve never given much thought to logic.  I didn’t take any logic classes in college and felt sorry for my friends who did.  Just reading the papers they wrote on Kant and Nietzsche convinced me I wanted nothing to do with the subject.  Recently, though, I’ve been reading a book by Ken Samples called Seven Truths That Changed The World, and I’ve been fascinated by how he applies the laws of logic to Christianity.

I’ve always disagreed with the idea that all religions lead to the same place and that we should just live and let live.  I’ve never been able to offer a coherent reason why, though, other than “I know Christianity is true.”  Samples has introduced me to the laws of thought (Aristotle) and has demonstrated how to logically compare the world’s religions.

The three laws of thought are
1.  the law of identity (A = A)
2.  the law of noncontradiction
3.  the law of excluded middle

The law of noncontradiction states that A cannot equal A and equal non-A at the same time and in the same respect.  For example, I cannot be both a mother and not a mother at the same time and in the same respect.

The law of excluded middle says that A is either A or non-A.  I am either a mother or I am not.

Consider how these laws help us think about world religions.  Christianity claims Christ is God.  Islam claims Christ is not God.  Christ cannot be both God and not God at the same time in the same way.  Either Christianity is true, Islam is true, or they are both false.  They cannot both be true, because they make opposing truth claims.

Judaism claims Christ is not God.  Christianity claims Christ is God.  Christ is either God or not God.  There is no middle ground.  Again, both religions cannot be true.

What does it mean that Hinduism claims there are many Gods, but Christianity claims there is only one God?  If both claims cannot be true, what implications does that have for the believers of these faiths?

It does not seem tolerant to claim that one belief is superior to another or to claim that one faith is the true faith.  And yet, humans long to believe what is true.  Our hearts cannot accept what our minds know is false (Galileo).  When we are able to logically show that all religions are not equal truthfully speaking, we can open conversations in which we examine the truth claims of the major religions and evaluate which can be verified or falsified.

(These ideas are a general paraphrasing of the information I learned in Samples’ book.  They aren’t direct quotes, but I give full credit to Samples for the ideas and information.)

Healthified Baked Oatmeal

•March 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I adapted this recipe from a delicious but not-so-healthy baked oatmeal recipe.  I love having a hot meal in the morning that I don’t have to prepare when I wake up!  If you like your oatmeal on the sweeter side, you can decrease the amount of honey and put in brown sugar and an extra TBS or so of milk.

Baked Oatmeal

1 C applesauce
4 eggs
1 ½ C honey
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla
Heaping TBS cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 C milk
6 C oats
Raisins / dried fruit

Beat eggs
Add honey, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, salt
Mix well
Whisk in butter & milk
Add oats & fruit
Stir well
Refrigerate overnight
Bake uncovered at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until set in the middle
Serve hot

I’d pay a buck for that.

•February 9, 2012 • 2 Comments

I just paid my son a dollar because he didn’t sniff his friend’s butt.

Let me ‘splain.

My little guy (we call him “Commander,” because that’s what his teachers call him) is prone to impulsive behavior.  I can’t count the number of times each week I tell him, “Get yourself under control.”  He’s not bad, he just often loses control of himself and acts impulsively.

Yesterday at school one of his friends …umm…Bud…told him to sniff …umm…Frank’s…bottom.  Bud said he would give our guy $5 to do so.  Commander refused.  Bud said he would give Commander $20 to sniff Frank’s bottom.  (or as my son told the story, his “buttocks”)  Commander refused.  Bud said if he didn’t sniff said rear that he would no longer be my son’s friend.  Commander refused again.

“Mommy,” he said, “when he told me he’d give me $20, I almost did it.  But I know you said I wasn’t allowed to smell people’s buttocks.”

It’s true.  We’ve had that conversation.

We talked about making the right choice.  I told him I was proud of him for choosing to obey instead of caving to peer pressure.

Then I gave him a dollar.

I figure I’ll reward obedience with something tangible and show him that disobedience…

well, disobedience stinks.

Shhh…

•January 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

Has this ever happened to you?

You see an old acquaintance at the store and ask how they’re doing.

Within 30 seconds they’ve stumbled on an embarrassing and slightly inappropriate topic.

You can tell they’re embarrassed, but now that they’ve started,

they don’t know how to stop.

So they just keep talking.

You picture them later banging their head on their desk, saying

“Stupid!”

*bang*

“Stupid!”

*bang*

“Stupid!”

You stand with your head cocked to the side,

listening,

and the whole time you’re imagining putting your hand over their mouth,

smiling,

and gently saying,

“It’s okay if you want to stop talking now.”

A Kitchen Haiku

•November 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Boiling Water

Pot boils, flames below.
I have an electric stove.
Must clean my drip pans!

Facebook: action or illusion?

•September 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Facebook.

I can tell you where I am and who I’m with.  I can show you a picture of my child.  I can share what I’m thinking. 

But can I change the world?

Every few days a new post surfaces that calls our attention to a hurting group of people and then challenges us to repost.  These are almost always worthy topics:  cancer, bullying, armed-forces, mentally handicapped.  Our heart hurts for the hurting, and we are moved to act.  We repost, hoping to spread the word, and we move on with our day.

But has anything fundamentally changed?

What is facebook doing to our desire to help?  Has it helped us by enabling the quick spreading of information?  Or is something less beneficial happening?  

By reposting information on facebook, are we helping?  Or are we only assuaging our guilt by making ourselves feel as though we’ve acted? 

When I repost about orphans, I feel as though I’ve made a difference for orphans.  In reality, have I made a difference in even one orphan’s life? 

What do you think?  Is facebook simply an easy way to spread awareness?  Or is it subtly replacing action with illusion?

Mine!

•September 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking tonight about how often I look at the things in my life and name them “mine.”  It’s easy to fall into the trap of compartmentalizing — these parts are yours, God, but these are mine.  I like the way C.S. Lewis describes our desire to keep as much of our lives for ourselves as we can:

“Our temptation is to look eagerly for the minimum that will be accepted. We are in fact very like honest but reluctant taxpayers. We approve of an income tax in principle. We make our returns truthfully. But we dread a rise in the tax. We are very careful to pay no more than is necessary. And we hope– we very ardently hope –that after we have paid it there will still be enough left to live on.”