Thursday, September 8, 2016

Three Things Thursday

1. I sometimes see people use Carl Sagan's quotation, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", as proof for atheism. As a philosopher, that makes me facepalm. The truth is that "there is a god" and "there is no god" are both extraordinary claims by definition, since they deal with metaphysical realities and the supernatural realm. If you truly take that quotation seriously, you will require a good deal of evidence, before accepting either position.

2. I keep seeing news stories about the health risks of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump is overweight and eats too much junk food, while Clinton sounded like she had a respiratory disease last week. I remember when John McCain ran for President in 2004; they were a lot of news stories about his health risks, too.

I don't want to be ageist here, but if political parties want to avoid health problems with their candidates, then they should probably stop nominating senior citizens. I'm sure that when I'm a senior citizen, I'll be looking to retire, and not looking to grab the most high-pressure job in the entire country. Not unless I plan to be a mostly hands-off President like Eisenhower.

3. In "behind the scenes" Catholic news, Pope Francis is continuing his reform of the Roman Curia. He recently shut down four Pontifical Councils, combining them into a new dicastery, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

What does this mean in layman's terms? Well, he combined four different departments that traditionally are run by Cardinals. So now three fewer Cardinals are needed, to run things in the Vatican. Pope Francis has been cutting/changing a lot of jobs that require Cardinals.

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