Monthly Archives: December 2015

Polls, Politics, and Polemics

bomb-agrabahA few notes about this poll:

The group that sponsored this (Public Policy Polling) focuses on polls useful to the Democratic party. There are a number of polls I can think of that would be quite unflattering to Democrats, but you’d have to look elsewhere for something like that. And any pollster who would dare such a stunt would be written off as a hack organization by Democrats, who wouldn’t get past the bias to consider the results.

If asked whether you support bombing Agrabah, how would you respond if your only answers were “Yes,” “No,” and “Not Sure?” Certainly, many of these people knew it was fictional but they had to give some kind of answer. Given that the song about this place includes the line (in the original movie), “where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face,” I might well have answered “Yes” myself. Is saying that you would NOT bomb a fictional city any more ridiculous than saying “Yes” or “I don’t know?”

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Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Here is a surprisingly good article, by today’s standards, from a secular publication that touts the virtues of tolerance as consistently applied.  It regards Wheaton professor, Larycia Hawkins, who has gotten into trouble with this evangelical Christian college for showing her solidarity with Muslims on something of a theological level.  What it doesn’t do, however, is touch upon the interesting question of what is so wrong with claiming that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God.

The problem is that “God” is simply a word, and words have meaning. The meanings of most words are pretty uncontroversial and agreed upon by all parties.  Some are not as well defined, though. For instance, the meaning of the word “liberal” depends upon the country or historical time-frame to which one is referring.  The definition of the word “God” is perhaps the most controversial of all, and is the very reason why there are different religions to begin with. Some take “God” to be the universe, or an impersonal force, or a physical being, or an immaterial person, or a plurality of beings.  If “God” were a pitcher, then each religion fills it with a different fluid.
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