NaClhv

Theology, philosophy, science, math, and random other things
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The coronavirus pandemic: status report on the United States

But we're all wondering whether we've done enough, and how things will turn out in the future. After all, it's the future that's scary: people often report and comment on the current numbers, but I think this is a mistake. The current numbers, of themselves, are insignificant. It's what they portend for the future, under the assumptions of exponential growth, that's the cause for alarm. That's why it's so important to break the exponential, through our efforts of social distancing and better personal hygiene.

On the coronavirus

This doesn't mean that anyone should panic, of course. You wouldn't panic over someone not wearing their seat belt, or lighting up a cigarette. But you'd clearly agree that these are bad ideas. And, again, the risks here increase exponentially with time. Soon enough it will be like getting in a car with a drunk driver. Without a seat belt. On a stormy night. For a drag race.

Some vague, unoriginal thoughts about the election

[...] Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by […]

Religious freedom and religious accommodations

This post is a consolidation of a whole series into one post. It's fairly long. Click on the following entries in the table of contents below to jump directly there: Introductory case: A Muslim flight attendant who won't serve alcohol Enumerating the general principles at work A Muslim student's home-engineered clock is taken for a […]

Religious freedom and religious accommodations (Part 5)

In this post, I will tackle the story surrounding Kim Davis. She is the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who was jailed for some time for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Her rationale was that issuing them to same-sex couples would violate her religious beliefs. The rules for this post are the same as […]

Religious freedom and religious accommodations (Part 4)

I will tackle the story surrounding Sweet Cakes by Melissa in this post. "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" is a cake shop that was heavily penalized for refusing to cater a same-sex wedding, which they felt was against the principles of their religion. The rules in this post are the same as in last week's post: […]

Religious freedom and religious accommodations (Part 3)

In the last post, I stated several principles which govern the interaction between the majority and a minority. We will now apply these principles to a real-world case, beyond the original story of the Muslim flight attendant. For reference, the principles are reproduced below: I believe that people have a right to the free exercise […]

Religious freedom and religious accommodations (Part 2)

The goal of this post is to clearly state the principles which informed my position in the last post. As a reminder: the last post discussed a Muslim flight attendant who was in danger of losing her job. She had refused to serve alcohol on flights, as such service would go against her faith. My […]

Religious freedom and religious accommodations (Part 1)

There is a news article about a Muslim flight attendant who is in danger of losing her job. She refuses to serve alcohol on flights, as such service would go against her faith. This story seems to be a decent test case for evaluating our positions, without the usual political cheerleading getting in the way of […]

Human laws, natural laws, and the Fourth of July

Have you heard about the time they tried to redefine pi(π) - the mathematical constant - by law? Yes, that really happened. The cherry on top is that the suggested value of pi was not anywhere near the correct value: the bill implied various different values like 3.2 and 4. Thankfully, the bill never became law, and […]
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