Rocks have feelings too

February 13, 2010    By: Jacob J @ 11:55 am   Category: Determinism vs. free will

A couple of years ago I advanced the idea that rocks are free, if the compatibilists are correct. Although this suggestion was called “ridiculous” by the esteemed Jeff G, the three detractors[1] of my view mostly convinced me that it is a very useful way of illuminating the issue. (more…)

Global Warming TEDTalks 2

November 28, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 12:06 pm   Category: Uncategorized

No, this is about an entirely different global warming scandal. In this 2007 presentation, David Keith lets the cat out of the bag by revealing a cheap, fast, effective solution to global warming which we’ve known about for as long as we’ve been worried about global warming. Yes, you read that right.

Keith is a Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment at the University of Calgary and the opposite of a global warming skeptic. He loves conservation so much he is conflicted about telling everyone about the cheap, fast, effective solution to global warming because they may not want to conserve once they know about it. In fact, he cites political correctness as the reason no one discusses this cheap, fast, effective solution. (more…)

Synthetic Happiness TEDTalks 1

November 17, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 10:31 pm   Category: Happiness,Life

This talk by Dan Gilbert is one of my all-time favorite TEDTalks, I must have listened to it a half-dozen times. I can’t help but think of my mom who has as one of her principal catch phrases, “I like to keep my options open.”

(more…)

Movie Review: A Serious Man

November 15, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 9:14 pm   Category: Life

If I’ve counted correctly, A Serious Man is the Coen brothers’ 14th film. As the 2000s got underway, I was starting to think the Coens had lost their mojo. With Intolerable Cruelty in 2003 and then The Ladykillers in (2004) things were on a bad trajectory. Luckily, after taking a few years off they proved they still had some genius left by adding another masterpiece to their body of work with No Country For Old Men. Last year brought Burn After Reading which, despite having its moments, was not in contention for their best work. (more…)

All we like sheep

October 4, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 2:39 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

Despite my propensity for nonconformity and insubordination, I did my best to assimilate when I went on a mission. I followed a lot of rules, even most of the ones that seemed unnecessary. However, sometimes my contumacious nature could not be contained. (more…)

Of Grandparents and Dying

September 25, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 1:08 am   Category: Ethics,Life

Of my wife and my five remaining grandparents, four of them are nearing the end.
(more…)

Responsibility and Consciousness

August 27, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 2:26 pm   Category: Life

Lisa: You did fix them, right Dad? Because even a single faulty unit could corrupt every other computer in the world.
Homer: That can’t be true, honey. If it were I’d be terrified.

I recently checked out some books from Oxford’s “A Very Short Introduction” series. I started with A Very Short Introduction to Economics but gave up about two thirds of the way through due to it being extremely boring. Next in the hopper was A Very Short Introduction to Consciousness by Susan Blackmore. This one was plenty interesting but it made me want to strangle Susan Blackmore on several occasions. (more…)

Reasoning from the scriptures with humility

August 4, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 11:03 am   Category: Scriptures

The other night I was reading from the scriptures and I found a passage that didn’t make sense to me. Here are the verses:

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (1 Pet 3:18-20)

6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Pet 4:6)

When I read this, I marveled because I know that Jesus spent about three years preaching repentance during his mortal ministry and even though he performed a bunch of amazing miracles he was only able to convince a relatively small number of people to repent and follow him. (more…)

The Myth of Restitution

July 12, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 11:13 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

“Sorry” doesn’t put the Triscuit crackers in my stomach now, does it Carl? (Eric, Billy Madison)

If restitution is required for true repentance to take place, then we are all screwed. Sure, there are some sins for which restitution can be made. Stolen stuff can be returned. A relationship can be restored. But, for the vast majority of sins, it seems to me that robust restitution is really an impossibility. (more…)

Worst. Parent. Ever.

April 30, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 8:56 pm   Category: Life

Apparently my first grader had to write about what he did for spring break. Yesterday he brought the following paper home in a pile of completed school work, sealing my position as worst parent ever:

Breaking: CDC Locates Origin of Pig Flu

   By: Jacob J @ 5:33 pm   Category: Uncategorized

I love bacon

How Many Degrees of Glory?

March 25, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 1:09 am   Category: Eternal Progression

On Matt’s “crazy things you believe” thread several people mentioned that they don’t believe there are actually three degrees of glory, but instead see the three degrees of glory from D&C 76 as being symbolic of an infinite gradation of glory in the world to come (as Matt suggested in #5 of the original post). Although I have argued for an infinite gradation of glory in the next life, I have not abandoned the traditional three degrees. Here’s why. (more…)

Drawing a bright line between consecration and the united order

March 15, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 5:48 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Scriptures

The Setup

In the temple, we covenant to obey the law of consecration, but I have observed that there is some disagreement about what is entailed in obedience to the law of consecration. In the early days of the church, the saints established the United Order to implement the law of consecration as it had been revealed to that point. Members voluntarily consecrated (deeded over) their property to the Church and in return received a stewardship over property to meet their needs. The United Order lasted a relatively short period of time and the Church hasn’t asked people to deed over all their property for well over one hundred years. (more…)

Welcoming Guest Blogger: Kent White

February 25, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 6:42 pm   Category: The Thang

Kent (MC) is the online moniker of Kent White, the creator of MormonConferences.org (hence the “MC”). He also created and maintains the sites smpt.org (The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology) and BlakeOstler.com.

While serving a mission in Mexico, Kent happened to read Hugh Nibley’s “Approaching Zion,” which changed his life forever. As a result of Nibley, Kent took a Hebrew class and ended up graduating from BYU in 2000 with a degree in Near Eastern Studies and a minor in Spanish (though his Hebrew is now in pretty sad shape). He thought he would teach seminary until he realized that he hated kids. He now has five children with his wife of nearly twelve years and works for a charitable organization that helps children. He cites as those authors who have been the greatest influences in shaping his current world-view (in addition to the prophets): Hugh Nibley, Orson Scott Card, Terry Warner, and Blake Ostler. (more…)

The Morality of Gynecology (a poll).

January 25, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 12:00 pm   Category: Ethics

If you choose the first answer, please use the comments section to tell us how you fill in the blank.

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