Sunday, February 8, 2015


Bit of a milestone here on PhilosFX. 

Can you guess what it is?

You are looking at the 800th post published on this blog. 

The first of 800 posts here on PhilosFX was published 1,645 days ago. Since then, new posts have been published at the rate of one every other day, garnering an average of 200 views each (range is 0 to 25,250) for a total of 164,000 views, or about 100 views per day (range is 0 to 400). 

I have 75 posts in draft right now and an seemingly endless supply of topics to write about. Thanks for reading along and encouraging me with comments and suggestions, 

On to 1000! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Reasoning with Atheists

I have met many people who call themselves atheists. It's sort of an occupational hazard, as I am a skeptic by trade. 

When someone asks me, "How can you believe in God?" they usually mean, "How can you believe that there is an old man with a long, flowing beard and a big white robe sitting on the throne in heaven, deciding which child to save and which city to destroy?" I usually counter, "How can you disbelieve in God?" Before the inquirer assumes I also believe the Heavenly Father prefers Diet Coke, I hasten to add, "I am not sure what God looks like, but that is a separate question from whether there is an Ultimate." Said another way, I do not rely on anthropomorphic depictions of the deity to defend my faith.

It's a whole lot easier to believe in God than to disbelieve. God can easily be something far beyond our human capacity to comprehend. On what basis of fact can any thinking person possibly know that God does not and can not possibly exist? 

To be an atheist, one must believe without proof that there is no God. 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Was Amy Purdy's Super Bowl XLIX Toyota Ad "Inspiration Porn"?

Amy Purdy

Salon ran a piece decrying the use of disabled people doing normal things to motivate able-bodied people to be more active, or live more fully, or, as the case may be, buy a new Toyota. Catch the ad HERE and read the Salon article HERE

I work with and for many combat-wounded warriors. I do not advocate exploiting the wounded or disabled for commercial gain. So if that is what is meant by the term "inspiration porn," then I am sympathetic to the concerns raised here. 

That said, wounded warriors do appreciate the positive examples of people like Aimee Mullins and Amy Purdy. Wounded warriors have responded positively to military adaptive sports programs, and we have even held Olympic-style games to showcase the resilience and determination of these people who are fighting back to reach a new normal. 

Still, the battle for normalcy includes not just personal struggles, but the struggles of reintegration into society. I do not want inspiration porn. I do not want exploitation or objectification. But I damn sure do want more people to see wounded warriors and other differently-abled people for who they are, not who they were, for what they can do, not what they cannot do, and for what they have, not what they lost. 

(H/T to James.)