Showing posts from July, 2016

What is the Abyss?

The word “abyss” comes from the Greek for “without bottom”. Taken literally, it means “bottomless pit”. Thus, it literally means something that cannot exist. There are no bottomless pits. The word seems designed to be confusing. It is a concept that can only be used as a metaphor for something else. The deep-sea floor is called “the abyssal plain”, but that makes no sense, as it is the bottom of the ocean. “The abyssal plain” literally means something like “the bottom of the bottomless pit”. I suppose that the concept of a bottomless pit made more sense before people knew that the Earth is a ball in space. You could imagine a hole in the Earth that goes down, down, down, and never comes to an end. But even then, can you really imagine a bottomless pit? Can you imagine infinity? A bottomless pit is a metaphor for infinity. You can only conceive of infinity in terms of what it is not. Infinity can only be defined and understood as the absence of something finite. The word “

Reality Matters

I thought I would talk about the recent shootings by police and shootings of police, mainly to have all the details in one place. Tuesday July 5 2016 On Tuesday July 5th police killed Alton Sterling, a 37 year old black man, outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge. They had been called by someone who claimed that Alton had threatened him with a gun. Alton did have a gun. The police attempted to arrest him and he resisted arrest. He was taken down to the ground with a struggle, and while the police (two officers) were struggling to subdue and cuff him, one of them said "He's got a gun!". One of the officers shot Alton multiple times in and he died. I think the police definitely handled the situation poorly, although of course it is easy to say that sort of thing sitting at your computer, not fearing for your life. There was no evidence that racism had anything to do with the altercation or death, since the police were responding to a call and dealing with an armed