Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Abraham again

Abraham's situation with Isaac is one of the most interesting ethical issues in history. What on earth was going on there? I could go on and on, but you already know the story. Think about it.

While you're at it, try this on for size. What if Abraham had already decided to disobey God when the angel told him to stop? Perhaps "passing the test" was to see if Abraham put more stock in obedience to an unethical commandment than to do what is right? Levinas talks about this, I find the idea fascinating. There is much more to this than I am writing; if anyone is interested in more please respond to the post or ask me...

Who am I?

I look at who I've become. What I am right now is not ever what I expected when I was 8, 12 or even 19. How did I end up the person I am? Was I led inexorably to become myself or was it through a series of choices that I made? Were there choices that I had no idea would affect my life that permanently altered my very take on life and my character? Or does who we truly are simply shine through as we live our lives? Not only am I different than I thought I'd be, I don't think I've ended up being what anyone expected. Maybe I am and I'm just blind to that fact.

So, I look at myself and think, could I have done it differently? Would I even want to? There is no 'right' way to do it and each path comes with it's bumps and potholes. Sure I could have avoided some of the problems I face right now, but what sacrifices would I have made to avoid them and which problems would have come instead? As much as there are certain parts of my life that I'm not entirely happy with right now (read: very frustrated at), I feel that all in all I am doing this just as well as I can and living as truly as I can to what I believe is right. That is somewhat placating, but it doesn't change the fact that I am blown away, amazed and even frustrated with the current state of Eric L. Dowdle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Abraham = good

Abraham's Dad = bad

Huh? Didn't they do the exact same thing?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Messy moral muddle

What do you think about doing the right things for the wrong reasons? Sometimes it is viewed as a very good thing (perhaps in the case of modern-day home teaching or 8 year olds that get baptized to make their friends and parents happy) and other times it is seen as slightly more negative (for instance: Cain). What creates the difference? Is it the degree of the wrong reason? The degree of the right thing? A comparison of the degrees? I've been told to "fake it 'til you make it" and that seems like a decent idea until you realize that perhaps that "faking it" leads to many of the problems in the world. Insincerity seems to be rampant and it destroys relationships, families, businesses, societies and lives. When you put it that way it doesn't seem like such a hot idea. So....what gives?

On the flipside, what about the wrong things for the right reasons? What does that even mean? Is there a "right reason" to do the wrong thing or does it then become the right thing to do?


Some people are accused of being shallow in their pursuit of the opposite gender. Where does that idea come from? It's a stretch to say that some of us don't have certain strong biases when searching for a significant other, so why is "hot" or "rich" considered shallow when "kind" and "loving" are not? Is there something inherently better about those? Is it tied to the relationship itself? Perhaps the latter make for longer-surviving flings? However, that once again assumes that one is searching for something long-term, which may or may not be the aim. Another judgment call made on seemingly shaky ground. Can we simply say that everyone looks for particular things and none is better or are there actually better things to seek? Is there "shallow"?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Good, good movie

It's hard to find a decent movie these days, you know? I'll post 'em on here as I find them. Tonight's addition? "Inside Man". Very, very good. Filmed well, cast well, a thinking movie. Check it out!