Friday, March 24, 2017


In an article in a national magazine for electrical engineers (IEEE Spectrum) on whether (some) robots should be considered “persons” or have “personhood rights” (really???) such as a corporation has rights, there is a quote from an Australian law professor:
Legal persons must know and be able to claim their rights: They must be able to assert themselves as members of a society, which is why nonhuman animals (and some incapacitated humans), and artifacts like AIs should not be considered legal persons. (my emphasis added.)

Interestingly, it was not my highlighted exception which surprised or had not been previously considered by the author of the article, or even commented on during the rest of the article. Why am I continually surprised?
Obviously, already in today’s society certain humans have been routinely denied the rights of persons – namely the unborn and those considered in comas or “brain dead” (whatever that means – the definition of which is constantly in flux due to convenience and organ donation issues.)
But apparently we haven’t reached the end of the road in denying rights. Throughout history man has denied the humanity of one group or another. Even though we believe we are the "enlightened" generations, it goes on and on.
On this eve of the Feast of the Annunciation .... Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My view on the Benedict Option ...

... is actually someone else's.

I haven't read a lot of reviews, and I haven't read the book, but from reading about BO from Rod Dreher's blog, the sense I get corresponds pretty well to this review.

If the Benedict Option is just Christianity, it is neither inherently Benedictine nor is it optional. If it is a feeling and an intuition, it needs to be guided by careful thought.
Dreher himself, in an earlier articulation of it, says it is the charge to be distinctly Christian and countercultural in the face of cultural hostility “even if that means some degree of intentional separation from the mainstream” (italics Dreher’s). But that already has a name: Christianity.

Christianity has always called one to be countercultural - the struggle to be in the world but not of the world.

I have no particular plans to read the book, so I probably won't mention it again.
It was my privilege this past weekend to visit with some young men from Florida State U and Rutgers along with a few of the Brothers from the Brotherhood of Hope at a working retreat of sorts in NC.
In talking to one of the Brothers, I was again struck by how much going on a mission trip to serve the poor changes the lives (and plans) of so many people.
The Brothers work at secular campuses to bring Christ to those who don't know Him.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Corn, Snow, and "The Benedict Option"

We almost planted corn on Saturday but ran out of time. We woke up to snow and more cold weather on Sunday. Still cold today, but I think I will be planting my sweet corn within a week.
Reading a review (review by Collin Hansen) of Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option:
Here’s how to get started with the antipolitical politics of the Benedict Option. Secede culturally from the maintream. Turn off the television. Put the smartphones away. Read books. Play games. Make music. Feast with your neighbors. It is not enough to avoid what is bad; you must also embrace what is good. Start a church, or a group within your church. Open a classical Christian school, or join and strengthen one that exists. Plant a garden, and participate in a local farmer’s market. Teach kids how to play music, and start a band. Join the volunteer fire department.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar!
Personally, I am more interested in reading Out of the Ashes by Anthony
I think the so-called Benedict Option is nothing more than living the Faith - being in the world but not of it. This is what Christians have been called to do for 2000 years. But we need resets because we are seduced by the world and need to pull back periodically - Oh, that's called LENT!
Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Read in the Emergency waiting room (waiting to find out daughter did NOT have appendicitis):

Now, since people tend to prize knowledge above holiness, we must be warned that this enlightening is not an understanding of the Divine Mysteries. It is a call (vocation) to obedience; and it is a mission (apostolate) to love the laws of God: the two Great Commandments. (Conversio by John Meehan 1976)

I think it is true - people love to know things - and we sometimes think because we have all this knowledge, that we are holy. (I know the commandments; I know the catechism; I know the proper rubrics for the Mass; .... etc.) But probably most of us will realize this is false if we think about it.
Oremus pro invicem!