Philosophy & Religion

For those who don’t know, the Mrs. and I like to shoot.  It’s a fun sport and we’re somewhat good at it (the Mrs. picked up some gold at a national championship when we were in college and I may have a medal or two of lesser status).  So we have a vested interest in the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) that is enshrined in the Second Ammendment.  My blogroll has a couple bloggers who write on this issue from time to time and do a much better job of it than I can.

This is a long way of saying that you should go read this essay by Kevin of The Smallest Minority.  He does a thorough take-down of an anti-gun/gun control supporter using logic and simple statistics.  It’s a fairly compact summary of most anti-gun arguments and the proper counter-arguments.

Go.  Read.

I’m down south for a while (the lower-48 for those not familiar with the Alaskan terminology) and find I have more time than usual for reading.  Right now I’m in the middle of Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh.  It’s the story of a several hundred year-old theorem that resisted proof by the greatest mathematical minds during that time and has only recently been solved.

I was amused by Pascal’s view of religion,

 Pascal was even convinced that he could use his theories to justify a belief in God.  He stated that “the excitement that a gambler feels when making a bet is equal to the amount he might win multiplied by the probability of winning it.”  He then argued that the possible prize of eternal happiness has an infinite valaue and that the probability of entering heaven be leading a virtuous life, no matter how small, is certainly finite.  Therefore, according to Pascal’s definition, religion was a game of infinite excitement and one worth playing, because multiplying an infinite prize by a finite probability results in infinity.

There are many paths to faith.

That said, I recommend the book.  I’ve been a fan of Singh since discovering The Code Book several years ago.