I had a prescription for new eyeglasses sitting on my desk for the last seven months. I had been procrastinating getting new glasses because I didn't particularly like my optometrist after a new crew took over, but inertia held me back from trying another establishment. On Friday, 10/21, I finally decided to try Modern Eyes. My daughter had gotten her glasses there and was satisfied. It was late in the day so, after placing my order, I walked next door to Bonefish for a relaxing beverage. Just as I was about to place my drink order, my phone rang. It was the optometrist asking for my prescription numbers, which I had forgotten to leave with him. Walked back, dropped it off, and went back to Bonefish. Had I not stopped for a drink, I would have been halfway home when the optometrist called.

On Saturday, Becky and I went to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, in Fletcher, NC. The event is held in a large indoor arena. To our surprise, we ran into a friend we hadn't seen in 20 or more years. J, and her husband W, attended the same church Becky and I went to after we moved to Georgia 31 years ago. J and W moved to the Greenville area 4 years ago. It was wonderful seeing her again and catching up on mutual friends.

Theism vs. Atheism Debate Update

It has been almost eight weeks since I last posted on the Theism vs. Atheism debate. The delay is partly due to the busyness of life interfering with blogging. But mainly, the delay is due to my wanting to finish the Yale course on game theory, since this is critical to developing the argument for a biological basis for morality. I also need to finish taking notes on Lewis' Mere Christianity, since one of Lewis' arguments for the existence of God is a nearly universal morality which, broadly speaking, equates to one of the variants of the Golden Rule. See here, for example, for the Golden Rule in ancient Egypt 2,000 years before Christ.

I'm also finding interesting articles which have to be worked into the biological theory of morality, such as ParaPundit's "
Non-conformists Better At Working Toward Common Good", which I highly commend to your attention. Since this mentions the positive role of the nonconformist in society, with the recent passing of Steve Jobs, it is fitting to mention this except from the Newsweek article, "Exit the King" from the Sept. 5 issue:

After becoming rich and famous in his early 20s, he realized that he needed colleagues who weren't awed by his myth and could assert themselves forcefully against him – especially since he was at once strong-willed but under educated and inexperienced and still insecure about his judgment. He found that by delivering brutal putdowns of his co-workers he could test the strength of their conviction in their own ideas. If he said "this sucks" or "this is sh!t" and they fought back fiercely, he would trust their passion, especially since he often lacked the necessary technical acumen or aesthetic confidence. (Even though he instinctively grasped the importance of design from early on – he had wanted to enclose the Apple I in a case of beautiful blond koa wood – he remained uncertain about his taste for many years before he settled on the safety of austere minimalism). He found that many of the most brilliant engineers and creative types actually responded well to cruel criticism, since it reinforced their own secret belief that they weren't living up to their vaunted potential. Jobs's relentlessly high standards inspired their own maniacal work.

Continuing with the theme of the need for the non-conformists, Here's To The Crazy Ones, narrated by Steve Jobs:


Morality in a Fantasy Novel

I have been re-reading the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin. In Myth Alliances, on page 165, I was delighted to find the hero of the novel make this observation:

There wasn't a thinking being alive who deep down didn't feel fundamentally flawed.

This, of course, is one way McCarthy's third design requirement can manifest itself.

Something M.Y.T.H. Inc., on page 27, another character explains morality in terms of the iterated prisoner's dilemma, even though he likely never took a course in game theory:

"What I mean is, when you're a soldier, you don't have to worry much about how popular you are with the enemy, 'cause mostly you're tryin' to make him dead and you don't expect him to like it. It's different doin' collection work, whether it's protection money or taxes, which is of course just another kind of protection racket. Ya gotta be more diplomatic 'cause you're gonna have to deal with the same people over and over again."

For another example of art revealing life, see the post
The Telling.