July 17, 2018

Mere Science and Christian Faith, by Greg Cootsona: Chapter 2- Emerging Adult Faith: Not an LP, but a Digital Download

Mere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults, by Greg Cootsona: Chapter 2- Emerging Adult Faith: Not an LP, but a Digital Download

We are reviewing the book, Mere Science and Christian Faith, by Greg Cootsona, subtitled Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults.  Today we look at Chapter 2- Emerging Adult Faith: Not an LP, but a Digital Download.

Cootsona is the Onsite Co-Project Leader, along with David Wood, Co-Project Leader from Glencoe Union Church in Glencoe, IL and Dave Navarra, Program Administrator/Primary Contact from Community Presbyterian Church in Danville, CA of Scientists in CongregationsScientists in Congregations is a $2 million grant program, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, created to catalyze the dialogue of theology and science in local congregations.  They conducted an 18 month research project on the attitudes of 18-30 year-olds called, SEYA: Science Engaging Young Adults.  They presented groups in Northern California and in New York City ( a total of 638 participants) with a questionnaire based on surveys from Christian Smith’s Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults  and David Kinnaman’s You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church . . . and Rethinking Faith.  They surveyed the participants before presenting them with a seminar on integrating science and religion and then after the seminar.  So what he presents in this chapter is a result of the surveys and the discussions that occurred during the seminar, as well as his 18 years of pastoral ministry in congregations filled with college students.

“Well, go get a job and move out if your allowance doesn’t have the purchasing power it did when you were fourteen.”

Cootsona notes that the term emerging adult refers to that psychological developmental period or stage of life where a person no longer feels like an adolescent but is not yet fully an adult.  This term recognizes the current cultural shift (at least in America or the first world) in which individuals are reaching the five milestones of adulthood—leaving home, finishing school, becoming financially independent (i.e. getting a job), getting married, and having children—much later than they did in the past.  He notes a 2009 analysis that found in 1960, two-thirds of young adults had achieved all five of these markers by age thirty, but by 2000, less than fifty percent of women and one-third of men had done so.  Of the six grandchildren I mentioned, ages 14-21, three post-high-schoolers still do not have their driver’s license (don’t even get me started, and yes, I’m a ride enabler, and part of the problem).  Cootsona also notes that those in lower socioeconomic levels often do not have the luxury of being “in between” and move out of adolescent life into adulthood more quickly than their peers of greater affluence.

Since the marrying age is around 28 for men and 26 for women, most emerging adult’s relationship to faith is not defined by family.  This reality presents a jarring contrast to the organization of most church ministries.  The church’s “focus on the family” tends to not make room, or even ostracize, emerging adults in their 20s. Cootsona quotes Christian Smith from the above mentioned book:

The features marking this stage are intense identity exploration, instability, a focus on self, feeling in limbo or in transition or in between, and a sense of possibilities, opportunities, and unparalleled hope.  These, of course, are also often accompanied by… large doses of transience, confusion, anxiety, self-obsession, melodrama, conflict, disappointment, and sometimes emotional devastation.

Cootsona outlines 3 possible ways he thinks Christian ministries could engage emerging adults.

  1. Take on some new topics. The psychological effects of screen time, the possibility of artificial intelligence, the promise of transhumanism.  Concerns about sexuality and gender and the findings of neuroscience that there is no immaterial soul.
  2. A different understanding of faith, its pluralism and diversity, open to reinterpreting religious institutions, that most emerging adults are, frankly, not committed to anymore. One impediment for many congregations embracing their emerging adults is that they don’t put much into the collection plate—partly because they don’t carry cash or checks, so why invest in them if they aren’t going to invest in the institution?
  3. Third, we’d see Christian faith as Spotify mix instead of a vinyl LP. Young adults don’t buy a record and listen through it in the order the musicians recorded it.  They make their own “mix”, the listener, not the musician, determines the sequence of the music today.  The parallels with the faith are obvious.  Emerging adults are leading us out of the two-dimensional “science and religion” dichotomy to something much more multi-dimensional.

Cootsona, in a number of chapters in this book has what he terms “case studies”, a kind of digression or sidebar to the main chapter topic.  In this chapter his case study is “Addressing the New Atheism”.  I get why he includes it.

But most emerging adults express a live-and-let-live attitude towards those who disagree with them, and it is rare to find a young person expressing the stridency and aggressive anti-religion sentiment of the so-called “New Atheists”.   They exist, but mostly online.  And I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that most of the “angry internet atheists” are boomers.

That is not to say that young people aren’t moved by the appeal that atheism has to everybody.  The logic of– if you can’t measure it—it doesn’t exist.  The spooky, cold, absurd, vast indifference of the universe we now know of and the tiny, insignificant speck we inhabit in it.  Unanswered (and seemingly unacknowledged) prayer.  The finality of death.  And of course, that greatest of atheist arguments—The Problem of Evil.  But these issues have always been around, and will always be around in all ages of humanity.

My one grandson is currently professing to be an atheist.  He has watched a couple of Richard Dawkin’s YouTube videos.  He brought them up to me and I showed him the following video:

We laughed, and had a pretty good discussion of Dawkin’s circular arguments, as well as those of the Christian apologetics.  I think he realized there are no “slam-dunk” arguments for either side, and maintaining respectful dialogue is a worthwhile thing.  His grandmother’s efforts to threaten him with hell is a pretty much useless strategy.

Comments

  1. Stephen says:

    There is something so tellingly American about choosing to prolong childhood rather than extending adulthood given increasing life spans. Lordy, we couldn’t wait to get out. Of course I was born into a rural Georgia cotton mill village in 1960. My parents simply couldn’t afford to pay for college so I worked full time and put myself through. I do sympathize with kids today but I really really have to work at it.

    I suspect that there will come a time when Christian apologists will wax nostalgic about the days of the “New Atheists”. At least they cared about the subject. The lackadaisical indifference of the Nones will be a much tougher nut to crack.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      > American about choosing to prolong childhood rather than extending adulthood

      There is something terribly telling that this is how people portray what is happening . . . and seem oblivious to how condescending it sounds. It is a wave-in-the-face dismissal of the economic anxiety and uncertainty the younger generation deals with, which – simply – even myself in my 40s did not face.

      > lackadaisical indifference of the Nones

      Again…

      Call someone an old lackadaisical child and then invite them to your church; interesting how well that does not work.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says:

        Absolutely

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        My main beef with them is their Universal Smartphone/Internet/Selfie Addiction.

        I’m a late-period Baby Boomer; I’m no stranger to Arrested Development Cases. (I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Baby Boom Kid, WAAH! WAAH! WAAH!”) And these Millennial/Post-Millennial Arrested Development cases are just the Baby Boomers’ Mini-Mes distilling down all their parents/caretakers’ sins.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          GO TO YOUTUBE.
          SEARCH ON “TED TALK INTERNET ADDICTION”.

          Even though I’ve never had a smartphone, I’ve found I have to drop my browser on my home laptop before I’m able to create content (articles for an online FRP game zine and/or editing MLP fanfics) instead of only consuming it. So far, just minimizing my browser so it’s not up and visible seems to work OK.

          • Christiane says:

            true story:
            my Coast Guard son’s birthday was coming up, and he had washed his ‘smartphone’ in his jeans pocket and ruined it and needed a new phone;
            so dummy me who figures ‘how much can a phone cost anyway?’ tells son:

            go pick out the newest and the best and bring me the receipt and I’ll reimburse you for your birthday 🙂

            so he does

            and as I write out the reimbursement check for a thousand dollars, I think to myself ‘some lessons cost more than others’

            His new ‘phone’ doesn’t even need a password . . . it ‘recognizes’ him ????????

            • john barry says:

              Christiane, thanks for sharing that story. I still struggle to see people in Starbucks buy 5 to 8 dollar “drinks” and I am about to leave because the regular coffee is about $2. It is a generational thing in a lot of ways.

              My Mother always looked at the “right hand ” side of the menu when we took her out to eat, of course she grew up in the great depression. Now my wife and I do it when our family takes us out but we try to be sly about it.

              Your son did what you asked, I am sure he thought you knew the price range. I would have said and done just like you. Live and learn but think by now we would have learned.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                Note how they pay for those $5-8 special coffees:

                Just swipe their card through the reader — or not even that, just tap-and-swipe an app and hold the smartphone up before the sensor. PRESTO! They’ve bought it!

                However, they never actually see the money flowing out of their account; psychologically, they just tapped/swiped/held up the screen and Got It For FREE (plus a dopamine hit). Just like tapping/swiping their student ID during their college days charging everything to their student loan.

                The payment is invisible, the Reward immediate (and addictive). Do I need to elaborate on how this can all go wrong?

                • Christiane says:

                  well sure it goes wrong . . .

                  we got a credit card for my daughter who was in college as a ‘back up’ in case of emergencies and she used it to get OTHER credit cards . . . .

                  so one day she calls in tears and says: ‘Mom, I can’t pay my bills.’ And I said ‘what bills?’

                  I told her to gather everything up and come over with all the info, and I told my husband that she was in some kind of money trouble, whereupon he said, “We are NOT going to bail her out”

                  daughter arrives, we sit at kitchen table, she admits to the ‘other’ credit cards and confesses that she owes $ 3000, whereupon our sweet beautiful child burst into tears . . . . needless to say, Daddy caves and says ‘write a check’.

                  I did. Now that has got to be something that has happen in many American homes, and I suspect it was mostly the Dads who gave in and paid when their little girls cried and said they were ‘sorry’. A predictable scene in modern America circa turn of the millenium.

    • john barry says:

      Stephen, Born in a mill village in 1947. I think I can relate and appreciate your perspective. When my kids were growing up every chance I got going though the South I made a point to go though the “old” mill village section of many a Southern city . Some are still there but really most are now slums. I made sure my children knew where I came from and their heritage as such. I tried to show them how one generation separated them from a very bleak and limited future.

      Adam T.W. The entitlement and you owe me attitude of the younger generation is of great concern. Excuses are like noses, everyone has one and you can pick out why you fail , if that is your goal. Actually I tried to clean it up, excuses are like butts, everyone has one and they all stink. My children and grandchildren have had so much more of a secure economic and support base than I ever could dream of. I tried hard to instill in them that it takes work and effort to make it in the world and things can go as far down in a generation as they went up in a generation.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        > The entitlement and you owe me attitude of the younger generation is of great concern

        Spend some time listening to Baby Boomers.

  2. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    > The church’s “focus on the family” tends to not make room, or even ostracize

    A-friggin-men. This has been an oncoming train for decades, with the professional clergy sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting la-la-la-la-la. All that talk about being “relevant” from people who are irrelevant for money.

    >Take on some new topics.

    Funny story. I was grousing to a friend about this after yet another news story where some grey haired pastor was1 blathering ignorantly about something, and of course harshing on the silly indolent young people who won’t get in line to tell him how important he is. I got home, opened my e-mail, to find a forwarded messages from an organizer one neighborhood over that a pastor from the PCA – of all people!!! – was looking for people to talk about issues from a list of issues normal people had submitted. And even some of the hottest nastiest issues – like Housing. They have made a serious effort; I am impressed.

    P.S. if you aren’t talking about Housing, and you are wondering why 25-25 year olds don’t care what you have to say – well, you got it right there. In exactly 11 counties in the entire nation is housing affordable to those making 70-120% of AMI. And if you do not want to talk about those kind of issues – then you do not want to be relevant. Stop telling people to “work harder”; trying listening.

    • Burro (Mule) says:

      This has been a hot-trigger topic for me. My own kids are struggling trying to find housing, and nothing is working for them.

      You would think that markets would follow the amount of money available to maintain them. If this were the case, housing costs would have some relationship to what people’s incomes are. This is manifestly not the case. Therefore, money must be coming in from other sources to maintain the high prices. I see a lot of signs out here “Josie will buy your house CA$H” and so forth. Where did Josie get the CA$H to buy these houses? Did she scrimp and save and build a surplus until she could buy a house for that CA$H?

      This is even worse in my wife’s country, where the average monthly wage hovers at about $600, yet rents are at US levels even in less desirable parts of the city. The people on the street I’m talked to say the problem is foreign investors swooping in with lots of money (where does this money come from?) to buy up whole rows of flats and convert them into AirBnB short-term hotels and effectively take them off the local rental market.

      So. It’s way off-topic, but I’m listening; What is it about housing that is so hot and nasty?

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        > You would think that markets would follow the amount of money available to maintain them

        One would think – but the key to understanding this is “Regulatory Capture”. Them that gots get the power to block the market. Been through this myself; want to add a unit of housing on an urban block? It is a $1,9357 non-refundable fee just to ask permission.

        > I’m talked to say the problem is foreign investors swooping in with lots of money

        There is truth to that. Lots of people are using real estate as a safe way to store cash; it is a relatively stable tangible asset – which comically low taxation – in a world where such things are scarce.

        > buy up whole rows of flats and convert them into AirBnB short-term hotels

        This is sort-of true; it is VERY exaggerated, as it makes a good villain – it is, pretty much on its face, only potentially operable in places with demand for services like AirBNB, which is not most places..

        > What is it about housing that is so hot and nasty?

        People get VERY angry. Principally the institutions upholding the Regulatory Capture schemes: Chambers of Commerce, Neighborhood Associations, HOAs, etc… are willing to die on that hill. All the above very much see themselves as bastions of Civic Virtue, and should someone have the courage to call them to the carpet . . . well, one getting death threats is not an exaggeration. The hateful paranoid underbelly of America surfaces for full viewing pleasure.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          All the above very much see themselves as bastions of Civic Virtue…

          And are always one-upping each other in the Virtue Signalling Game.
          i.e. More Civic Virtuous Than Thou.

          “New England Puritans, seven-times distilled down to eliminate any hint of God-talk while retaining all the Righteousness and Moral Fury.”

          • Burro (Mule) says:

            When I had recently moved to Peachtree City, GA (a bedroom community for Delta, Chick-Fil-A and now media industry upper management), I made a remark concerning the number of large and active churches in that community. My correspondent snorted and told me ‘Don’t be deceived. The real religion of the men here is golf. For the women it’s real estate’.

        • Burro (Mule) says:

          Hunh.

          We have met the enemy and he is us. Just like businesses who lay off their customers’ customers’ customers then complain about quarterly revenues going over the cliff, some of the same people who are pissing and moaning about Millennials and Gen Yers not coming to their churches are making it impossible for them to do so.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says:

            Exactly.

            > pissing and moaning about Millennials and Gen Yers not coming to their churches

            And with a profound lack of self-awareness.

          • Before his spectacular tailspin and crash (from which he is currently rebooting himself) I remember reading a Mark Driscoll blogpost in which he griped loudly and smugly about seeing all the young millennials on public transportation playing on their cell phones. He wanted to know why they just didn’t go buy a car and get real jobs. Talk about being completely out of touch…

            • Adam Tauno Williams says:

              Yeah, I kinda miss Driscy, he was the perfect archetype of Obnoxious White Boomer.

              > all the young millennials on public transportation playing on their cell phones

              Goodness, I hear about that all the time. 🙂

              > Talk about being completely out of touch…

              Being out of touch is one thing – being Proud of it is another level.

              Aside: I have a nice collection of photographs from back when the Middle Class took the tram or the streetcar to work . . . all of them standing in rows, or sitting in seats, each reading their news paper. From the right angle it is like a wall of newspapers. So, the more things change.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                Yeah, I kinda miss Driscy, he was the perfect archetype of Obnoxious White Boomer.

                Well, you can always go with the Obnoxious White Boomer in the White House (now Trump Tower DC). As Wondering Eagle put it, “If you liked Mark Driscoll, you’ll LOVE Donald Trump”. (And Evangelicals seem to be bearing this out.)

        • The situation in Fairfax County VA is astounding. I have seen with my own eyes 1/2 or 3/4 acre lots get bought, the original 40s-60s house torn down, and a McMansion (or worse, 2-3 micro townhouse blocks) thrown up in its place. No parcel of undeveloped land is safe. And for all that, the prices are not dropping in any appreciable manner…

          • Adam Tauno Williams says:

            > the prices are not dropping in any appreciable manner

            When you replace 3 houses with 1 house . . .

            What many people do not realize [why would they? reading Zoning is not fun] is that it is very likely ILLEGAL to build what was there – those 3 houses. But the McMansion has, as a form, legal privilege – as the code has been rewritten to make sure The Right kind of people are the only ones who can build themselves into an area.

            • It not replacing three houses with one house… its replacing one reasonably sized house with either one ginormous house or 8-10 tightly packed ones.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                “One ginormous house” that is made of the cheapest particle-board-and-Styrofoam construction, built to be flipped for a big profit instead of being lived in. All bling, no substance.

                Or as they say in Texas, “All Hat, No Cattle”.
                http://mcmansionhell.com/101
                (Note: Site is incredibly difficult to navigate; controls are hidden behind smartphone-like menu icons; your best bet is to click on the three-horizontal-bar icon at upper left to bring up a basic menu.)
                http://mcmansionhell.com/

      • Radagast says:

        Pittsburgh until recently has lower housing prices which is why I live here…

        But….

        I have worked with kids, parents, and have a brood of my own… lots has changed and some of it has to be acknowledged. I have built houses with kids so there does not have to be a lack of drive. What I see is lack of communication past Snapchat. What I see is lack of getting out of the house. From the parents of young children I see lack of volunteerism. I see swimming pools void of teenagers. I hear my kids crying the blues because people cancel plans at the last minute because no one wants to go out and experience.

        Now this is over generalization I know. I have raised seven children and have seen change even between the older and younger. I have had discussions about entitlement, mostly because so many around them have much handed to them (this is our fault people). I have experienced parents who don’t have their kids do any chores because they had to do them when they were kids (this again is our fault)… I have seen parents so focused on their children going to CUP soccer and traveling and spend, spend, spend putting their kids so high on the pedestal, and not teaching them responsibility, helping around the house…. instead my Johnny is number 1….. I can talk about it because as a coach, religious ed instructor, parent I am in the middle of it.

        We are part of the problem. Social Media surely didn’t help the situation as it put all the focus on oneself and the ultimate Selfie… can’t turn that off now… what do we do about it and how do we adjust?

        Mentioning earlier those kids who built houses with me… these kids were smart, energetic, forward thinking so their is hope, there is always hope…

        But, as I have seen with my own kids, there is lots of anxiety, some of that not even rational anxiety… and I see it most in my children who spend the most on social media… just an observation….

        Part of housing may also be expectation. Comparing that to a vehicle… when I bought my first car I was happy that it could pass inspection. I had to work on the engine, do lots of body work and put up with it breaking down…. but it was mine. I see a lot of kids these days getting out, hooking up with another college grad and buying the McMansion. Maybe my experience is unique because of where I live…..

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Part of housing may also be expectation.

          Pumped by such things as Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, MTV’s Cribs, Flip That House, and their Social Media successors.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Where did Josie get the CA$H to buy these houses?

        From flipping the last batch of houses, of course.

      • john barry says:

        Burro aka Mule, I believe your questions and you comments on housing, like a lot of complex issues dovetail into a lot of separate but inter related issues.

        Federal and bank regulations on lending, prevailing wages in local community too low , expectations too high for many buyers i.e. living above their means,, social safety nets that provide housing assistance or government housing that creates less need for individual , private housing market that is indeed affordable, the assumption of the two income family , entitlement of some who want to start at the middle or top of the housing market not wait, no shame or real consequences on defaulting on loan repayment, greed of lenders who really have little or no risk and I am sure there are others. Plus many young people have the luxury of family help in they hit bottom that my generation never had or would even consider. Even in my neighborhood many of my peers have their “children” living with them and the children are 35 years old and up.

        Also we went though the terrible economic crisis partly and I say partly because every one has a “right” to home ownership and the big money guys took that ball and ran with it. Like I said complicated.

        My advice to young people, save your money til you have enough , rent cheaply as you can and be realistic. Good questions and I think it does tie in with topic.

        • Bear in mind that a lot of these young people are carrying tons of student loan debt and working service jobs. That makes saving money rather challenging.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      In the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the “poverty line” due to house prices and rents is now over $120,000 a year and climbing.

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Of the six grandchildren I mentioned, ages 14-21, three post-high-schoolers still do not have their driver’s license (don’t even get me started, and yes, I’m a ride enabler, and part of the problem).

    Mommy or Daddy chauffeurs them everywhere while they Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text…

    You DO know that’s a major reason for the push behind self-driving cars, don’t you?

  4. Burro (Mule) says:

    Donall and Conall, good Oirishmun that they are, look like they’re spoiling for a scrap. Dawkins must be of the same ethnicity because he looks like he’s ready to oblige them.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “Ireland… Land of Happy Wars and sad love songs…”
      (big crash in the background…)
      “That’s one of the Happy Wars starting — HIT ‘EM AGAIN, PADDY!”

  5. Michael Bell says:

    Emerging adults in their 20s in my experience do have a place in church.

    It is the still single after 30 that the churches don’t know what to do with.

  6. Rick Ro. says:

    Good comments from all. Interesting, though-provoking analysis and examples.

    I liked Cootsona’s three ideas in engaging emerging adults (“Take on some new topics,” “A different understanding of faith, its pluralism and diversity…” and seeing Christian faith as “Spotify mix instead of a vinyl LP.”) Curiously, though, I just read a stat in Rolling Stone magazine that said vinyl sales had surpassed 14M recently, as opposed to an all-time low of something like 300K in 2014.

    In fact, I offer this Guardian article:
    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jan/03/record-sales-vinyl-hits-25-year-high-and-outstrips-streaming
    which includes this quote from Vanessa Higgins, the CEO of Regent Street and Gold Bar Records, and an independent label member of BPI Council: “It’s twofold in that older people are going back to vinyl but I also think the younger generation are discovering it in a way they weren’t before. People think millennials just stream and are just digital but actually I think we are going to see increasingly over this coming year that young people still want something tangible and real and that’s where vinyl is taking on the role that the CD used to have.”

    So that kinda negates Cootsona’s theory of “Young adults don’t buy a record and listen through it in the order the musicians recorded it. They make their own ‘mix’, the listener, not the musician, determines the sequence of the music today.”

    • Rick Ro. says:

      I was a smidgen off. The actual stats from Rolling Stone:

      –> 990K vinyl records sold in 2007. (Sales have grown each year since.)

      –> 14.3M vinyl records sold in 2017.

    • Robert F says:

      I know a twenty-one year old who has a growing vinyl record collection. I love to talk music with him; he knows far more about and listens to far more of the music of my generation than I do his. Recently he introduced me to a couple Gorillaz albums, and I directed him to Jonathan Richmond and the Modern Lovers (he especially liked the song “I’m Straight” (aka “Hippy Johnny”). And he loves vinyl.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Wish I knew a 21-year-old like that. I’ve got a pretty eclectic collection of Sixties through Eighties vinyl singles, right up to the point CDs took over overnight. (Though I can find most of them — including Eighties “concept videos” when they were more like “musical short art films” instead of infomercials — on YouTube.)

        Several years ago, I introduced a few Millenials to Eighties Pop Music and usually got a good reaction. And the Sixties were more than “Dope is Groovy” and “Get Out of VIetnam”; it was a period of experimentation that died away in the Seventies as the less marketable experiments dropped from sight.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      You are on to something. There is this notion that Millennial are all Techno-Optimists with unbridled admiration for the Tech-Bros and assorted Futurists. That is not true. That category certainly exists, but I doubt it is a majority. There is also plenty of Techno-Skepticism.

      • Rick Ro. says:

        I find the renewed allure of vinyl very interesting and curious. As someone who has seen untold numbers of vinyl records warped when left in the sun too long or scratched by my klutzy hands when moving the stylus, I jumped all over CDs when they came out and never looked back. So I’m wondering if people are buying them to actually play them, or are they buying them as someone would buy art for the home…?

        I do still have all my old vinyl, though! Just could never get myself to sell them off.

        • Radagast says:

          Mine were ruined in a flood 20 years ago. We wax romantic about vinyl but in reality I remember opening a new album and finding it already warped (up and down needle movement) or sometimes warbled (needle moving from side-to-side. Nothing worse than hearing a song go out of tune because of warp/warble. I used to cart my collection around to parties so I had many scratches and beer stains….

          Loved the concept album covers… Thick as a Brick, Quadraphenia, Stand Up… all lost when CDs took over….

          • Rick Ro. says:

            Album covers and liner notes…yes, the unfortunate losses in the shift to CDs.

  7. Christiane says:

    Was thinking about this: ” And of course, that greatest of atheist arguments—The Problem of Evil.”

    I once read (can’t remember ‘source) that ‘evil’ was the absence of ‘good’

    okay, I thought, that makes a kind of sense

    and then I read that in Judaism, the lack of ‘kindness’ is the greatest sin, which also makes a ‘kind’ (sorry for pun) of sense

    ‘contrasts’ . . . .

    ?

    I need to take a good course in philosophy in order to find ‘the words’ I don’t have for what I know 🙂

    • Robert F says:

      The idea that the lack of kindness is the greatest sin fits perfectly with the idea that evil is the absence of good (or goods). I don’t see a contrast in it at all.

      • Christiane says:

        Hello Robert F

        I use ‘contrast’ in the sense of ‘lack of’ or ‘absence of’

        for example:
        darkness and light
        they are ‘contrasting’ (opposites) . . . .

        the darkness is the absence of the light

        I appreciate your comment about the the lack of kindness connecting up with the concept of evil. So I get it what you meant when you said you didn’t see a contrast. The two ideas are very much connected, yes, in that each contains a definition of one entity as the absence of the other entity internally within the idea.
        I’m muddle-ing this, so see the example below:

        It’s sort of like:

        (A is the absence of B) as (C is the absence of D)

        If this doesn’t make sense, now you know why I need that course in philosophy. 🙂

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