Friday, March 15, 2019

check out Jeff's pop quiz

See here for Jeff's pop quiz. I took a stab at it but failed. Revoke my nerd card.


John Mac said...

Why do you think you failed? I didn't really have a clue, but your answers resonated with me. Especially the part about how God is perceived creates the good/evil paradox.

John from Daejeon said...

I thought pop quizzes pertained to something previously studied. And it's not exactly a traditional nerd subject, but I'm stumped. Especially, as the god in (this) question (?) is too broad a god (really, no name) for me to narrow down in the universe of such figments of our ancestors' imagination, but I do believe I'd be partial to the female of the persuasion (Tiamat, Anat, or Hel's hel) if I believed in such morbid tales that scare the weak minded into handing over their money and countless amounts of time to the greatest pyramid scam artists/cult leaders in history. I still can't believe I have relatives who religiously gave to the likes of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Benny Hinn, and worst of all, the catholic and endless myriad of baptist churches. They'd have been better off giving their money to that other Benny...Hill. At least we could have laughed about it.

Dang, now that I'm thinking of Tiamat, I have a hankering for some "Dungeons & Dragons." Maybe, that's too nerdy.

Kevin Kim said...

John Mac,

I think I failed because I didn't give a clear answer to the poem-genre question, which I'm not sure I fully understood. It only belatedly occurred to me to actually look up the term "poetic genres," which did result in a trove of information: see here. Based on that list, I'd say the two best candidates for MacLeish's poem are psalm and lament, and since it's possible to have a psalm of lament, that's probably the genre I'd go for. However, the term "psalm of lament" refers to an actual style of psalm, and that genre usually ends with some kind of plea or beseeching directed toward God, whereas the man in MacLeish's poem seems more intent on critiquing the nature of God than on asking God for help.

I'm also not sure I got the flaw-in-the-logic question right. What I did, in my answer, was attack a premise by noting a possible mis-definition. I could also have talked about the argument's enthymeme, to wit: God-ness precludes goodness, but I sort-of attacked the enthymeme by questioning the implied definition of God.

So all in all, I think I could have done a better job, but it was almost 6:00 in the morning, and I hadn't gone to sleep yet, so I did my research (if it can be called that) rather hastily.

Daejeon John,

I think it's safe to assume that Jeff was at least partly joking when he used the term "pop quiz"; I wouldn't advise taking him literally. Things might be different, though, for his actual students at Ewha.

Your hatred of religion, which you've expressed numerous times before on this blog, is duly noted. My own opinion is that religion, especially the organized kind, brings a lot of badness in its train, but we can't cherry-pick the evidence and pretend it hasn't also motivated people to transcend themselves and do a great deal of good. I also think that, if we were ever able to eliminate religion altogether, people would continue to act venally, spitefully, duplicitously, and maliciously, because the root of evil inside religion goes beyond religion itself. Uprooting religion won't solve the basic human problem: other institutions, other goals and endeavors, will arise and fill the religion-shaped hole in the human spirit. We see this happening already among people who take politics to be their religion—the sort of people who will end friendships because of a disconnect in political worldviews. Kind of sad, really, and often just as superstitious, illogical, dogmatic, and misguided.