The NYT presidential endorsement

The New York Times Editorial Board announced its official endorsement for the 2016 presidential race Saturday and it’s, well, not really all that surprising.

Another recent piece from the board looks at the election from the perspective of the opposing party, featuring an excellent opening line with a modified version of Thomas Hobbes’ famous Leviathan quote.

We’ve seen similar opinions shared at other national papers, but this is certainly an important endorsement when one considers the sheer enormity of the New York Times’ circulation and influence.

 

 

Melissa Click gets community service

Columbia City Prosecutor Stephen Richey announced Friday morning that Melissa Click won’t be serving any jail time, so long as she holds up her end of a new bargain involving mandatory community service.

In exchange for taking a pledge to refrain from any legal violations for one year, waiving any possible statute of limitations defense and undergoing 20 hours of community service work, the city will forgo its prosecution of Click.

However, if Click at any time violates the proposed agreement, her prosecution will resume.

I expect this deal to be quite controversial in the community. As of this writing, the Facebook comments are already lighting up with those viewing the punishment as too soft. Others see the outcome as just and appropriate, however, an attitude of opposition that is wholly expected in a community of free individuals.

Will the conversation at least remain civil? We can only hope.

 

Kierkegaard was an interesting fellow

I needed a quick break from thesis readings, so tonight I decided to (briefly) explore the philosophy of Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, “father of existentialism.”

Either it’s not actually procrastination, or I’m just adept at fooling myself into believing it isn’t.

Give yourself a pat on the back if you caught the terrible Kierkegaard joke.

Focusing my limited time on his philosophy of religion—the area which I found to be most interesting—I decided to note my thoughts on what seems to be his main existential argument, or at least how I understood it.

Be warned: I knew very little about Kierkegaard before tonight, and still feel that I know relatively little about his overarching views. Therefore, you might disagree with my interpretation.

Kierkegaard on Religion

Kierkegaard believes that you, as an individual, are enslaved unless you are free to do what you please. By this logic, he believes you should try to do exactly that which you wish to do most above all, which is the key to true happiness.

What each individual wants to do most above all, psychologically speaking, is to believe in universal moral truth, and so you should seek to further this interest.

(But what if I want to commit immoral acts? Plato and others have argued that you would never truly want to do this if you were in a fully rational position, and that all immoral desires are merely a result of insufficient knowledge.)

Believing in universal moral truth requires some form of religion or anti-naturalism, although, admittedly, there still exists a broad variety of distinct ideologies within this grouping.

So, what you should do to be truly free is to become religious, even though there is no possible rational justification for religious truth being correct.

This, Kierkegaard explains, is called the “leap of faith,” and without it, not only can you not be free in the most meaningful sense, but you can never truly vanquish psychological existential anxiety from your daily life.

TL;DR

Kierkegaard: Deep down, you truly want to be a religious and moral individual. You’ve also been given the gift of free will. So go be religious—but avoid as much unjustifiable dogma as possible.

Is he right?

Weekly roundup 1.24.16

Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorite stories of the week on the local, state and national levels.

Did I happen to miss your favorite news item? Does something not deserve to be on this list? If so, leave a comment and voice your concerns, or (kindly) call me out on Twitter @ZacharyReger.

Local (Columbia)

Shots are fired at a local bar and grill, although no one is injured

Boone County Fire receives two shiny new toys, with several more still on the way

A Columbia car chases ends in two arrests – one of an attempted murder suspect

State (Mo.)

Gov. Nixon delivers his final State of the State address

Some St. Louis groups, irked over the Los Angeles Rams deal, continue to push for repayment

National (U.S.)

As the northeast digs out, former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg might be about to dig in

Sarah Palin returns to endorse Donald Trump, while Tina Fey returns to mock Palin

The #MenWhoBern are closing in, but Cruz-ers can’t seem to get ahead

#OscarsSoWhite cries out for greater diversity, and the Academy seems to have heard