How You Can Help: "Project Name-Drop"

Help folks learn about and practice plurationalism (commitment to everyday reasoning regardless of one's worldview) by name-dropping the word! Use "plurationalist" or "plurationalism" in one of your posts, tweets or links this month! And when your Facebook friends ask you what the word means, tell 'em! (or tell them to check it out on Wikipedia!)


New This Week

In Op-Eds: D.J. Tice, Kirk O. Kolbo, and the Star-Tribune Editorial Board on 1) the "Culture of Mendacity," 2) "Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Straightforward Men," and 3) "Getting Past Ideology."
In Links: The Jane Goodall Institute (why should we be the Earth's only sapients?)
In COR's Hall of Shame: U.S. Piano Keys!
And below, our new Parable of the Week: On "purposelessness!"


Parable of the Week

The Purposeless, The Purposeful
Residing in the body of a small, gentle man with a twitchy mustache and darting, smiling eyes was the greatest mind in the world.
As this man saw the world about him, unbidden solutions to all the world's ills erupted from the volcanic fissures of his brain.
Yet he put his solutions aside in a small notebook and spoke of them to no one, as if they were raw nuggets of gold in a small jewel box.
Over the years, the man with the greatest mind would sometimes retrieve an idea to change the world, rub it in his fingers to a burnished sheen, then, yawning in distraction, return it to the far, still niches of his awareness -- there to perch in the dust, inert and forever untouched by any other.
Residing in the body of a large dynamo of a man with a squinty face and still, intent eyes was the greatest will in the world. As this man saw the world about him, few solutions to but a few ills in the world could he mine from the coal-dark cave of his methodical, ungifted mind.
Yet his willfire consumed those ideas like a forge, and would not relent.
Over the years, the man with the greatest will methodically hammered together each nugget in his solution to change the world -- and steadily forged his idea until it was laid out for all to see and touch.
Thus, purposelessness is your most terrible foe -- for it destroys not only what you are, but what you could have achieved.

April 25, 2015, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2015 (Chapter 3, "Emotion's Mastery"), by Frank H. Burton.


The Trap, The Latch
Silver cavorted amidst the fallen trunks of an aspen forest -- two minks, who lived as mates.
As they scampered and rolled in sodden leaves and pinecones, they chanced upon a strange, hollow bush.
It was made not of leaf and bark, but of hard metal wire - and inside it sat a pile of fresh, smelly minnows!
Circling the wire bush, they found a hole in it, and dashed in to feast.
But as they entered, the hole snapped shut behind them -- and they knew they were caged.
In despair, one of the minks gulped down all the minnows and paced for hours, then chewed on its own silver fur in frustration and fear, until its jaws slacked limply open.
But the other mink merely sat, sniffing and gently pawing the lip of the cage's closed door.
Then it began pulling and pushing at it -- and, finally, lifted the tiniest of latches, and so too the door.
The mink squirmed under the raised door to freedom -- with its mate's gleefully chittering head jammed so tight under the first's hindquarters that, in escaping, their two bodies looked like nothing so much as a big, furry snake.
Thus, free your mind. -- via The Matrix

April 5, 2015, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2015 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton. Dedicated to Pope Francis' "Urbi et Orbi" Easter speech calling for adoption of "peaceful attitudes" by extremists; but with the reminder that to call for "peacefulness" among those trapped in "aggressiveness" is to call for the unteachable consequence of a deeper practice, which can only itself be taught: To rationally question dogma, not unquestioningly accept it.