Dec 20, 2022Liked by Peter McLaughlin

For the icon, presumably there are other art that serves the same function with less psychological risk. I agree that iconographic art is higher quality relative to price (you're basically subsidized by the makers' piety), but a print of the Hudson School would also be a good conversation piece, incentivize you to learn history, and the only psychological risk is that you fall in love with America's natural beauty (as you should).

I wholeheartedly agree with the DeBoer piece, though. Instrumentalizing religion means you don't think the metaphysical claims are important, which *really* means you think they're not true. If God is the Author of Creation, the metaphysical undergirding of reality, then that is the most important thing. Finding the claims not even worth arguing is the most damning indictment of religion I can think of

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Definitely, there are other options! Me and Rachel have all sorts of things on our walls. I was just trying to mention an option a lot of people might not have thought of. I don't think the psychological risk is *that* serious, I just felt the need to mention it as a kind of 'disclaimer', as with the Lao Gan Ma recommendation. (I also had a similar thing in a previous draft about the Smarkets recommendation, basically saying 'THIS IS GAMBLING be fucking careful you're not immune to addiction', but I took it out because I felt it came across as moralising in a bad way, and I wasn't sure if there was anyone who might read this post who hadn't already heard all that.)

On the deBoer piece, there's a line from Bernard Williams which I have always liked, and which you might also like if you take it as a kind of hypothetical modus tollens: 'Nietzsche’s saying, God is dead, can be taken to mean that we should now treat God as a dead person: we should allocate his legacies and try to write an honest biography of him. '

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Lao Gan Ma is so good, we also really like fermented black beans (recipes from Fuchsia Dunlop)

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