Torch torched: Robert Torricelli quits

Torch torched
: Robert Torricelli quits the race and manages to turn it into a bottomless egofest. The man ruins the the Democratic party and manages to act haughty about it. What a dickdork.

So who’ll replace him on short notice? Former Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Bill Bradley Rep. Bob Menendez are the names on the list so far.

I wonder what the residency requirement is in NJ. Can Bill Clinton run?

Or how about Bruce Springsteen?

: The Republicans are becoming all too accustomed to winning elections in court, not at the polls. They’re threatening to stop anyone from replacing Torch on the ballot. How undemocratic (small d) can you get? We voters in New Jersey deserve the right to vote for a candidate of our choice. This is not Florida!

: Torch’s opponent’s TV commercials are still running in prime time. Kicking a horse after it’s down.

: Not that I’m suggesting this, but Torch would have done his Democrats a better service if he’d torched himself. We’d elect a dead man (a dead man defeated John Ashcroft, remember). But trying to find a live one is way harder.

Another era bites…
: I walk by the famous Howard Johnson’s on Times Square today and it’s closed by order of the Health Department. Damn. An icon falls. And I didn’t get to have that last taste of HoJo’s fried clams.

Let me kiss my diploma
: The MIT Open Courseware program is turbo cool. I thought I’d take a class at MIT using its open-source class materials. I now think better of it. I think I’m glad I graduated college when I did.

I was, for a brief while, a philosphy major. But it was nothing like this.

Here are notes from MIT’s problems of philosopy class:

II. The Problem of Evil

Remember, we’re considering the existence of a certain kind of God, a God who is perfect in every way. By hypothesis, this God is omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly good (I’ll abbreviate these characteristics as “OOG”).

1) If God exists, she’d be OOG. [By hypothesis]

Now surely if an OOG God exists, there ought to be no evil in the world. Here’s why: Since God knows everything, she knows when there is going to be an earthquake, or terrorist attack, or a lynching. Since she is all-powerful, she could prevent it if she tried. But since she is wholly good, she does try. Thus the earthquake, terrorist attack, lynching, etc. is prevented. So:

2) If an OOG being exists, there would be no evil. [from 1]

Suppose, then, that:

3) God exists.

You should conclude that:

4) There is no evil. [From 1-3]

But the truth is that (as the Dostoevsky reading and current events make vividly clear):

5) There is evil.

But note that (4) and (5) are contradictory. You can’t reasonably believe both that there is and there is not evil in the world. As a result, even many religious people have felt compelled to conclude:

6) [An OOG] God does not exist.

This is the problem of evil for theism. Unless there is a way around the problem, theists have reason to give up their belief, on pain of irrationality.

Note that the argument, as presented, has the form of a reductio ad absurdum….

Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute….