Category Archives: Opinion

The Opinion section is not only our voice, but yours as well. We encourage all currently enrolled U of L students as well as faculty and staff to use the Cardinal as a soapbox for the issues that are important to you.

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The War on Higher Education: Budget cuts increase cost of college

By Stewart Lewis–

“I am determined to reinvest in education with this upcoming budget,” the Democratic governor said while meeting with reporters in his Capitol office. “So if I have to cut some other areas to do it, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

Though it has been a while since Governor Steve Beshear gave his budget address, not much has been mentioned around this campus about its impact on us, the students.

Despite claiming that the state needs to begin to restore funding cuts made during the recession to prevent any backsliding in education, Governor Beshear’s proposal includes an additional cut for post-secondary education.

Post-secondary education funding has already been heavily cut during Governor Beshear’s tenure. With his current budget, an additional 2.5 percent will be cut, making the total cuts for post-secondary education to a whopping 17.5 percent in his six years in office.

President Ramsey and President Eli Capilouto of the University of Kentucky addressed lawmakers on Thursday, warning that the governor’s budget could lead to higher tuition rates for students and layoffs for employees. President Ramsey stated that the current proposal would cut $3.5 million from the University of Louisville.

President Ramsey urged lawmakers to pass additional revenue generating measures, specifically expansions in gambling and tax reform.

The issue of the increased cost of college is directly caused by a bill, HB1, recently passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives. HB1 proposes a raise in minimum wage.

Under this bill, colleges will have to pay their workers more money, increasing the overall cost to students of higher education.

The cost of higher education issue should be very simple. Keep the minimum wage as is — pay the workers what they are actually worth, $10.10 (the proposed minimum wage) if they are worth it, and if they are only worth the current minimum wage ($7.25) they should improve their performance in order to earn a raise, not have one given to them.

However, in an article from a student at Western Kentucky University, the consequences of HB1 have become abundantly clear: an additional cost of near-as-makes-no-difference $1.3 million in an unfunded mandate, paid by you, the student. With the passage of HB1, the added cost of higher education due to an increase of the minimum wage will occur in Kentucky.

With this bill, sponsored by Democrat Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg, and the most recent budget address by Beshear, it is time to realize that Kentucky Democrats are not being truthful in their determination to alleviate the costs of higher education.

It is far beyond time to get fiscally responsible people elected to office in the Commonwealth to finally start doing some things that make sense.

 

Photo courtesy of dyn.politico.com

Photo by Austin Lassell

Gender inequality: A student journalist’s struggle

By Olivia Krauth–

It’s about 9:30 PM. I’m standing in a huddle of 20 sports reporters, photographers and videographers outside of the men’s basketball locker room after a tough loss to University of Cincinnati. Including myself, there are only five girls in the crowd, but I don’t notice.

I have a folded up stats sheet in one pocket and my dead phone in the other. My bright orange press pass is securely attached to my belt loop. The locker room door opens and I begin to follow the sports editor into the locker room.

And then I’m yanking aside by a security guard, kind of like how Lindsey Lohan’s character in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” got pulled aside by a bouncer at Sidarthur’s concert.

“Who are you? Who are you with? Why haven’t I seen you before?” Apparently, having a press pass didn’t exactly mean clearance into the locker room.

I explain that I’m legit, I’m simply new to sports coverage, as the remaining members of the media file past me and into the locker room. Two of those members were female, prompting the guard to say, “Who are all of these girls?”

“Can I go in now?” I was expecting a simple yes or no, but I got something more.

He explained how they are worried about girls sneaking into the men’s locker room, and since I wasn’t carrying a notebook or a camera, he was concerned. He let me go into the locker room, and continued to ask another guard who all of these girls were. Remember, there were five girls, which is apparently a cause for concern.

But why is that a cause for concern? Are girls not allowed to be interested in sports? Are they not allowed to cover sports for the media? Why was I plucked out of the crowd, even though I had credentials displayed, simply because I was in the minority? I was barely allowed into the KFC Yum! Center without a press pass.

Simply put, it shouldn’t be a concern. Once I finally gained access to the locker room, I watched the females fight to the front of the herd around Montrezl Harrell. They were doing the same things as the male reporters, but on many occasions, they were in front of the males. They were simply doing their jobs, so why where they judged for that?

I was told to never write when I’m angry. After waiting nearly a week to write this, I’m not angry. But I am still shocked. I had an idea that females would be judged in what is generally a male-dominated profession, but I had no idea that someone so used to dealing with members of the press would be that judgmental.

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Why I like Valentine’s Day

By Sammie Hill–

Every Valentine’s Day, there seems to be a cult of people that vehemently protest the holiday. These people publicly broadcast that they hate Valentine’s Day and continuously declare that it is a pointless holiday invented by greeting card companies to make money, as if they’re the first people to voice that idea.

We’ve all heard the spiel, and we’re all tired of it. Why not just enjoy the day and treat it as a reason to celebrate, regardless of your relationship status?

Sure, Valentine’s Day is geared toward couples in love, but that doesn’t mean that single people can’t enjoy it too. I’ve only been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day once; however, I’ve always enjoyed the holiday because, to me, it’s about being grateful for the people in your life that you love, whether that love is romantic or not.

Not to mention a defining feature of Valentine’s Day is chocolate—an aspect of the holiday that I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate.

Plus, I always welcome the excuse to have something to celebrate. If you’re in a relationship, Valentine’s Day a great reason to go out to dinner and show your significant other how much they mean to you. If you’re single, it’s a fun reason to go out and have a drink with your other single friends.

If going out isn’t your cup of tea, then invite some friends over. Ladies, you can grab some wine or bake some cookies and watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on Netflix in your PJ’s. Guys, you can pour yourself an Old Fashioned or four and watch some “Mad Men” re-runs—and know that if you ever want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a lady friend, you should do exactly the opposite of everything Don Draper does in a relationship.

Whether you’re taken, single, or somewhere in between, if you surround yourself with good friends and people who matter to you, fun memories are sure to follow. Thus, Valentine’s Day can be enjoyable for everyone, and that’s why I’ve always liked the holiday, regardless of whether or not I’ve been in a relationship.

So, even if you don’t have someone to call “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” this Feb. 14, don’t join the spiteful, whiny and unoriginal cult against Valentine’s Day. Instead, be thankful for the people you do have. Be happy for your friends that are in love. And be hopeful for the day when you’ll find the person who will make you enjoy all the cheesy parts of life that you vowed you’d never indulge in, like Valentine’s Day.

Photo courtesy of Michael Black/ Sports Illustrated

Opinion: Sherman speaks out

By Annie Moore

“I’m the greatest of all time!” Something we’ve heard more than a couple of times from more than a couple of athletes. So why all of the fuss about Richard Sherman?

 

For those of you who have been sleeping under a rock for the past few days and haven’t heard, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gave a very controversial postgame interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews after the Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game Sunday Night.

 

“I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree that’s the results you’re going to get,” Sherman shouted “Don’t you ever talk about me! Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.”

 

So what drove a man who just won a huge game to give such a hostile interview? A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Communications presented himself so inarticulately and was an instant sensation. Whether people hated it, were amused by it, loved his bravado or deplored it, everyone had heard it and had something to say about it. But why?

 

Muhammad Ali proclaimed “I am the greatest” at the height of his boxing career and the response was nothing like this past Sunday Nights’. Why? I believe the answer is two-fold.

 

First off, Sherman attacked a fellow athlete, a professional, respected by many in the league. Yes, Sherman beat Crabtree on that particular play, but that does not entitle him to be berated by a colleague on national television. And he certainly didn’t need to be called mediocre, multiple times by Sherman even after his initial interview.

 

But the biggest reason I believe that Sherman’s comments prompted such an uproar, and Ali’s didn’t, is because boxing isn’t a team sport.

 

In what was a great team win for the Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman manages to make it all about himself. And that is what offended not only the fans, but surely his teammates.

 

No one cared when Ali alienated everyone else in the sport, because it was his and only his to defend. But when you play a game like football, where success is dependent on many men doing their jobs, to brag and credit yourself and your superiority as the key to the team’s success is not only short-sided, but it is selfish and alienates the rest of the team.

 

Sports fans and athletes alike, love the camaraderie of sport. The teamwork and cooperation used by the greatest teams is a large part of what attracts us to them, as much if not more than the talent and bravado of the athletes themselves. That’s why when Muhammad Ali steps out and says “I’m the greatest of all time” we eat it up. But when Richard Sherman says it, we lose our appetite.

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Cultural Recidivism: In defense of Nationalism

By: Adam Dahmer

In the next few articles, I plan to explain how nationalism, communism, and pastoralism – ideologies which today find few serious proponents because of historic pitfalls in their attempted realization – were successfully employed in ancient times as foundational pillars of human culture, and could once again be turned to as viable solutions to the many problems that plague the modern world.

In this article, I will discuss nationalism – primarily because of the timeliness of the issue. True to historic trends, as the international economic recession drags on, nationalism intensifies. Just as in the depression-ridden Germany of the 1930s, fascists stalk the streets of Berlin, preying on Turks, North Africans and Levantines as they once persecuted communists and Jews. In Athens, a similar coalition of ultraconservatives collectively known as the Golden Dawn, not to be confused with the Hermetic Victorian society of wizardry bearing the same name, has sworn to rid the country of non-Greeks. In England, too, the nationalists are afoot, with the leaders of the British National Party calling all members of the Anglo-Saxon diaspora to return to their ancestral homeland in hopes of making the population more solidly Caucasian.

Considering the popular association of nationalism with movements like these, it is no surprise that most mainstream intellectuals look on the term with derision. But should they? The near equivalency which now exists among the terms nationalism, nativism and racism is highly disadvantageous to society, because the former concept, unlike the latter two, is neither morally wrong nor logically indefensible.

On the contrary, it is not only moral and logical but also societally beneficial and practically essential to the self-actualization of human beings in the modern world. In explaining how, I will begin by analyzing the relationship between nationalism and the state.

The state – an autonomous group of people living in one region under a single governmental administration – is the most stable and efficient politico-economic unit in the modern world. States must exist in order to create safe markets for the exchange of goods, services, and ideas on a large scale – the basis for the accumulation of wealth and knowledge that makes society possible. In most cases, the alternative to the state is anarchy, and people living in a chronic condition of anarchy tend to become emotionally unfulfilled, economically unproductive and socially unsophisticated.

States must be unified in order to function, and the most effective unifying agent that can be employed within a state is nationalism. States comprising people of one nation – nation-states – tend to function more effectively than states comprising peoples of multiple nations. This may at first seem a false assertion, given the tremendous success of seemingly multinational states such as the United States. The important thing to bear in mind is that the term nationality is not synonymous with ethnicity. In current political parlance, a nation is a group of people who share a common set of guiding principles, values, and laws. Thus, America is a nation-state consisting of people who willingly live according to the ideals and laws enumerated in or emanating from the United States Constitution. Although citizens of the United States hail from various national backgrounds, they willingly subordinate their ancestral national identities to the collective nationality of the nation-state. Thus, when a core national identity can be established even from culturally diverse sources, diversity becomes a strength and stability is preserved.

By contrast, states that are truly multinational – comprising disparate peoples unwillingly united and living under different sets of guiding principles, values and laws – tend to be highly dysfunctional. Prime examples are the states created arbitrarily in Africa and the Middle East during the era of European colonial expansion. These states incorporated peoples of various national identities which shared few if any collective goals or beliefs. The result was unremittent strife that has periodically erupted into intense violence ever since. These nations suffer the poverty, educational deficiency, and widespread discontent that invariably accompany such instability, and which could have been avoided by dividing the states according to the national allegiances of their citizens.

Thus, we can see that nationalism is actually good rather than bad. National pride, if allowed to develop distinctly from notions of race, is a healthy human impulse that can be nurtured into a thing of beauty.  As Walter Scot once wrote, “Is there any man with soul so dead/ he never to himself has said/ This is my own, my native land?” All people ought to live in the earnest belief that their nation is – if not the best in the world – then at least as good as any other. If not, they should either join a new nation or strive tirelessly to improve their own. Furthermore, all nations should be entitled to their own state. It is not right for one people to impose their beliefs, values and laws on an unwilling other. It was this principle – the fervent belief in the right of statehood for all nations – that spurred the long-overdue transformation of American Indian reservations from virtual prison camps into sovereign tribal lands, compelled the visionary Zionists of the last century to reestablish a Jewish homeland, the displaced Palestinians of this century to demand the restoration of their ancestral territory, the Chechen desire to cleave from Russia, and the Kurdish dream of an independent Kurdistan.

So in future, when you think of nationalism, don’t immediately visualize neo-Nazis. Think instead of patriotism and the natural right of all people to live according to the doctrines of their heritage and cultural inclination. Too long has nationalistic fervor been hijacked by fascism. It is time that we reclaimed it for the deserving majority.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

 

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Disney movies lack homosexual main characters

By: Hagan Zoellers

Snow White, Ariel and, most recently, Elsa. Disney princesses have long been the model of true love for young American girls and boys.

Unless, of course, you are not a heterosexual child.

The problem with what the Disney princess series has created is inherent in the genders of the characters it displays. The stories are actually quite deep and intricate, but they are metaphorical enough to be only superficially understood by a toddler.

When making a children’s movie, it is extremely important to remember that most children do not yet possess the cognitive faculty to look at a movie and think about how it may apply to their life. If in every princess movie they see a male and a female falling in love, eventually it becomes ingrained that love is a thing that originates only between a male and a female.

My issue with the Disney princess movies is just that: they are princess movies.

A young gay child who has no exposure to the idea of romantic love other than the movies he has watched is slowly taught that true love exists between a male and a female.

For me this was an extension of growing up in conservative Eastern Kentucky where all children are taught to aspire to the day they can get married and have a family.

For children of today, even ones living in more gay-friendly cultures, this definition of love is a subtle reminder that real relationships happen between men and women.

I, an 18 year old male, was trying to enjoy Disney’s newest–and also awesome, despite its heteronormative character choice–princess movie, Frozen, yet I was plagued with a question.

Why must I always go through mental gymnastics to apply these beautiful fairy tales to my life?

Why must I figure out which character I relate to, and then dismantle the gender Disney has assigned them to understand what this movie actually means to me?

As a musician, why do I have to change pronouns in love songs to actually feel something when singing them? If we live in such a progressive, accepting society, why does our art not reflect that?

I need a gay Disney prince so that I can look at the screen and see something I have been through.

I need a gay Disney prince so that the next generation of children is raised to see homosexuality not as merely a viable option best avoided, but as a real way people are and that they themselves may be.

I can hear the good ol’ boys now: “Well, if you show ‘em all this gay stuff, they’re gonna turn gay!” To which I can only respond: “So?”

Is there something so inherently wrong with the love and affection I feel that it must be muted and avoided by others? Is my love unnatural? Are my feelings alien?

This is, of course, rhetorical.

Through great struggle and internal conflict, I have come to realize that all love is equal. No one should have to struggle, as I and millions of others have, to come to this realization. It is innate.

The heteronormativity we are exposed to as children buries it.

I need a gay Disney prince to come, shovel in hand, and begin to chip away at this mountain of hate we have allowed our society to build.

I need a gay Disney prince to remind children that love is natural, no matter who it is towards.

I need a gay Disney prince.

 

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

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Different experiences aid in self-discovery

By: Daniel Runnels

It is easy to look at the people around you and think that everyone else has got it all figured out. We spend a lot of our life hoping that at some point we, too, will figure it out.

What we find, though, is that there are just more questions and fewer answers.

This imaginary “other” who is so well put together is sometimes someone in our social group, but more often this “other” is somewhere else. In middle school we think high schoolers are the coolest and that they know everything. High schoolers look to college students the same way, and soon-to-be graduates often imagine that the professional, adult world has the answers they have been looking for.

Does it ever end? I would dare to guess that a lot of our professors are as clueless as we students are – and probably more so! They’ve lived longer and have had more time for confusion to accumulate—sorry, older people.

What I think it comes down to is that a lot of us have a notion that we should be something we’re not. Is this wrong?

Am I wrong for thinking that I am not who I could be? I intend to be great someday, but I’m not really sure where I’m going.

In this search for answers about the right way to live life and become the person we want to be, the university institution teaches us that we can find some answers in books.

Great! We have a lot of those on campus! Whatever field your intellectual journey has led you to, a big part of being a university student consists of finding out what books have to say about the topic.

To be sure, books are pretty great! There are some good books out there, and they have done a lot of people a lot of good.

Let’s be careful though. One of the great books of all time, “El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha,” is about a guy who reads so many books that he goes crazy.

While books have a lot of answers and can inspire us to great things, our education – growing into our full potential – needs more.

If books were all it took, then the hours all of us spent in classrooms growing up listening to our teachers read from books, assigning homework from books and extolling the virtue of books would have turned each and every one of us into super geniuses.

My friend, Marta, recently gave a great presentation in our religion class where she made a passing reference to a quote that highlights what else helps to make a person whole. In her presentation about the poetry of Ernesto Cardenal, she referred us to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th century French monk, who claimed, “You will find something more in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn elsewhere.”

Without discrediting the value of books, St. Bernard advocates for something just as important: experience. You can learn a lot by holing yourself up in the library and reading all day, but you can learn some very different things by losing yourself in a beautiful moment in the woods. Surely both are part of becoming who you want to be.

 

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

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Disregard society’s expectations and love yourself

By: Naomi Deeds

Everywhere I turn there is a new diet, new pill or some new clothing item to make you appear thinner. What is wrong with loving ourselves the way we are?

According to an article by Michelle Schlesinger, nearly one-third of college students are dissatisfied with their body, weight or appearance. People are different.

Just take a minute to think about the fact that if we all looked alike, no one would be unique! You were made the way you are; if you were supposed to look differently, you would be different.

Apparently in America there is an obesity epidemic going on. The United States government has declared nearly 7 out of 10 adults as overweight or obese.

According to BMI charts, I am obese. If you saw me walking past you, I guarantee you would not think of me as obese.

This obesity epidemic is ridiculous. Everyone cannot be put into a box, and made to look like someone else. I am short and stocky, and my sister is tall and thin. There is no “ideal” body; that is a myth. The only ideal body there can ever be is the way you are right now.

Body fat is necessary to be alive! I am not saying that the world should stop caring about their bodies. However, we need to take care of ourselves. Be healthy, and be happy with the way you look.

There will always be someone who thinks that you should change something about yourself. Change is not always a bad thing, but we need to be ourselves! We are unique, to the point that out of all the fingerprints in the entire world, there is not one that matches another. If we were created so different from everyone else, why are we trying to look exactly like everyone else?

It’s a new year, so take the time to appreciate yourself! Love who you are, and take care of yourself because there is only one you!

 

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

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Newest Netflix addiction: Parks and Recreation

By: Sammie Hill

Throughout winter break, most students likely had more time on their hands than they knew what to do with. As one of those students, I turned to Netflix in my moments of boredom and ended up discovering one of the most hilarious shows I have ever watched.

I had low expectations when I started watching “Parks and Recreation,” as I had heard that it was a less funny version of “The Office,” and Amy Poehler was simply a blonde Tina Fey. However, after I watched a few episodes, I found myself laughing out loud and unable to stop watching.

Amy Poehler does a terrific job at portraying bureaucrat Leslie Knope, an enthusiastic leader of the Parks and Recreation department in fictional Pawnee, Indiana. However, the rest of the show’s characters are really what makes this show exceptional.

Aziz Ansari as aspiring mogul Tom Haverford and Nick Offerman as meat-loving Libertarian Ron Swanson give strong performances as Knope’s co-workers and friends. Furthermore, the introduction of Adam Scott and Rob Lowe at the end of the second season gave the show an additional comic boost. Lowe plays cheerful, upbeat, health-obsessed Chris Traeger, and Adam Scott portrays nerdy, humorously dull Ben Wyatt.

Aubrey Plaza as apathetic April Ludgate nails the role of a strange, slightly scary but still likable college intern. Chris Pratt depicts Andy Dwyer, a singer/songwriter who eventually gets involved with the Parks Department. Andy is one of the most lovable characters on the show, despite his less than stellar intelligence. Mouse Rat rules.

The other supporting characters like Ann Perkins, Jerry Gergich and Donna Meagle add to the strength of the show. Recurring characters also appear throughout the series, like Tom’s annoying friend Jean Ralphio and Andy’s alter-ego Bert Macklin, FBI.

The actors’ timing and the wit of the show’s content makes “Parks and Recreation” a series worth watching more than once. The characters grow and change over time but the show always retains its humor and incorporates inside jokes that reward dedicated viewers.

So, treat yo-self and check out “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix. My only complaint with is that they’ve only made 6 seasons so far. Dammit, Jerry.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

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Contemplating the nature of the divine

By Adam Dahmer–

Now that my cannibalism advocacy has shown my critics the sort of story for which they should reserve their most vehement opposition, I can go back to playing theologian. In this episode, I would like to further examine the nature of God, this time with special emphasis on the question of whether God is eminent or transcendent.

In the last issue that dealt with the topic of God, we had explored the idea that God was a word used to denote the mysterious substance – or lack thereof – that “exists” (here a relative term) beyond the bounds of material existence; or, to put it another way, everything (once again a relative term) that exists, but is not matter (defined here as all things that have mass). The advantage of defining God in these terms, as discovered in the earlier article, is that it conveniently satisfies the basic definitions of God as proposed in a broad variety of religious and non-religious philosophical denominations.

This model, however, is not truly universal. Ironically, when it comes to God, it seems the devil is in the details.  The definition of God provided above envisions a transcendent deity – one that exists outside of space and time, and is divorced from the physical world. Meanwhile, most religions – even those which seem at first to define God transcendentally – describe their Deity (or deities) as being intrinsically linked to the natural world. According to the faithful, God (or gods) performs a wide array of highly physical tasks – like controlling the weather, shaping history and geography, and intervening directly and deliberately in human affairs. In order to do any of these things, a deity would have to be conscious, and have some means of interacting with the material world, both of which traits would be logical impossibilities for a purely transcendent being. For atheists, no further pondering is required; this is yet another way in which the idea of God simply isn’t compelling. If by definition a transcendent God is strictly immaterial, than all talk of miracles and divine presence in the material world is utter nonsense.

On the other hand, for everyone with a vested interest in believing in God (or just more patience for whimsy than the average atheist) there are a number of intellectual paths down which to meander on the way to reconciling the models of divine imminence and transcendence. The first, and least conforming to traditional notions of reconciliation, would be to discard the idea of transcendence altogether, and say that god is wholly manifest in the world. This concept bifurcates into two distinct divine conceptions: God as personally corporeal, and God as universally manifest. A personally corporeal god has a distinct body, and interacts with matter in much the way that human beings do, with the addition of supernatural powers. While among the most straightforward understandings of divinity, this model presents numerous logical shortcomings to be explored in later articles.

Alternately, a universally manifest god is represented in the world itself. In this view, there is essentially no distinction between God and the material world. This too, presents problems – primarily the near impossibility of disentangling the sacred from the profane.

The alternative to these conceptions of God would be the union of transcendence and imminence in a single, comprehensive divine perspective. As it turns out, most religions do exactly that, albeit in distinct ways. In many religions, the sacred dwells in a mysterious and magical realm that is separate from the mundane world. In faiths in which this alternate reality is considered purely immaterial (which is to say, spiritual), God or gods interact with the faithful through visions, dreams and signs. In systems that conceive of the alternate reality as physical, God or gods can come and go from the living world in much the same way as humans would walk through a door, or part a veil. In still other cases, God or gods are described as though they were ordinary beings – not removed from the world itself, but only from the time or place in which their worshippers live. In any case, there seems to be an almost universal notion that the world as we perceive it is only the partial expression of some greater, truer, more comprehensive reality. Although no one can agree as to what it is, or even whether it can truly be said to exist at all, cultures throughout history have tended to regard it with a sense of reverence.

In conclusion, consider this analogy. For the purpose of research, zoologists sometimes construct rectangular terrariums on one side of which is mounted a pair of rubber gloves, which protrude through the wall of the enclosure. In this way, the researchers can manipulate life forms within the terrarium without unduly affecting the chemistry of the environment they have created. To the creatures born within the terrarium, the motions of the gloves are merely a regular function of the material world they inhabit. If the walls of the terrarium are opaque on the inner side, and the chamber is hermetically sealed, they have no access to empirical evidence that any force external to their system is operant on that system at all. Indeed, it would be illogical to assume so, and impracticable to determine how such a thing were even possible. Even if some members of the experimental group suspected the existence of such a force, and the gloves behaved in ways that sometimes lent credence to their beliefs, they would live and die without ever having seen conclusive proof of the hypothesized Mover-of-the-Glove. Moreover, if they ever encountered a researcher in the absence of the glove, or strayed beyond the terrarium, their new experiences would be so wholly alien that they would have nothing with which to compare them, and no adequate means of relating to their companions the story of what they had seen.

With regard to God, I believe that human beings are somewhat like the subjects in that terrarium – conscious or unconscious witnesses to the maneuverings of a force that is wholly different from matter, yet inexplicably interactive with it, and of Whose existence widely accessible and testable evidence will probably never accumulate. It might be that there really is nothing out there, even in the absence of conclusive evidence, it is at least fun to speculate. If many of you disagree, don’t worry. Before musing further, I’ll just have to distract you by flouting another taboo.