this went thru my mind (on violence)

 

V-for-violenceAltruism, goodness, the prisoner’s dilemma & war: One Good Deed Deserves Another [24 min. audio; very interesting!]

“… we tackle the prisoner’s dilemma, a classic thought experiment, and learn about a simple strategy to navigate the waters of cooperation and betrayal.”

American culture, racism & violence: Transcript: Obama Speaks of Verdict Through the Prism of African-American Experience [required reading]

“We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history. And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. And the fact that a lot of African-American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African-American boys are more violent — using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.”

American history, Bible interpretation, eisegesis & the Revolutionary War: Preaching Liberty to the Colonists [book review]

“The American revolutionaries justified their cause with ample appeals to Scripture. But what should Christians think of the conclusions they drew?”

God, Old Testament & violence: Every Known Theistic Approach to Old Testament “Texts of Terror”

“The phrase ‘texts of terror’ usually refers to stories in the historical books of the Hebrew Bible that describe God as commanding his people to slaughter groups of men, women and children and “show them no mercy” (to quote on such command). Here I will lay out all the theistic approaches to interpreting these texts I am aware of. Every ‘other’ approach I know about seems to me to fall under one of these—as a version of it. … As you can see, in my opinion, all have serious problems. This is almost certainly a question that will have to wait for answer until paradise or the eschaton.”

Justice, prison system & solitary confinement: When Prisoners Protest

“There aren’t many protests in prison. In a world where authorities exercise absolute power and demand abject obedience, prisoners are almost always going to be on the losing side, and they know it. … And yet, sometimes things get so bad that prisoners feel compelled to protest, with work stoppages, riots or hunger strikes. On July 8, some 30,000 inmates in the custody of the California Department of Corrections went on a hunger strike to demand improvements in prison conditions. Their biggest complaint was the runaway use of solitary confinement, the fact that thousands of prisoners are consigned to this cruelty indefinitely, some for decades.”

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