Friday, April 11, 2008

Toothache, Theology and Blaise Pascal

Things in my mouth are not good. I took some pain meds last night and woke up at about 5:30am in agony. I've never been woken up by a tooth before. I popped some more pills, and while I lay in the darkness I remembered a story I'd heard about Blaise Pascal.

"Pascal suffered a toothache, which kept him awake at night. In an effort to take his mind off the pain he focused on the cycloid, the curve traced by a point on the circumference of a rolling circle. Pascal solved the problem of the area of any segment of the cycloid and the center of gravity of any segment. He also solved the problems of the volume and surface area of the solid of revolution formed by rotating the cycloid about the x-axis."

I didn't want to get out of bed, so math was out of the question. Instead I reflected on a question that was posed to me by one of my friends who read my blog on 'The Gifts of Uncertainty (Part 2)'.

In it I referenced the often quoted line from Augustine 'Love God and do as you please.' He referenced the events that happened in Texas this week where over 200 children were taken from a Mormon Compound because of suspicions of child abuse, polygamy and forced marriages.

(As a side note......I would have thought the government would have learned after Waco that a compound being built in Texas is not a good thing!)

He asked how I would answer the fact that the Mormon leader probably believed that he was loving God by behaving the way he did.

So far I've come up with many excellent rebuttals to his statement - and I've rejected them all.

Working for a church means it is easy for me to answer using 'christianese', but the answers really don't ring true once I scrape off the veneer. Stay posted and hopefully I'll come up with something - esp. as the dentist hasn't called me back so it looks like I'm going to be consuming vast quantities of Excedrin this weekend.

1 comment:

Violets are Blue said...

How about this in reply, you will know a tree by its fruit?