Ironies abounding freely

I shoulda stood in bed, with the girls being out of school today and Younger Daughter sleeping over at a friend’s. That was the plan, until her alarm sounded. So here I am. Post, or grade? Not a hard call.

But I was all set to jump right in to my grading pile, so I don’t really have any particular line of reflection bubbling just beneath the surface of semi-wakefulness, don’t have anything much in mind.

Well, though… It was interesting yesterday to pick up a news item in which I was quoted urging my fellow campus citizens to go ride a bike. Ironic, too, since this was the first week in months when I didn’t ride my own. It was just a bit too cold, by my standards, to ride into a self-inflicted breeze. It’s never too cold to walk, of course, nor was it even too cold to hold office hours out by Saturn.

It was also interesting to take a phone call from someone who said my office number was listed as the contact for a campus organization I’d not heard of, the Students for Environmental Action. Sure enough. And here I am, teaching a course this semester called “Environmental Ethics and Activism.” Irony compounded.

I continue to reflect on, and chuckle at, the amusingly ironic spectacle of my old grad school pal’s upcoming annual appearance at the Tennessee Philosophical Association. His latest technical paper on the Regress Problem (which he’s produced a near-infinite series of papers on, through the years) found no one “stupid enough,” as he put it (in all humility, I’m sure), to volunteer as commentator. So he’s doing it himself. Solipsism never stopped an epistemologist. Or  the epistemologist. Anyway, I might have volunteered (or appeared to) if Older Daughter didn’t require a ride to Memphis next Saturday. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

And then there were our final two report presentations in CoPhi yesterday. Natalie’s on St. Augustine, and Edrell’s on managing money. Was there anything ironic about either of them? Probably. Auggie said time is subjective, but also God’s gift to save us from the chaotic confusion of everything’s seeming to happen at once. From His perspective it does, though. He’s timelessly omniscient. So I still don’t get how we can be as “free” as religiously-imbued students keep telling me we are. Have you ever thought there might be a logical contradiction?

Nor, as I said in class, do I yet understand Original Sin. But I’ll keep asking, every time I’m told I’ve inherited it.

If time is subjective, I guess we might as well say that time is money too. I’d never had a student conclude a report presentation by passing out his business card to everyone in the class, though I’m sure it happens all the time in biz school.

Anyway, it’s probably ironic that Edrell changed his report topic to something less controversial than religion, his original intent. The old folk wisdom was that politics, money, and religion should never be discussed in polite company.

“Ironic” may just be the word for those who say they expect politeness of philosophers.


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