Passing Judgment – Again

My daily outrage:

Pope Francis – head of the church I belong to – has just passed the following judgment over childless couples: “[…]not having children is a selfish choice”. I have heard this comment all too often these ten years. But I have bad news: not a single man, not even the Pope, is entitled to the moral high ground to speak like this.

I don’t know what games His Holiness is playing on us, but he clearly changed his moral standards over the last couple of days, and not for the better (see his remark where he promoted violence against children). Maybe this is a political move to appease the hardliners within the hierarchy of the Church. Maybe something else. I don’t know. I’m not to judge.

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Infinity is really hard to experience. Math works with it – in fact, math works with all sorts of different infinities – but everything we actually see has boundaries. We don’t even know if space is infinite – most probably it isn’t because we haven’t seen anything beyond twenty-nine billion light-years or so. From this, science actually estimates the size of the observable universe around 93 billion light-years.

On the other hand, physics tells us that these very distant objects are moving away very fast, and there’s no telling if and where they will stop. Math has a term for that, too: finite but unbounded.

A person has boundaries. They don’t necessarily start at our skin. If a stranger moves too close (to our taste), we feel violated. When we feel possessive about our belongings, we like putting them within our boundaries. Right now I’m sitting in a café, with my bag and coat on another chair across the table. If someone came and took – touched – them, I would feel violated. Does this make them part of me – do my boundaries extend to them across the table?

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