The Laity Square Blog

Whose Right Is It Anyway?
This week, as the temperature goes up in Ontario, the political climate is heating up too, and there’s a growing sense that a federal election will soon be inevitable. The stage is being set in numerous ways, such as a very active Parliament looking at things like the Uighur genocide resolution, the mandatory hotel quarantine, and Bill C-21, a bill that will support municipalities wishing to restrict or ban handguns, which is expected to boost the Liberals’ standing in urban centers. However, today I want to focus on Bill C-7, which is also seeing plenty of activity, but not stemming from an electoral interest. Read more

Good on What Grounds?
Over the last three weeks, we’ve explored tools to tell apart facts from opinions, like falsifiability and Hume’s Law, in order to have better conversations. And looking back on our last episode, it’s clear to me that this becomes particularly difficult when we’re dealing with matters of morality, of determining what’s right and what’s wrong. Read more

Morality, Customs, Laws and Hume’s Law
Today we continue our exploration of logical tools that we can use to refine and test arguments – both our own and those of others – in order to have better conversations in our public squares. Today’s tool is called Hume’s Law, and as the name implies, it comes to us courtesy of David Hume, the highly influential Scottish philosopher who lived in the 18th century. Read more

Discerning Facts From Opinion
Today we’re talking about a test that helps us to determine what kind of conversation we’re having. Before we dive in, I’m noticing that it certainly looks and feels like winter as I record this: freezing temperatures, snow on the ground, naked trees… Read more

An Unfinished Conversation
We had something of a busy week in the news. MP Derek Sloan was removed from the Conservative caucus, and Julie Payette is stepping down as Governor General following a workplace review at Rideau Hall. However, the news cycle was undoubtedly dominated by the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Read more

Souls, Sparks and Purpose
Over the Christmas break I had a chance to watch Soul, Pixar’s latest offering, and I was intrigued by the premise and the worldview connections I think I saw in it. Spoilers ahead! Read more

The Great Reset
I wish you a happy and prosperous 2021. It’s not quite a new year anymore, but it’s still mostly ahead of us. 2021 has the dubious privilege of not having to do too much to be better than 2020, but I still have great hopes, dreams and plans for this year, and I trust you do too. COVID is still a strong reality among us, but life goes on, and other relevant news are becoming more prominent. In late November last year, the so-called Great Reset was one of those items. I’ve had several friends reach out asking for my thoughts on this, and that’s what I’ll talk about today. Read more

Christmas Isn’t in the Culture
Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year: the decorations, the lights, the food… Although I’m unable to get my favorite peppermint mocha this year due to the pandemic. First world problems, right? Still: the food, the gatherings… Wait, no, there’s no gatherings; we’re supposed to follow public health guidance to stop the virus. Christmas trips… Well, the memories, anyway; it’s not like I can travel… But there’s gifts! Although I’ve already bought too many things this year, and I’m a bit uneasy about how the economy may be next year. So – wait a second: no gatherings, no travel, no friends, no gifts… What kind of holiday season is this?! What are we even supposed to celebrate? Read more

2020 In (The) Books
I’m recording this in December 2020, which means that like every created thing, this challenging, weird and unprecedented year is finally coming to an end. For many of us, year end is a time to look back and reflect on highlights and positives. I know – this can be particularly tough after a year like this. I feel privileged, in that I wasn’t catastrophically affected by the situation. I hope that’s your case too, and I hope that even if you were hit hard, you’re able to find something positive looking back on this year. Read more

What’s in a Conspiracy?
As lock-downs return, protests surge, not just in Canada but around the world, as the second wave of this pandemic rages on. Authorities and experts attribute this to pandemic fatigue, and I do believe that plays a big role. But there seems to be something more – something else – behind some anti-mask protests and the outlandish claims made by some groups around the purported origin of this pandemic and the agenda of specific actors. Why is it that conspiracy theories seem so attractive even to people who otherwise exhibit sound judgment? Read more