The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 01, 1993, Page 5, Image 5
Wanted: good home for puppy With as many lawyers as we have in the United States, people have started mak ing up uses for them. For example, people now are hav ing custody battles over household pets. They actually go to lawyers, draw up shared-custody settlements and pay doggie support. I’m a dog lover and understand how attached people can get to a dog. And I understand that relationships between people don’t always work out. But I can’t quite understand pay ing thousands of bucks to ensure par tial custody of a pooch. I have a puppy of my own. I guess T have to call her a dog now, seeing as she weighs more than 50 pounds and is as big as a house. She lives with my boyfriend and his family and has eaten them out of house and home — literally. At the last damage report, she had eaten their couch, their curtains and their carpet. In some ways, our dog is the big gest commitment we have. It’s almost like she’s our child. I hope the other dogs don’t make fun of her for being bom out of wedlock. If we ever broke up, I wouldn’t be able to just let go of the puppy. But I can’t see myself running to Jacoby and Meyers and acquiring legal repre sentation. But thiscustody issue shows people take their pets seriously. At least some people. Just about everyone loves little puppies. How could you not? It takes a hard heart to resist a tiny, furry, cuddly lump with the sweetest eyes and perkiest disposition this side of Shirley Temple. In a lot of ways I like dogs more than I like people. They make you laugh, they’re completely honest and they have an innate ability to judge character that I admire and base my opinions on. * -1 i ' f’" In some ways, our dog is the biggest commitment we have. It’s almost like she’s our child. I hope the other dogs don’t make fun of her for being born out of wedlock. If there were some kind of journal ism-puppy job out there, my career would be assured. Maybe I could write press releases for the Humane Soci ety, but I think that would be sort of depressing. It makes me sick to see dogs whose fate rests on the generosity of a stranger with a yard. It would break my heart to go home at night and leave them behind. Maybe we can think of this column as a sort of DN doggie newsletter: I just happen to know a little puppy who needs a home. A woman at work brought down the puppy to try and find it a home. Within minutes the newsroom was filled with ooohs and aaahs and ev eryone crowded around trying to get a glimpse of it. Before the hour was gone, the dog had a new owner. Let’s call the ownec . * Chris* because that’s his name. For a * Sounded good to me. The dog was assured of a good home and I had a good shot at a puppy-sitting position. But things sort of fell apart. The professor backed out. And Chris discovered that having a dog meant more than buying Purina and chew toys. It means 4 a.m. trips to the backyard, accidents under the couch and chewed-up shoes. I had a feeling things wpre going awry when the look of adoration in Chris’ eye changed to one of weary acceptance. The dog had become a burden. After four days the dog still didn’t have a name and I began to see that the puppy love had faded. Now, just like a Disney movie, little No-Name is once again without a home. I can just picture her tiny black and-white body fighting the elements for survival. Probably some witch like woman will kidnap her to make a coat out of her. I’d open my home to her if I had a home. But I don’t even have a fork I can call my own, let alone a plot of land. And I have a feeling my house mother wouldn’t approve of a four legged resident. Let’s think of No-Name as the pet of the week. If you know someone who can offer No-Name a good home —one with loving, patient grown-ups who understand and appreciate ca nine personalities — call Chris. If not, call anyway and try to guilt him into keeping poor liule No-Name. .... . Mott Bu» senior Bews-editorud and En glish major, U> associate BMM. edUbrkrHf 4 Dally ***? Evangelicals take up academia II n 1976, the arguably most im portant political force in the united States was an eclectic group of Christians—the self-named “evangelicals” — who crossed party lines to vote Jimmy Carter into the presidency. It was the days of “I found it” bumper stickers and brother Jimmy was the great born-again hope. Of course, presidency in hand, Carter jettisoned the conservative cultural agenda the evangelicals had voted for. Four years later, the politi cally seasoned (read cynical) evangelicals had shifted back to the Republican Party with considerably less enthusiasm, despite having a can - didate who would prove true to his moral agenda. The evangelicals are gloating again — though this time it is in the aca demic world. Their current hope is an interpretation of history, that word on every sophomore’s lips: “postmodernity.” Nobody really knows what “postmodemity” is, but alas, it sounds sexy, like “dialectical” “ is.” promise of postmodemity i& apparently clear to evangelicals, how - ever. Modem theology has ignored evangelicals since the mid-19th cen tury, claiming that they did not meet modem academic standards. How ever, as liberals embrace the first rule of postmodemity—pluralism—pre sumably all theological views now have rights to slake their claim on truth about God. If all truth is relative, so the argu ment goes, then evangelicals have just as much right to express their version of it as Paul Tillich or the Dalai Lama. Pluralism, however, is not a knowl edge system in and of itself. Rather, pluralism emerges when a culture's dominant theory of knowledge loses its force. The dominant theory of knowledge in the West until now has been classical foundationalism. It was the days of “I found it” bumper stickers and brother Jimmy was the great born-again hope. Classical foundationalism asserted that for (me to be justified in holding a belief, the belief must be either of two types. First, a belief is legitimate if it is held as self-evident, incorri gible or evident to the senses. The classic example of this is the equation 1 plus 1 equals 2. This cannot be “proved” as such, but it strikes us as self-evident. Beliefs that do not meet this first test can also be legitimate if they are logically and consistently derived from this first principle. Hence, 2 plus 2 equals 4 could also be held as true, building on the evidence that logi cally follows from the first self-evi dent equation. However commanding this theory has been since its inception in the Enlightenment, it is perhaps Modernity’s most costly casualty in the war of ideas. Notre Dame philoso pher Alvin Plantinga provides a cri tique of foundationalism which is as simple as it is powerful: If these two conditions are the only legitimate basis for holding a belief, now are the con ditions themselves legitimated? Where is foundationalism’s founda tion? This clever argument explains at least a part of the evangelical’s new found claim on academia. In it is a defense to Modernity’s most com mon attack on theism, the evidentialist objection to belief in God. The objec tion was built on David Hume’s first principle: “A wise man proportions his belief according to the evidence.” Whenever an apologist would advo cate God-belief, the skeptic would ask that presumably devastating ques tion: “Where’s your evidence?” Thus, in his book, “Primary Phi losophy," Michael Scriven could gush: “Atheism is obligatory in the absence of any evidence. The proper alterna tive, where there is no evidence is not mere suspension of belief, it is disbe lief." But the rebuttal to this argument embarrasses the skeptics with the ob vious retort: “So you assert that God does not exist. Where is your evi dence?” Evangelical academics can-rest a little easier unharassed by die gadfly atheist objections that carried so much weight in the past But a second theme suggests that the postmodern academ - ics will remain hostile to God believ ers. Represented most prominently by Michel Foucault, postmodems speculate that the violence and suffer ing of modem history is found in the very structure of human existence: Man is consumed by evil. Evangelicals, of course, have known this all along; it is a prototype of Augustine’s understanding of Origi nal Sin. It is notable, however, that the postmodern version of Original Sin — the will to power — draws on Nietzsche, not on Augustine. None need be reminded of Nietzsche’s con tempt for the church. Now that Nietzsche’s view of man has tri umphed, one wonders how plural, how tolerant those with unleashed wills to power will be. Young is a first year law student and a Daily Nebraskan columnist. 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High Resolution Display "An Event to Remember' University of Illinois * Michigan State University of Nebraska Tonight, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. Don't miss the 1993 Masters Classic when the University of Nebraska women's gymnastics team flips into action at what promises to be a great Big Eight - Big Ten match-up. For ticket information, call (402) 472-3111.