The Dogmat saw Shticks, Schemes, and Broken Gods

It was another good week for the Dogmat, barking-wise; the Internet continues to serve up the digital equivalent of postmen and boys on skateboards.I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How. The Dogmat wants you to read this one, and to remember it the next time you read the words, "Studies show...". Science is an amazing tool when it's done right, but when it's done wrong it's no help at all...and it's so easy and there are so many incentives to do it … [Read more...]

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Seven Lies Christians Tell

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Tony Kriz had a piece in Christianity Today some while ago about the lies Christians tell when they evangelize, or, as he puts, about “How to talk about your faith without being a total jerk.”  He’s writing from an evangelical point of view; but I thought his points were worth talking about from a Catholic point of view.  You’ll want to read his piece first (it’s short) to get his descriptions of the “seven lies”.1. We lie when we claim we are more confident than we really are.  I admit I do … [Read more...]

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Admin: Missing Blog Comments

I've just noticed that comments are not being displayed for blog posts older than May 20th. I'm not sure why; I've contacted the Patheos operations folks, and I hope we'll have them back soon. … [Read more...]

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A Note for Passing Atheists

St. Dominic

I’ve recently been getting more attention from atheist commenters, due largely to my posts about what religion is good for and my interview with Leah Libresco about her new book, Arriving at Amen.  Most of these visitors have been reasonably polite, contrary to the usual stereotype (sorry, guys, but comment boxes seem to bring out the worst in people, and it always applies to people on both sides), and I’ve been having enjoyable conversations with 3vil5triker and Ragarth.And then once in a wh … [Read more...]

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Divine Intelligence: What’s That?

God doesn't have to do this.

During the course of a sprawling but enjoyable combox conversation with atheist commenter Ragarth I posed the question, …specifically with regard to Christianity: what kind of evidence would you consider sufficient, and what is the evidence it would have to outweigh? Ragarth invoked parsimony: theism involves an intelligent creator, and an uncaused cause could just as easily be mindless as intelligent: Specifically regarding intelligent creative forces, there is nothing they can do regarding t … [Read more...]

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Dream a Little Dream: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

I was going to post something substantive for today, but I had a lousy day and I need a pick me up. Consequently, here's Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me", which is exquisitely soothing. Really. Give it a try. … [Read more...]

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The Dogmat saw Outrage, Lies, Persons, and Art

Dogmat

The Dogmat saw many things this week, and all too few of them were goofy. A number of them made the Dogmat's ears itch, though, so there's that.Faux outrage, or sounding the alarm: Jane the Actuary talks about the merchants of outrage and the relationship between outrage, clicks, and ad revenues. The Dogmat has been known to bark at nothing in particular from time to time, but agrees it's no way to live.There are only persons: The Dogmat once drove his then girlfriend to angry … [Read more...]

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How the Mind Ascends to God

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Recently I've been talking about the rationality of Christian (and specifically Catholic) belief in God, and how one's mind can begin to ascend to the reality of God.  It's an imperfect ascent; God is infinite, and human reason, even at its best, is both weak and finite; but with God's help it is possible.Thomas begins, as Aristotle does, by reflection on the world around us.  He takes for granted the existence of objective reality, and our ability to perceive and grasp it directly, or in o … [Read more...]

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Book Review: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, The Gospel of John

CCSS Gospel of John

I recently received a review copy of The Gospel of John, by Francis Martin and William M. Wright IV, from the series Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, and I've been perusing it.  I'm not accepting review copies very often these days, because I found most of the ones I've received tend to languish unread, which isn't fair to the publisher; but I'd heard good things about this series, and I love the Gospel of John, so I said, "OK, why not."And so far, I'm impressed; it looks like … [Read more...]

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