Time for Spring Cleaning!

After the transition from my old Blogger blog to Patheos, I lost all my post tags, and I’ve been adding them back in a haphazard manner. I’m finally committing to checking links and retagging, starting from the beginning (some 500 posts ago) and working my way back to the present. As a result, I’ll be regrouping some posts into sequences, so don’t be surprised if you see new index posts popping up in your RSS feed. This will make it a bit easier to track topics across the site and may stir up some old discussions.

I’m also finally overhauling the ‘Burden of Proof’ tab, which is getting renamed ‘About’ (more generic, but a lot more intuitive to a new visitor). The old blog descriptions are archived, in case you like seeing how my idea of the purpose of this blog has changed (or just the errors in tone I’ve caught and changed).

These revisions always tend to be a little fraught, so I’d appreciate it if you could use this thread to give me your impressions of the new ‘About’ section and point out any red flags.

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  • Jerry

    I like that you leave out the object of the preposition in the first sentence of the “about” section, so the reader can use their imagination. My favorites are, in no particular order: wolves, Soap opera stars, or Nuclear Physicists.

  • deiseach

    Re: your cartoon, thank you for reminding me I really do have to take down all the curtains in all the rooms and do a mountain of laundry.

    Thanks, Leah 🙁

  • OK, since you asked for it, some nit-picks and a general impression of the new About page:

    -The present tense Ideological Turing Test description, “where atheists and Christians see if they can imitate each other” sounds like a regular feature, perhaps as if you had a weakly testing pair. I think you mean something more along the lines of “where people could…and may repeat it in the future”.
    -You “skip past the normal scripts”. OK. And your illustration is that a particularly dumb kind of Christian doesn’t hang around in your comment section. I have my doubts about that being the normal script, but whatever. But how about balancing it with some example of particularly dumb atheist arguments you avoid? Obviously you could promise no such thing about your atheist commentators, but you could be talking of yourself. For example you could mention your (previously noted) disapproval of P.Z. Myers desecration of the Eucharist and how such stunts prove nothing except the perpetrator’s seriously damaged character (that exception obviously being a wishful interpolation of mine).
    -We’ve seen a debate where people tried to argue you out of supporting covenant marriage, but I don’t think you ever gave us an account of how you got argued in to that support in the first place.
    -Did the abandonment of stoicism actually happen during this blog’s lifetime?
    -The looking at Aquinas is a reference to the Feser series, but where’s the looking at Augustine part?

    General impression:
    I don’t see any real red flags. But version 2.0 was a green flag that is now gone. It talked of an intensely personal project.

    A part of that change is of course because the clash of integrities and associated romanto-dramatic background simply don’t actually exist anymore. But part of it is also in the description of what you’re up to.

    Version 2.0 acknowledged a weak point of your epistemology, that you wouldn’t have an honest way to accept Christianity even if it was true. And it did so very openly. (“And I paused. And came up with bupkis.[…] for the most part, I’m still at a loss.”) Essentially it breathed a very real possibility of the problem being with you. And while you couldn’t simply give up on the standard you see as those of rationality you responded with a decision to “try anything”, essentially a passionate self-investment or a decision to do anything that could be done from your side. There was a relentless commitment to stay rational, but there was also a clear search for a possibly missing part you hadn’t quite grasped yet and an emotional investment in that search. For a Christian that of course looks like the missing part is God and the disposition is the kind of basis he can work from.

    Compared to that version 3.0 describes a purely intellectual exercise. Which is certainly fine, but nowhere near as great as the whole-person adventure of version 2.0.

    • leahlibresco

      Thanks, Gilbert. These were some really helpful comments. I’ve made some revisions. And here are a couple answers to questions

      Some of the times I changed my mind happened off-blog, but were sparked by posts my friends had read. Some just happened as part of the weekly debates.

      Ditching stoicism was a gradual process. Freshman year (before the blog started) I thought stoicism was my favorite philosophy of everything we covered in Directed Studies. Moving away from it took time and it wasn’t until I was dating Chris and trying out prayer during Lent that I thought it was really wrong.

      Aside from excerpts of City of God in DS, I haven’t read any Augustine yet. I’ve got his Confessions out from the library on the recommendation of the Dominican priest, but I haven’t gotten to start it yet.

  • @b

    Leah, I like it. To make it a more attractive to redaers you could chop it into 3 sections:

    I was raised… to …a friend turned one of my own questions around on me and asked (what I read to me as Those Christians, These Christians)

    “What would convince you that Christianity was true?”… to …we had to split up (your Elevator Pitch)

    I hadn’t changed my mind… (Welcome to The Show…)

    • @b

      redaers = new readers 🙂