Lewis Trounces Freud

sundays good book

I've already blogged once about reading Freud's Last Session, a two person play that is an extended argument between C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, but now I've gotten the chance to see it performed.  (And it looks like it's running through May at the New World Stages in NYC, if anyone fancies seeing it.)When I saw it, I tried to keep score in my head of who was winning or who had the upper hand, since I was particularly interesting in how the changing dynamics of the debate were mirrored in … [Read more...]

Three First Causes I Don’t Pray To


This post is part of a series on Aquinas, Aristotle, and Edward Feser's explanation of them both.I said in my first post on Edward Feser's book that I have deep Aristotelian sympathies.  The four causes seem like a coherent way of describing the world, even if I'm not confident they're the territory, not just an approximated map.  But if I'm willing to give a little ground there, how do I avoid believing in a First Mover?That was the question the Dominans asked me, when I was discussing F … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with my Atheism?

metaphysical backsliding

I mentioned in a recent post on moral philosophy that, although I understand why Christians think I should switch teams, I'm confused and frustrated by the comments of "Convert already!" I get from my atheist friends.  One of my college friends posted a cogent sum-up of the inconsistency he sees (reformatted slightly from facebook): I don't think anything you're espousing is incompatible with atheism. I do think you may be using metaphysical backsliding as an excuse for not engaging with … [Read more...]

It’s a Fair Cop, Douthat

From Nietzsche Family Circus

In a response to a lot of the debate that followed Jennifer Fulwiler's conversion story at Why I'm Catholic, NYT columnist Ross Douthat posed a question to atheists that I find hard to answer.  Jennifer wrote that she abandoned atheism because she thought she was required to be a nihilist in a world without God, and, of the three propositions:God is not real Atheism logically requires nihilism Nihilism sucks so bad it can't be trueShe thought she was most likely to be wrong about … [Read more...]

Turing Test Easter Egg

Contestants in the Ideological Turing Test adopted a lot of different strategies, but I don’t know if anyone else was using mine. My college friends rib me a lot about my Mass attendance and apologetic readings; when I explain a bit of my theology readings, I often get sarcastic “When are you converting already?” So, when I sat down to write my Christian answers, I decided to give them a preview. Instead of imitating others and inventing a persona, I tried to answer quasi-honestly, giving the ans … [Read more...]

And You Never Were a Scotsman!

Jenifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary wrote a piece for the National Catholic Register ("5 Catholic Teachings That Make Sense to Atheists") that has sparked a fusillade of atheist criticism.  For the record, although I disagree with a number of her examples, I think her goal of demonstrating that Catholicism is an internally consistent system is a reasonable one, and an important part of cross-religious dialogue.  I'll get back to the substance of that argument tomorrow.For now, I want to t … [Read more...]

The Threat that Can’t be Beat

 In my "Pugilist in Good Faith" post, I explained why I didn't see a contradiction between aggressively going after other people's ideas and remaining open to revising my own opinions.  After reading it, commenter dbp had a question about whether this balance is possible when you're doing it in public, and his question deserves a longer response.  He wrote: The point isn't so much that you're out to persuade people of a position you're also (on this blog) publicly subjecting to int … [Read more...]