A Mormon Perspective on Interrogating Emotions

It's a guest post by Michael Haycock!  He blogs aperiodically at Not a Tame Lion, and helped clear up factual questions about Romney's priesthood along with more abstract questions about Mormon theology of priesthood the last time he guestblogged here.  Now he's popping in to talk about conversions than win over hearts as well as minds in the light of a recent On the Square piece.It is a typical indictment of Mormon proselytization and practice that it’s all predicated on untrustworthy or … [Read more...]

The Epistemological Weight of Warm Fuzzies

I was reading an On the Square post from a Mormon to Catholic convert and was struck by the way he described his enounter with grace: Early in the evening of May 28, 2010, I am attending Mass in the majestic Basilica di Sant’Apollinare next to the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome. From Utah I have come as a scholar to deliver a paper at an international conference on the work of the great Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand, and I have come as a tourist to see the Et … [Read more...]

That Moment We Saw You For What You Really Are

The "Welcome to JT" thread has digressed into a number of interesting discussions (parental authority over children, what to make of data that suggests the people you think are wrong are doing better than you, etc).  And I do want to throw this less wrong post on envying "irrational" choices into the mix, but the comment I want to highlight is on a different subject.  Clarissa wrote: Yeah, JT presents himself as a nice guy, but he can turn on a dime into a vicious attack dog.I don’t trust gu … [Read more...]

Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant

I received a comped reviewer's copy of Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.I enjoyed reading Gregory Wolfe's Beauty Will Save the World, but I'm not sure that it's a book best read straight through, as I did.  The second best way to read it probably reading the first section, in which Wolfe lays out his thesis, and then dipping in and out of his profiles of writers and artists over a few months, with frequent br … [Read more...]

The Virtue of an Almost Right Solution

Earlier today, in my final Sondheim post, I was writing in praise of the grotesque.  This post is on the same topic, but I'm code-switching a bit and doing it a more analytic, not aesthetic framework.  Over at LessWrong, there's a great illustration of how positive bias works: I am teaching a class, and I write upon the blackboard three numbers: 2-4-6. "I am thinking of a rule," I say, "which governs sequences of three numbers. The sequence 2-4-6, as it so happens, obeys this rule. Each of you w … [Read more...]

What do natural lawyers chase instead of ambulances?

Buried in the (correct) thread for discussing meta-questions about that gargantuan thread on natural law, Joshua Zelinsky of Religion, Sets, and Politics raised a meta-question about whether he should find natural law plausible enough to raise to the level where he cares about investigating the hypothesis.  He wrote: The following is not a critique of natural law but rather a meta-level heuristic concern about it. It seems pretty clear that once one buys into a general Catholic (or a high … [Read more...]

Here there be Dragons [Reply to JT]

 So, JT asked: 3. You undoubtedly have a logical proof of some sort for a moral lawgiver. What is it? No, I definitely don't have a modus tollens, modus ponens style justification for my new position. I didn't have one for my old position, and I doubt JT's got one for his metaphysics.  As the name suggests, metaphysics are hard to test.So I end up approaching the problem from both sides.  I look for things I'm really confident in or that I'm willing to presuppose (e.g. other minds … [Read more...]