“To Be or not To Be” How to frame the question?

I've been doing lectio divina in the Gospel of John, and I found myself paying a lot of attention to the use of the verb "to be."  (I was thinking about the I am that I am answer that God gives to Moses when asked for his name).But then I got a bit distracted by a nerdy translation question: How do people translate Exodus 3:14 ("And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you") into languages that don't inclu … [Read more...]

LARP Your Way to Truth

"It's an unorthodox epistemology, but it just might work!"

Over in the Atheist channel, Bob Seidensticker of Cross Examined is experimenting with prayer.  He's signed up for an experiment run by Justin Brierley of the Unbelievable radio show (which you may remember from the time Hemant and I tangled on air).  The program is asking for atheists to try praying for at least two to three minutes a day for God to reveal Himself to them (if he exists).  After 40 days, the atheists are going to share their experiences and, if applicable, conversions.Bob's a … [Read more...]

And now a story definitely not from rationality camp

After nearly a week of Less Wrong retreat updates, I realize some of you may want a palate cleanser. You’re in luck. My friend Tristyn, who blogs at Eschatological Psychosis, has been posting excerpts from her senior essay and soliciting comment. Her thesis was on Father John of Kronstadt, and I enjoyed reading her paper, but I did kind of wish that her whole paper had been on the role of holy fools in the Russian Orthodox once I read this section. And now you, too, can feel my longing.  Reading … [Read more...]

Math-Related Prayer Hijinks

I like praying the Liturgy of the Hours because, at a bare minimum, it gives me something to say to God.  Not just the words of the prayers but, basically, "I'm really grateful for prayer traditions because I'd pretty much suck at having to make all this up on my own."  Instead of just being grateful for language period, it's kind of like being grateful for slang -- the shared set of references that characterize a relationship or a community.The trouble is, that I haven't been praying for v … [Read more...]

Feser’s Typology of Atheism (Part 2)

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Today, I'm returning to Edward Feser's typology of atheism.  Monday, I took a look at ways atheists approach religious philosophy, today the focus is on responses to religious practice.  Here's how Feser splits up atheists: A. Religious practice is mostly or entirely contemptible and something we would all be well rid of. The ritual side of religion is just crude and pointless superstition. Religious morality, where it differs from secular morality, is sheer bigotry. Even where certain moral p … [Read more...]

Adoration and Abramovic

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Due to a convoluted sequence of events,  I spent about half an hour in an Adoration chapel last night.  For the non-Catholics, Eucharistic Adoration is the act of spending time in a chapel with a consecrated communion wafer, believed to be the real presence of Jesus Christ.  A friend had felt a calling that I should go, and since I could spare the time and didn't want to be accused of being a bad sport, I went along.  (Not to keep you in suspense: I was not converted).The time in the chapel r … [Read more...]

[Guest Post] Close Reading of Acts 13

Yesterday, Christian H of The Thinking Grounds posted an outline of how he approaches the Bible (a response to a plea for guest posts).   Today, he's given us a thorough example of what his theory looks like when it's applied.  Many thanks for his contribution.Given how abstract my previous post was, I think that a concrete example is in order. I suggest that you read that previous post if you haven’t already, as I wrote this as a companion to that. I also want to remind you that I don’t … [Read more...]


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