A (Narrow) Win for T.H. White in the Book Round of ITT


The first prompt in the non-Christian round of the 2015 Ideological Turing Test has a just-barely winner. The Christians mostly fell behind the real non-Christians, but our winner was practically tied with the atheist ranked just ahead, so I'm awarding the win on points. Here's the winning fake-atheist response to "Name a book that shaped your moral sensibilities (and talk a little about how) Fiction is fair game."T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. When I was young (e.g. ages 8-12) I read … [Read more...]

Read Like Me, Pray (Badly) Like Peter

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Turing test results continue tomorrow, and, in the meantime, I've got links if you want to read like me or screw up like Peter.Ethika Politika has a summer reading recommendations feature running, and I've contributed the five books I'd recommend from my reading so far this year.  Includes theology, data visualization, autopsies and this: Helen MacDonald. H is for Hawk. Training a goshawk is the strangest approach to grief I’ve ever encountered. I kept reading excerpts from this memoir to my … [Read more...]

No One Won The ‘Underappreciated’ Round of the 2015 ITT


The third prompt in the Christian round of the 2015 Ideological Turing Test is the first not to have a winner. Every non-Christian was ranked below the real Christians, when the Christian readers voted.  But here's the faux-Christian response to "What is an element of your tradition that is underappreciated by your fellow believers" that got closest to victory: I like to tell people about “Creatureliness”. It’s the idea that we should be grateful we humans are not in the role of God, with all th … [Read more...]

Winner on the Tradition Round of the 2015 ITT


The answers are up, and now the votes have been tallied for the first question in the Christian round of the 2015 Ideological Turing Test.  Here's the faux-Christian response to "Why, in a world of many splintered sects, should *your* tradition be trusted?" that real Christians found the most convincing: I’ve grown up in my sect (Episcopalian!) my whole life, and accept I’d probably be something else if I’d been born somewhere else. The point isn’t the specific theological claims that any sect m … [Read more...]

Winner on the Sin Round of the 2015 ITT


The answers are up, and now the votes have been tallied for the first question in the Christian round of the 2015 Ideological Turing Test.  Here's the faux-Christian response to "What sin, if any, lies at the root of all sin" that real Christians found the most convincing: The root of all sin is man’s sinful nature, but if I had to identify a particular *sin* that lies at the root of all others, it would be pride. The first step away from sin is recognizing our own fallenness and our desperate n … [Read more...]

Discussing Good Ways to Pray Badly tomorrow in DC

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I'll be at the Catholic Information Center in DC on Tuesday night as part of their summer Theology on Tap series.  My topic is "Making Mistakes Well in Prayer" and it's drawn from the final chapter ("Trusting Christ As Peter Does") of Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer. How do you find your way through a new and challenging prayer practice or an old one that's gone stale? Learn a few habits and strategies for beginning prayers badly in order to learn how to engage in … [Read more...]

Answers are up for the 2015 Ideological Turing Test!


 The answers are up for this year's Ideological Turing Test, and graphs and charts of how well you did will be coming all week.  This time around, we had a lot more participants, so I've appended each writer's bio (rot13'd to avoid spoilers) after the answer(s) ze wrote.  There are more repeat players on the Christian side than the non-Christian side, because I got a lot more potential responses from atheists.So go ahead and look back at the responses and see where you guessed c … [Read more...]