Doing the Math on ‘Our’

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Melanie Bettinelli has been running a series of guest posts on the Credo for the Year of Faith.  Each week, a Catholic writer writes an essay on one phrase in the Nicene Creed.  Today, I'm up discussing "For Our Sake."  I've excepted the first few paragraphs below, but you can read the whole thing at Melanie's blog: The our in the Creed is a terrible temptation to me.When people talk about the sacrificial love of Christ, I have a tendency to start doing math. Well, if it was for all of our s … [Read more...]

Oh Stewardess? There’s a Baby in my Plane!

Baby_on_Plane (1)

In The New York Times's Metropolitan Diary feature, one reader shares the following story: While waiting on the business class boarding line at J.F.K., I spied parents with their 3-month-old daughter.This American Airlines flight to Barbados was going to be long, and the thought of a crying baby near me in business class did not make me smile.What did make me smile was watching her mom, after we were all seated comfortably, distribute little goody bags filled with Advil, tea bags and … [Read more...]

Four Tips for Public Speaking

debate-rostrum

During a call for post topics, I signed up to write a post on speaking tips for LessWrong, which is up today.  I thought it might be fun to cross-post here.  Most of it is tailored to talking, but it can be applicable to writing anything from comments to posts.  I've done a fair amount of debate and murderboarding (helping people prepare for interviews) so these are the four tips that help the people I've talked to have the most marginal improvement:Fortissimo! Don't apologize for ta … [Read more...]

Unequally Yoked Again

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I don't plan to discuss this boyfriend here anymore than I did the last one, but the blog title is accurate again.  Two-person bookclubs ahoy! … [Read more...]

It’s Hard to Make Up Marriage

wedding cake assembly

This month, Libby Anne and Dan Finke are asking bloggers to comment on the purpose of marriage as part of their Forward Thinking linkup.  And, in order to try to speak clearly, I'd like to riff off of a recent Modern Love column in the Times, where the unmarried author shared his experience officiating a friend's wedding.Because it was a secular wedding, the officiant and his friends had a lot of flexibility with the how of the ceremony, but the author of the essay seemed to be frighteningly … [Read more...]

Can We Play Not-Nicely Better, Please?

And speaking of sparing feelings without pulling punches, there's been a donnybrook going between Tom McDonald (Catholic) and Hemant Mehta (atheist) and JT Eberhard waded in yesterday.  I'm not planning to tag in exactly, but I would like to suggest that they have a slightly different fight.Both Tom's original post mocking atheism and Hemant and JT's rejoinder seemed pitched particularly to their own sides, so, even though the posts got pretty heated, it has kind of the effect of a flurry of … [Read more...]

Am I enabling blasphemy?

hand over mouth

While the commenting system changes over, some disputes in the content of the comments stay the same.  And there was a recent tete-a-tete I'd think needs a post worth of response.  In Cam's reply/objection to Scott's essay on suffering and optimal search strategies, Cam went through a couple of the usual objections to theodicy and then exclaimed: Why are there multiple types of suffering? Is your deity a sadistic fuckhead? Let’s accept all of the arguments offered by the author. This entire syst … [Read more...]


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