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...]

Comments will be wonky for a little while

dire disqus warning

It's going Patheos-wide, so comments may unexpectedly appear and reappear over the next 24 hours.  Post bug reports, complaints, suggestions here, and I will try to pass them along.  Thanks for your patience team! UPDATE: We are apparently in the upper percentiles of chatty Cathy Patheos blogs, so the transition for Unequally Yoked is being pushed to the weekend. … [Read more...]

“For he is like a refiner’s fire!”


Friend of the blog Scott Hebert has written an article for Patheos titled "Metaphysical Annealing: Empirical Science, Suffering, and God." Let this be the first of many theological essays that talk about local vs global optima as a way to talk about theodicy. I've skipped some of Scott's background/analogy building in my choice of blockquote, because I think the terms may already be recognizable to readers of the blog, but do pop over to see the whole thing. What is our search mechanism? Our liv … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (4/5/13)

--- 1 --- While we've been discussing ways to tweak the comment sections chez moi, regular commenter Gilbert has put together a hacky fix to make comments a little easier to read (new comments are highlighted, comments are collapsible, etc).  You can read how to install it yourself at his blog. --- 2 --- Via TYWKIWDBI, a video on how marbles are made.  (The second method is the one I learned in college!)--- 3 --- This is the best solution I've heard in a while for the tendency of jo … [Read more...]

Why I Am Catholic…

church interior

Patheos asked bloggers to give 200 word apologiai for their faith, so, here's my very brief attempt at why, given theism, I went with Catholicism:From Paul's original cry that "If he be not raised... your faith is in vain" to Flannery O'Connor's "Well, if [the Eucharist]'s a symbol, to hell with it!" Catholicism has resisted Invisible Dragon in the Garage Syndrome fairly well.  It’s not a religion that doesn't mind what people think, as long as they all get along  -- it's truth … [Read more...]

Suggestions for Revamping Comments?

flamewar exit

  Well, the comments that followed my post on 'A Week' and the adjectives besides atheist that people choose kind of spiraled off into flamewars about gay marriage and other unrelated comments.  This isn't the first time this has happened, and I'd like to get people to help me brainstorm some solutions, from the technical to the more honor culture-y.Here are a couple things that have occurred to me:Culture ChangesPeriodic "Take it Outside" threads - when an off-top … [Read more...]