Monday 1 June 2015

Reader's Question: Which blogs do you read?

Regularly, I currently read:

Less regularly: (infrequent posting)

I sometimes read (and comment on) other blogs - e.g. if they mention my name (led to them by word searching).



Adam G. said...

Thanks, Bruce C. We're honored.

Tucker said...

After a self-realisation that I used to spend far too much time online, there are now only two that I make sure to read regularly:

Vox Day -
Bruce Charlton's Notions -

They complement and balance each other's flaws.

ted said...

You may like One Cosmos.

Arakawa said...

It was surprising (in a selfishly-pleasant way) to see Nonapologia make it onto the list. In a recent conversation with someone, I described my blog quite seriously as a 'zero-audience' endeavour, which is not literally true, but true in the sense that I haven't put much effort into an overall 'message' or 'theme' or really what an audience is supposed to get out of reading it....

(Early on I found that if I wrote posts that pertained to other people's material, and did the sort of 'networking' stuff most blogs seemed to do it would generate some traffic, and presumably if I wrote posts on some schedule and did a lot more of the networking I would eventually end up with a popular blog -- so be careful what you wish for! I got the blog primarily as an aid to thinking and a way to avoid cluttering Bruce Charlton's comment threads with too many irrelevant tangents.)

Anyways, your post was a good prompt to go back and re-read what it is I've accumulated. One thing that stood out to me was the disconnect between the major themes that I thought I would be writing about and what I actually ended up writing.

I was only kind of accurate in predicting one theme: "why I am not a Christian apologist" -- that turned out to be a more burning question for me than I expected when I first tossed it out as a joke title. It was my contention that there is a basic (albeit unintentional) moment of dishonesty in apologetics when it taken as a separate discipline from theology and philosophy. CS Lewis for example (the most famous apologist, and the one I used for an introduction to Christianity) was forced to do plenty of theological innovation to adapt Medieval Christianity to the palate of the contemporary reader. If taken at face value, some of his parables (Puddleglum especially) lead to very weird and unexpected places. Lewis excused this with the claim that he wasn't really "doing theology", but if his apologetics constructs can't be taken at face value, what do they serve to convince us of?

Another element of audience-unfriendliness is that I rarely demarcate or explain a theme properly. Sometimes my first time reasoning about a theme is off in someone's comment thread, then I develop it further on my blog, at which point I may or may not link to it. Then I may have some further epiphany, but the blog readers don't get to hear about it.

Some things I've posted about but never explained properly:

the Puddleglum principle of wishful thinking (and its flip side of the 'boring heaven'),

the problem of 'personalism' (I happen to think that eternal life involves the development of personhood, in a sense that is not bound by specific traits -- this makes for disagreement with most of the Orthosphere or Jr Ganymede crowd's intuitions on the subject. This has surfaced in the form of useful discussions about the nature of friendship, and significantly less-useful ones about 'transgendered' people),

the problem of 'transcendent egotism' as a fairly cold-hearted motivation for religion, vs a desire for 'universal salvation' and what that leaves people in terms of motivation.

In any case, that tells me what to write about in the future. Merely explaining some of my prior questions more coherently would be a good start. I don't care to build a huge audience, but having the few people who stumble across my blog be able to orient themselves would be nice.

Many thanks to everyone who stuck with me long enough to leave a comment.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ara - You have a great ability for flashes of illumination, or deep probing insights. Your recent critique about Heaven stuck in my mind and changed it.

My readings of William Arkle have convinced me that a loving God who embarked on creation in order that he might having companions who grew/ evolved from his children (Sons of God in the fullest sense); would also need honour the choice of any of His beloved children who wished most to opt-out of personhood - and God would not punish this, but make it as happy a state as possible.

So I think it is a real possibility, and a real destiny for some souls - despite that loss of personhood (absorption into divine bliss) is not part of the main purpose of creation and theosis, it is a necessary part of God's purpose that choices are not coerced by the threat of added suffering.

in other words, the choice of personhood in Heaven or Hell *only*, of Happiness in relationship with God or else the torture and solitary misery - invalidates the choice of Heaven. Because God loves us, He made it so that men may choose a third way - Nirvanah.

(I also suppose that this choice may be reversible - that some residue of awareness, of choosing personhood remains - so although active suffering is abolished, the possibility of aspiring for more is not; the annihilation of the self-is not complete.)

Curio said...

You ever read

Bruce Charlton said...

C - Yes, I read it (on a recommendation) a while ago,but didn't like it. I don't like many things!