Sunday, March 07, 2010

Not my lunch table group blog

I recently came across the blog Positive Liberty via a link from Andrew Sullivan. I've only given it a cursory examination. The blog's creator, Jonathen Rowe, describes his focus thusly:
Yet another social commentary blog by a libertarian lawyer and college professor. This blog focuses on religion, history, constitutional law, government policy, philosophy, sexuality, and the American Founding. Everything is fair game though. Over the past few years, I've done much historical research on the America's Founding and Religion.

A sampling of Rowe's interests, he is apparently at work on a review of a book on Joseph Priestly, the following quotes from Benjamin Franklin and his own pithy commentary in between:
Remember me affectionately to good Dr. Price and to the honest heretic Dr. Priestly. I do not call him honest by way of distinction; for I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men. They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic. ...

Franklin admired men honest enough in theology to come to terms with their heresy...

Here is my Creed: I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we can render to him, is doing Good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental Principles of all sound Religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever Sect I meet with them. As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity: ...

"Corrupting changes" of course, refers to a term Priestley coined -- "the corruptions of Christianity." And it had specific meaning: 1) original sin, 2) trinity, 3) incarnation, 4) atonement, and 5) infallibility of the Bible.

Then there are Rowe's readers. Not exactly my lunch table group. Check out this post and follow up on its comment thread. Challenge yourself to read down through at least ten comments on the thread...even though I cannot begin to follow the substance of their mathematical discussions, I love the avuncular tone, the unabashedly esoteric references, the gentle remonstrances and reminders, and the idioms of address, especially when disagreeing with a previous commenter. "Well, no..." It makes me wonder if this is a trait of this particular community of blog visitors or if it is characteristic of a particular academic discipline (Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics...).


Blogger 除夕 said...

期待你發表的新文章!跟你說一聲加油。 ........................................

1:20 AM  

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