Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Links and Notes

* Carnivalesque is up at "alun". Technically this is the Ancient/Medieval edition, but since there was a special Women's History theme, I sent in my post on Damaris Masham.

* A really good post on the Battlestar Galactica finale by Timothy Sandefur at "Positive Liberty"

On a tangential issue, I see that a lot of people consider the Cavils, whatever their number may be, an 'atheistic' model. I don't think that's quite right. The models tend to be, or have generally been intended to be, at least somewhat archetypal -- they express (albeit very loosely) potentially dominant features of the human psyche (thus giving the Cylons something of a human tone). I think the Cavils are, as it were, the self-doubt of the Cylons, the sort of self-questioning that nags people when they feel that they might be hiding behind an excuse or engaging in self-deception. (The association of Brother Cavil's name with the word 'cavil' seems almost irresistible.) Thus the Cavil models, whatever their number, are the most likely by nature to question Cylon views and ways, whatever they are, whenever they seem a little too pat. Of course, since the Cylon views seem to be highly religious in tone, this would very often take the form of skepticism about this whole religious approach (as one of the Cavils says, "There is no God; supernatural divinities are the primitive's answer for why the sun goes down at night").

* A transcript of a talk on ijtihad, from a Sunni perspective. (HT: Sunni Sister)

* The 10th Progressive Faith Blog-Con Carnival is up at "Velveteen Rabbi". This, you will recall, is the carnival associated with the Progressive Faith Blog-Con. It collects posts of bloggers (of whatever faith) who 'lean left' politically for religious reasons.

* Haveil Havalim #61 is up at "Random thoughts - Do they have meaning?" Naturally, it's the Purim edition, and so sometimes has difficulty taking itself seriously; which makes it well worth reading.

* Chris at "Mixing Memory" has a great post on cognitive factors that get in the way of acceptance of evolution.

* Augustine's negativity towards sex is often exaggerated. This is a good corrective, from someone who nonetheless has a lot of sympathy with the charges.

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