Mormon Blogs and Link Policy

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I guess I've been discovered by the Mormon blogging community, and some three sites have linked to me. Mormon Metaphysics is a philosophy and theology site. Clark, who runs it, has already been interacting here in the comments a bit. Dave's Mormon Inquiry and Northern Lights (which seem to be run by the same person, but I'm not sure) deal with theology, Mormon apologetics, religion in the news, and other more general stuff. Of course, my Mormon friend who is a philosophy professor at Southern Virginia University told me that Mormon theology is an oxymoron and that there's a book called Mormon Doctrine that isn't any such thing. I'll let the bloggers on these sites take it up with him.

I have two items to highlight at Northern Lights. First is an excellent exploration of what would have happened if there had been a constitutional clause prohibiting the government from passing any laws respecting the establishment of a free press. The result is an excellent parody of the constitutional revisionists who haven't figured out that 'respecting' was merely a synonym of 'regarding', with the intent to protect religion from laws restricting it.

Second is a hilarious suggestion for solving the pledge problem without removing any words at all: "One nation, under God, or not, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Even stalwart believers in God can say this truly, for two reasons. The first reason is that adding a disjunct to any true sentence will keep a true sentence. For example, 'George W. Bush is the president' is true, as is 'George W. Bush is the president or the moon is made of green cheese.' The second reason is that one might really find it completely non-misleading to describe this nation as both under God and not under God. Insofar as we're under God's sovereign watch, we're under God. Insofar as this nation has rejected God, we're not under God. OK, enough ruining a good punchline by defending it.

I suppose this is a good opportunity to mention for those still reading what my link policy is, since one of these sites included a hope for a link from me.

My link policy is that I don't have one. There's nothing you can do that will automatically secure a link from me, unless you know me in real life, and then all you have to do is let me know you have a blog and give me its URL (so far even people I know who don't even post much can get a link). Some blogs in my blogroll are there because they were the first blogs to link to me. A few are ones I read once and loved so much that I linked them immediately. A bunch are just some of the most widely respected blogs in their categories. At least during the development period of good philosophy blogs, any good contentful philosophy blog that contained mostly philosophy, especially if it was philosophy along my interests, didn't offend me (as some have), and seemed high enough quality got a link, with extra attention paid to Christian philosophers with blogs and philosophy grad student group blogs. I think I'm no longer quite so free with philosophy blogs, and my standards may go up more now that philosophy blogs are popping up quickly. I may even start de-linking some blogs eventually, though I haven't done much (if any) of that yet.

Basically, what you can expect is this. If I read your site over a long period of time and decide that it's consistently good on topics I find interesting and worth my time, I'll probably link you. A few of my favorite blogs weren't ones that interested me at first, and then I found post after post that was just on the same wavelength as my own thinking. Sometimes it takes a longer time for such posts to show up. If you interact with stuff on my blog or link to my posts, it's a little more likely that I'll keep following you, just because I'm more likely to check your site, but the stuff on your own site has to be of interest me in the first place enough for me to want to read it now and then.

So all three blogs got a temporary link out of this anyway, and I think I've currently got something like two weeks showing on my front page, so those links might last a while.


Nice site, Jeremy, and thanks for the mention. Yes, I do both blogs (Typepad gives me three blogs for the price of one) but I haven't had time to keep up Northern Lights lately. There's only so much one employed blogger can do.

Or-introduction is formally valid, of course, but it's not in ordinary language.

All that matters is that or-introduction is formally valid when making philosophy jokes, and I think that's a safe assumption!

I don't think or-introduction is invalid in ordinary language anyway. Pragmatic rules of conversation prevent us from using the truth-preserving rule, because we wouldn't introduce the new disjunct unless we had some doubt about the first one. That doesn't mean it's invalid. It just means it's misleading.

(1) I'm not a good Catholic.
(2) I'll take communion or I'm not a good Catholic.

According to the conventions of ordinary language, I think that (1) is true and (2) is false.

So how will the semantics of (2) go such that it's not true? It seems like a true sentence to me, just misleading to say it about someone who isn't a Catholic or who is a Catholic but not a good one for independent reasons.

I like the pledge solution. It's so open-minded and open-ended. Like the country it represents. "Yeah, we may be like this or we may be like that. We're not really able to say."

Very amusing.

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