The good, the bad, and the emergent neutral

During parts of college and early graduate school, I got mildly involved with some atheist/agnostic/some-general-category-of-nonbeliever clubs at my universities, primarily out of an appetite for hanging out with other students who wanted to ponder the kind of controversies that most interested me at the time. At around the tail end of this period, when I was preparing to extricate myself from my second university's atheist society for good, I was befriended by a young evangelical Christian who was about to leave the university and start a full-time career in missionary work. His recent approach had been to reach across the aisle and engaging with his ideological opponents: the campus atheists. Read more...

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Disagreements are like onions II

(or "Why we shouldn't put all our arguments in one rhetorical basket")

...What was I saying? Oh yes, I think all of this can be generalized a little further. In the other post, I suggested that we should make a priority of separating the object level from the meta level, or different "degrees of meta", when analyzing a given disagreement. One obvious challenge that could be raised against this thesis is whether for any two "layers" of an argument one is really more "meta" than the other in some obvious way. Read more...