Archive for the ‘metaphysics’ Category

The problem of evil—how could an omnipotent-omniscient-omnipresent-all-good god create or allow to exist a universe containing evil and arbitrary suffering—has always been a, if not the, major barrier for me to believing in any approximation of God. The following represents a way of tackling the question in non-didactic terms. The question at the end is not merely rhetorical—I’d really like to know what people think.


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(I started this one a long time ago, and browsing through old drafts decided it’s close enough to being coherent to publish. At one point I probably thought I had more to say about it–but thanks to memory loss, I no longer know what that might have been.)

People, particularly religious conservatives, often assert that truth, to be true in any meaningful sense, must be absolutely true. In keeping with my tenet that

We learn most from those who are different from us; they help us walk around our piece of reality and see it in new ways,

my discomfort with that assertion inspires me to write the following. (more…)

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I haven’t gotten into it very far yet–I’m on page xii of the Preface–but for anyone interested in grappling with questions such as, What is consciousness? What is mind? What is/am “I”? How are these related to the brain? What about “soul”? or esoterica of language, the book

I Am Strange Loop

by Douglas Hofstadter*

will be of interest.

I know, I’m only on page xii. So if you don’t believe me–here’s a review. Or click on the title link and dip into it on Amazon.

* For those who might remember it, he wrote “Godel, Escher, Bach” back in 1979

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Belief can be shared, but certainty is private.

What do I mean by that? And why do I think it’s worth saying? (more…)

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I just finished reading Speaking of Faith, by Krista Tippett, the host of the public radio program of the same title. A really excellent book–I would encourage everyone to get it and read it. I kept running across snippets of wisdom on which I thought I might compose a post for the blog, but was pulled to keep on reading instead.

A few quotes from it to whet your appetite: (more…)

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This post is an effort to move toward a metaphysics that works for me, as I discussed here. I haven’t made a lot of progress, though I have generated a number of questions, and clarified for myself a few more things I don’t believe, that don’t satisfy me. Or maybe that’s progress of a kind. Anyway, here I start with a few things I do believe and take for granted–and end with some questions. (more…)

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I’ve been reading threads lately on whether or not there is or can be an objective basis for morality. [Here and here if you’d like to see them for yourself–they make interesting reading, but the second in particular is quite long (and more academic in flavor)–I had to read it in multiple sittings.] I decided to post my own take on the question here. (more…)

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