The Art of Creating Religion. Part I

I am willing to entertain the nondisprovable hypothesis that our religions are inspired by the Gods, but if so, the Gods always employ one or more of us to do the actual writing for them—and we are fallible. If they do send us messages, we rarely understand all of the message or manage to not [Read More…]

So Am I Jewish?

In early December Melinda was on, trying to track down her Cherokee ancestors, the Shellnuts. Her mother was born Lois Anne James (yep, related to Jesse). Looking at Lois’s maternal grandmother, she found that Alfred Shellnut had married a Rosa Salmat. Looking up that name, she suddenly yelled, “Oh, my God, I’m Jewish!” Yes, [Read More…]

Can I Teach Again? Would Anyone Listen?

Recently a brilliant woman doctoral student picked me, apparently by intuition, out of the hundreds of editors available online, to edit her research proposal. Having hired me, she then googled me, learned much more, and sent me a long enthusiastic email about her psychic talents and experiences. She is immensely well informed and is what [Read More…]

Deducing the Nature of the Gods, Part II

Interestingly, the problem of good and evil exhibits the same structure as the problem of understanding the infinite. Augustine’s conversion from Manichaeism to orthodox Christianity was inspired, in part, by his realization that the Manichaean concept of deities that were absolute logical opposites was logically untenable. Logical opposites must be opposite in every detail. However, [Read More…]

Deducing the Nature of the Gods, Part I

A dialog about whether the Gods are infinite or not sometimes begins with “Gerald Gardner wrote that the Gods of the Wica are ‘little gods.’” Yes, he did, but he was not very interested in abstract theology. I don’t think he was asserting that, if the Abrahamic God is infinite, then our Pagan Gods must [Read More…]

On the Primacy of Nondisprovable Hypotheses, Part IV

Returning to the issue of partitioning DHs from NDHs. A concept similar to Gurdjieff’s Partition was proposed by Karl Popper. I have not tried to find out whether Popper knew about Gurdjieff. Perhaps their proposals were simultaneous invention, as studied by Kroeber. In any case, the two men had entirely different agendas for why they [Read More…]

If Bernie is not nominated, we must vote for Hillary; we must stop Trump

Some “Berniecrats” are proclaiming that if Bernie does not win the nomination, they will not vote for Hillary. That attitude is contemptible. It would give the election to Trump, who is fascist. Political scientists are saying that the impoverished and marginalized are voting for Trump, just as such people voted for Hitler. The white supremacists, [Read More…]

On the Primacy of Nondisprovable Hypotheses, Part III

Returning to the question of how the Divine can protect us without damaging our free will. Suppose it is the “Finger of God” that reaches in to flip the switch, collapse the quantum equation, to end or preserve the cat’s life. Such an intervention is absolutely undetectable. We could never know whether it had happened [Read More…]

On the Primacy of Nondisprovable Hypotheses, Part II

The eccentric Russian philosopher George Gurdjieff, thinking about the contentious interface between “science” and “religion,” introduced a principle that has been called Gurdjieff’s Partition: whereas the scientific method can deal with only disprovable hypotheses (for convenience, DH), religious beliefs must instead be considered nondisprovable hypotheses (for more convenience, NDH). That is, if a statement could [Read More…]

On the Primacy of Nondisprovable Hypotheses, Part I

The subgenre of philosophy called epistemology is concerned with what we know—or think we know—and how we know it, which, of course, enlarges into the issues of the nature of consciousness, the differences and relationships between knowledge and belief, and the nature of reality—insofar as we are aware of reality, as distinct from what we [Read More…]