The Wiccan God and Goddess: Reality and Mythology

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. The Farrars have an intriguing discussion of the ontological commitments of Wiccans to their god and goddess.  Their discussion has three parts: (1) the realist thesis; (2) the anti-realist antithesis; and (3) the pragmatic resolution. The more detailed version of [Read More...]

Wicca and the Problem of Evil

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. Many Wiccan writers criticize Christians for dividing the ultimate deity into a purely good God and a purely evil Devil.  They deny this division.  Buckland writes: “the idea of dividing the Supreme Power into two – good and evil – [Read More...]

The God and the Goddess

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. On the basis of their own texts, presented in an earlier post, it seems like Wicca affirms the existence of an ultimate deity.  On my analysis, the Wiccan ultimate deity is the ultimate immanent creative power of being.  It is [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Rationality

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. According to the Farrars, “Witches [that is, Wiccans] are neither fools, escapist nor superstitious.  They are living in the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages” (1981: 105).  The Farrars write that “Many witches are scientists and technicians . . . [Read More...]

Atheism and Wicca: The Road Ahead

I’ve been doing a long series of posts on atheism and Wicca.  I’m working out the idea that atheistic and neo-pagan communities have more in common than they might think, and that, as American religiousity continues to shift away from Christianity, those two communities will increasingly be blended into each other.  This will be messy [Read More...]

Atheism and Wicca: The Discussion So Far

I’ve been doing a long series of posts on atheism and Wicca.  I’m about mid-way through–  after taking break for the weekend, I’ll be back on Monday with posts about the Wiccan god and goddess; then on to the Wheel of the Year, reincarnation, and magic.  At this half-way point it’s a good idea to take [Read More...]

Pure Objective Reason

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. As immanent, being-itself is just the ultimate nature of every natural thing.  So, how does this immanent being-itself manifest itself?  It manifests itself in all the categories of nature.   These are the categories of naturalistic ontology.  To use some language [Read More...]

Atheism and the Sacred: Being-Itself

Paul Tillich defined God as being-itself.  He argued that being-itself is not any being; it is not a thing, and it does not even exist.  For Tillich, being-itself transcends existence.  It cannot be identified with any being (neither with any particular nor with any universal).  It cannot be located within the categories of any ontology [Read More...]

The Impossible God of Paul Tillich

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart. Paul Tillich was a Protestant theologian writing in the middle of the Twentieth Century.  His writing is highly abstract, so you’ll have to forgive me for using abstract language here.  He is perhaps best known for his idea that God is the ground of being; that is, [Read More...]

Atheism and Possibility

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. The concept of natural creative power (natura naturans) is found in both Wicca (where it is the ultimate deity) and in atheistic philosophers (who do not deify it).  Natural creative power is the ultimate immanent power of being; it is [Read More...]