Friday, July 30, 2010

What is human life?

Is human life a short story? a non-fiction essay? a boring book? a parable? a users guide? travel manual? encyclopedia? an aphorism? a remaindered promised-to-be bestseller that goes bust? (God forbid) a wikipedia entry? a diary? biography? an autobiography? a plagiarized term paper?

Some combination of these? A fictional autobiography? A plagiarized diary?

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Psychologists have shown that memories change over time, are affected by bias and interest, and can be revised to serve our changing self conceptions.

Should we hope that is true of God, or hope that it isn't?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Human Nature? Full of bugs!

Tonight RITN considers a news report that opens up consideration of topics in theological anthropology. Human Nature? Full of bugs!

Join me over there.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Atheism and Experience

My argument with atheism is the argument I have with theism, where the latter is a term for proving God's existence. Immanuel Kant successfully demolished the classical proofs for God's existence, only to reinvent one of his own--the so-called moral proof.

I find William James' account of religious experience compelling on this point. In some ways, James is distantly Kantian, but his view of God is not a matter of argument but observation. His was a program of radical empiricism. By observing the actual experiences of people, James concluded that life is irreducibly plural. In religion, as in shoe size, one size does not fit all.

Join me at Creedible for a discussion of atheism. Also check out Chuck Redfern's comment in which he refers to religious experience.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Whimsical reflections on theology and economy

Do not worry about the morrow. I won't, Jesus. I'm too busy worrying about today.

We are inclined to see the prophets of Ba'al as fools who worshipped a false god. Some of the meanings of Ba'al--as a god of weather and fertility, for example--go to the heart of the ancient agricultural economy. How different is this from our focus on the economy? The GDP is our god, and tax is the new Satan.

Our recession is resulting from an upsurge of 'collective superego.' We feel guilty about all the fun we had during the economic boom. We know we overdid it. We feel unworthy of good things. We regret what the 'collective id' led us to do. There are only separate egos, no collective egos. Our reason cannot be collective, whereas our passions and self-remonstrances can be collective. This is why Republicans will always be resurgent after a period of self-remonstrance, and why they will always play to passion.

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when god loses his.

C'mon, America, spend. Catch a bad case of gimme now. Drive new wheels. Purchase an 80-inch plasma TV for the fifth bathroom. Refinance. Spend your negative equity again. Bundle it together in tranches. Sell them to the greedy blind bastards that are managing our retirement accounts.

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Sounds like a program for international relations....

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Stephen Prothero has recently published God is Not One. In brief, he argues that religions are not all the same. They are motivated by essentially different views of the world, its core problems, and their proposed solutuions.

He's right about this, I think. No religion is one; taken together, they are a bewildering multitude.

The idea that 'religion' has a single essence and various manifestations is a creature of Romantic philosophy. Cool as reading, but misleading as social science or description.

Friday, July 2, 2010


There is an affirmation showing through or hiding within each moment.


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