Why the Traditional Concept of God is Contradictory

The traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic idea of God is inherently and irredeemably contradictory from the standpoint of both philosophy and theology.

Mindfulness and the Existential Angst of Our Being Both Observer and Observed

The Scottish-born Australian philosopher John Anderson, whose Australian realism (aka Sydney realism) has greatly impacted on my overall philosophy and thinking, taught that a single logic applies to all things and how they are related, and that there are three---yes, three---‘entities’ to any relation such as seeing, having, knowing, etc, namely, the -er, the -ed, and the -ing. First, there is the person who sees, has or knows. Secondly, there is the thing seen, had or known. Thirdly, and most importantly, there is the act of seeing, having or knowing.

All Things Are Not One: Some Insights from Buddhism and Empiricism

We often read or are told that all life and all things, including all people, are one. It’s a nice, comforting, New-Agey idea … but it’s simply not true.

Nothing in this world is simple. Whatever exists in this universe is complex and has internal differentiation, involving numerous differences and relations. Each thing is ‘a multum in parvo plurally related,’ to borrow a phrase from William James. ‘Things are with one another in many ways,’ wrote James, ‘but nothing includes everything, or dominates over everything.’

The Myth of Self-Improvement

At this time of the year many people make a resolution, which is often short-lived, to embark upon some sort of self-improvement program or to give up some bad habit. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all for personal transformation, but there is a right, and a wrong, way to go about it, both in thought, word and deed.

In his book The Wisdom of Insecurity the American spiritual philosopher Alan Watts has this to say about the wrong way to embark upon self-improvement:

The Philosophy of Music

Introduction from Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Oliver Sacks, 2007)

Existentialism as the Complement to a Scientific Worldview

On the possibility of an existentialism, which is just the complement of a scientific world-view

I have: [existentialism]:n. A philosophy that emphasises the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts. Whilst the word 'existentialism' was obviously coined within the Continental Philosophical tradition ;

A World Without Evil?

1.0 What is "evil"? Is there a common language or philosophical definition that is secular, or must it rely on religious and metaphysical attachments?
1.1 A religious-metaphysical notion of evil is that it is associated as a supernatural moral position, commonly associated with extreme forms of blasphemy, heresy etc. In a secular context, where moral norms are not derived from supernatural assertions, moral evil can be described in the context of extreme actions contrary to normative positions.

The Metaphysics of Physicalism and Idealism

"The great basic question of all philosophy, especially of more recent philosophy, is that concerning the relation of thinking and being.... the question of the relation of thinking to being, the relation of the spirit to nature - the paramount question of the whole of philosophy ... The answers which the philosophers gave to this question split them into two great camps. Those who asserted the primacy of spirit to nature... comprised the camp of idealism.

Ontology of Space and Time

1.0 Traditional religious views

1.1 The Hindu Vedas describe a cyclical cosmology of time, in which the universe goes through repeated cycles of creation, destruction, and rebirth, with each cycle lasting 4,320,000 years. Hindu comsology also argues "There are innumerable universes besides this one ... they are unlimitedly large (Bhagavata Purana c750 CE).

Small Gods on the Pale Blue Dot

This address brings together some of the ideas of two great thinkers of our time; Terry Pratchett and Carl Sagan. It is from Terry Pratchett's satirical fantasy novel "Small Gods" that themes of religious oppression, false belief, and sincerity is addressed. It is from Carl Sagan's scientific humanism, espoused in "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space" that a better sense of perspective, our relative importance, and a hope for our future, can be derived. On an abstract level, combining the two could initially be seen as a difficult or even foolish project. One is fantasy fiction, the other is hard science with a humanist angle. But of course, it is not abstract genres that are being discussed here, but rather the thematic content.

Terry Pratchett is an English author of fantasy fiction, most well known for the Discworld series which now spans over forty novels in its own right. In the 1990s he was the UK's best-selling author, and has sold over 85 million books in 37 languages. In 1998 he was awarded an OBE and in 2009 in he was knighted for his services to literature, which I am sure he took with comic humour to the pomp and ceremony. Perhaps more to his liking, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010. In late 2007 he announced that he was suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease, and just a few days ago he had to pull out from his planned attendance as guest to the International Discworld Convention, stating "the Embuggerance is finally catching up with me".

Carl Sagan was an American astrophysicist and science communicator, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, and the the author of over six hundred scientific papers and author, co-author, or editor of over twenty books. Whilst his scientific research contributed enormously to the discovering the surface temperatures of Venus, he is most famous as the co-author and presented of the television series Cosmos in the 1980s, broadcast to over 60 countries and seen by over 500 million people. Sagan was also an advocate of the Search for Extra-Terristerial Intelligence (SETI), a view expressed in his best-selling science fiction novel, Contact, published in 1985, and made into a film in 1997. Sagan died of pneumonia at the age of 62 on December 20, 1996.


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