Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2023

Avoiding Discussion Traps

The thing that frustrates me the most in discussions with religious people is the propensity for dragging out the same old accusations we've heard and debunked a thousand times. And I don't doubt they're tired of the same old arguments from our side. There must be a way for believers and non-believers to discuss their differences without malice or an attempt to proselytize. I know in my case I'm not trying to convert theists into atheists, but I do hope that by referencing logic and naturalistic explanations for religious beliefs I can get my point of view clearly understandable, even if it's not agreed to.  In fact, discussing theism with believers helps me refine my own thoughts and arguments. For reference:
  “Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race?  Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than  Buddha ? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than  Socrates ? Was he more patient, more charitable, than  Epictetus ? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than  Epicurus ? In what respect was he the superior of  Zoroaster ? Was he gentler than  Lao-tsze , more universal than  Confucius ?  Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of  Zeno ? Did he express grander truths than  Cicero ? Was his mind subtler than  Spinoza ’s? Was his brain equal to  Kepler ’s or  Newton ’s?  Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than  Bruno ? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of  Shakespeare , the greatest of the human r

The Long Way Around

  Sometimes life teaches me what I need to know without me being aware there was a school of philosophy that’s been around for over 2000 years that could have taught me all those lessons in one go, and saved a bunch of painful life lessons. When I was in high school I was a devout Christian. By the time I was 22 I had become an equally devout atheist. But there were lessons I learned as a Christian that stuck with me even after I quit believing in gods.  Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. In secular language we might say, “Take one day at a time”. This resonated with me. I knew the past and future only exist in the present moment. You can remember the past and you can imagine the future, but you’re remembering and imagining in the present moment. Everything that exists, exists now.  That leads to the realization that today could be my last day on Earth. The next moment might be

Momento Mori

If the past and future were as real as this moment, you could be there, like you’re here now. But you can’t, you can only imagine you’re there.  So evidently they only exist in your mind, in your memories and your imagination. They are not real. They can be relevant for teaching or planning, but they will never exist like this moment exists.  This moment is what life is. Live this moment to its fullest.    Momento mori, remember you will die, you are dying. Every moment may be the last one you get.