A man and woman were talking to each other while strolling down a peaceful road. The man asked the woman, "What must heaven must be like?" The woman answered: "Well the idea of the kingdom of heaven is that of an ideal kingdom. The laws flow from the will of the King, who is good. The angels who reside … Continue reading The Kingdom of Heaven
When a soldier is killed, what has occurred? Does it matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing? Was it better to be a dead soldier lying face down in the dirt at Breed's Hill or Gettysburg, than leaning against a wall or a post in Khost or Baghdad? Does it matter … Continue reading When a soldier dies.
This week I will be presenting a chapter from my dissertation on John Dewey at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. I will be summarizing the problem Dewey sees with Christianity, why it should be abandoned, and what can potentially happen in terms of democratic progress once it is abandoned. I conclude … Continue reading Dewey on how Religion Corrupts Our Democracy
With all of the research that has been done on the brain, there is no question that the brain is a special part of us. We often think of our mental activity--thoughts, ideas, feelings, anger -- taking place in the brain. When we think of a tree, the image of the tree is being viewed … Continue reading An Identity Thought Experiment Concerning You and Your Eyeballs
I missed out doing much for Palm Sunday this week. I miss out on a lot of observances that in principle I consider myself obligated to tend to. I was not raised in the rituals of any church, nor was I raised with a coherent orientation toward religion. My dad wavered, and continues to waver, … Continue reading Religion: What’s to Like?
There is tremendous confusion over the authority of religion. Gay marriage is now legal in the United States after a long and bitter culture battle. ISIS is a serious threat, making religion seem uniquely accommodating to extremism and hence an unfortunate institution altogether. Scripture is constantly under scrutiny by those looking to either smear it … Continue reading 3 End of Year Observations
What is religion? I have to deal with this question because my dissertation is about the desire for immortality in the liberal tradition. Basically, when you're talking about a desire to live on after the unavoidable death of your body (immortality), you're getting into religion. There is not physical proof that anyone lives on after … Continue reading Religion and the Desire for Immortality
In modern liberal democracies we are free to worship as we choose. A big reason for this freedom is that the right way to worship cannot be scientifically proven. The one, true religion, the one, true path to salvation, is unknowable to the human mind. Since there is no outer-objective knowledge for science to extract … Continue reading Truth, Freedom, and Salvation
What does it mean to desire immortality? In my dissertation on this topic 2 different types of immortality emerge, each of which can be desired: (1) literally living forever, and (2) living on symbolically, for example in the memories of the living. Religions like Christianity promise the first kind of immortality, being personally saved and restored in … Continue reading 2 Types of Immortality
The desire for immortality wasn't the most obvious topic for my political theory dissertation, particularly one aimed at helping us understand our political situation today (the issue has been considered by most scholars as a dead one for hundreds of years). On the other hand, we all agree that new solutions are needed to overcome … Continue reading My Mother, My Immortality