Free Will … Maybe — Part 2.1

In making the point of how much free will we don’t have, I wanted to write about a concept I came up with a few years back, something to help us understand the, well, “automaticness” of much of what goes on in our heads.

Searching for something on it, I came across this chapter of yet another of my might-be books, a half-written volume titled Earthman’s Notebook.

It’s fairly long, but it illustrates the ideas pretty well.

I’m dividing it up, so it’s going to accordion three extra sections into the middle of my intended-to-be-three-part Free Will piece. Continue reading “Free Will … Maybe — Part 2.1”

Ghost Rider … Um … SUCKED

You have no idea what a fanboy I am when it comes to superhero movies. At 59, I’m often the oldest person in the theater at midnight openers. (Speaking of which, the Spider-Man trailer looks suweeeet! And oh yeah, I’ll be there for the midnight show.)

I went to see the second coming of Ghost Rider last night, on pins and needles and eager for the flaming spectacle.

But … dayyum. Twenty minutes in, I was already thinking about walking out. Departing the theater at the end, I said “That was easily one of the Top Ten worst movies I’ve seen in my entire life.” Continue reading “Ghost Rider … Um … SUCKED”

7 Things Christians Can’t Prove Aren’t True

(Sorry, brain running on idle so far this morning. I swear the following has nothing to do with drugs. This is a sort of sideways answer to those who say you can’t prove there’s no God.)

1) In Heaven, everybody has delicious Thomas’s English muffins for breakfast, and they come already toasted and slathered with real butter. Plus, they’re served by obsequious angelic beings who look exactly like Rolling Stone’s Keith Richards.   Continue reading “7 Things Christians Can’t Prove Aren’t True”

Go List for Unbelievers

Looking for reader contributions here.

Say there are two or three levels of atheism – like Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, or maybe Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. Or possibly Apprentice,  Journeyman, Master.

And say there were some things you should probably do at each level in order to qualify – in your own mind if nowhere else.

What would those things be?

Here’s my tentative list for the Novice Class: Continue reading “Go List for Unbelievers”

Interjection, With Tears

I’ve shied away from gushing at length about my Dad’s death here. Mainly I think of my own “guy” reaction to other people’s family-death turmoils. It’s a personal thing, or should be, and you shouldn’t go flashing it around in public too much.

But I also feel that I owe all of you something. Periodic updates, I guess. Those of you who donated to make possible my visit to his side at the hospital, I want you to know … well, that a very human thing happened, and continues to happen, and it’s all thanks to you. I didn’t want anybody to think I had just shrugged it all off, and that posts months back were the last you’d hear. I still think a book is a real possibility.

Meanwhile, I thought I might give you a little window into what’s going on by posting a brief note from my tape journal from a couple of days ago. Continue reading “Interjection, With Tears”

Free Will … Maybe – Part 1

Despite the fact that Daniel Fincke and I once, a long time back, mutually challenged each other to debate it, I’ve been putting off this post, or any post on the subject, for some time. And I’ll tell you why:

Mainly, I’ve just realized, it’s because I’m afraid of it.

For someone like Sam Harris to say explicitly that free will is an illusion, or for Daniel Fincke, whom I respect, to assert the same thing, disturbs me greatly.

Because … no free will? That’s like saying “You’re not real, you’re not there, you’re not YOU.” Continue reading “Free Will … Maybe – Part 1”