Doubt and faith are complimentary

Can you be a doubter who also has faith?  That’s for you to decide. But I think you can.  Are you certain? Agnosticism is about what you don’t know. Belief is a different question.  God is either real, or he’s not. But God can’t be proven or disproven. And that’s where faith comes in.  SkepticsContinue reading “Doubt and faith are complimentary”

Is evil real?

Is that a dumb question? We can point to all sorts of atrocities, so why would anyone think evil isn’t real? And if evil isn’t real, then is goodness not real? Could only one but not both be real? Whatever, man Relativism—contrary to popular opinion—isn’t the attitude that anything goes. No one believes that. IContinue reading “Is evil real?”

Grace

I’m a wayward Catholic boy. Well, that’s an exaggeration. Father Andrew Greeley liked to repeat the cliché that, “Once Catholic, always Catholic.” With qualifications, yes. Death awaits Nothing ever leaves you. No one ever leaves you. A friend from long ago lost his mother to breast cancer. He was 14. And every year on theContinue reading “Grace”

Are miracles real?

It depends on what you think is a miracle It’s a miracle! Do you mean that literally? Or literally in the Millennial sense of figuratively? Miracle is an ill-defined term. What is a miracle? A miracle might be something unlikely but fortuitous. It’s easy to believe in that. Whether it was a happy coincidence orContinue reading “Are miracles real?”

What is spirituality?

What does spirituality mean to you? Not everything has a precise definition. And that’s okay. So, what I offer is one perspective. Spirituality has a connotation of spirits—angels, demons, souls, ghosts. Or more generally, the unseen. And much is unseen. Concepts, thoughts, values, emotions. All is not as it seems I read a biography ofContinue reading “What is spirituality?”

Does goodness really exist?

It’s a question of faith. What is “the good”? We’ve debated this question since ancient times. More to the point, is goodness objective? That is, does goodness go beyond personal opinion? The morass of opinion If goodness is subjective then it’s relative. There would be contradictory notions of goodness, negating the existence of goodness asContinue reading “Does goodness really exist?”

Stoicism & Western Buddhism

The similarity of Buddhism and Stoicism is not a new observation. But Patrick Ussher in Stoicism & Western Buddhism offers a more nuanced perspective. The similarities apply more to Western Buddhism and modern Stoicism than to the ancient versions of either. In both cases, Ussher argues, modern Westerners have revised ancient philosophies to fit currentContinue reading “Stoicism & Western Buddhism”

Why myth matters: a review of Jordan B. Peterson’s Maps of Meaning

Maps of Meaning. That’s psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s description of myth. His book is by a professor for professors, so it’s a challenging read – very technical and dense. I didn’t make it through the entire book, but enough to get the gist. Part of what Peterson does is connect neurology to “the architecture ofContinue reading “Why myth matters: a review of Jordan B. Peterson’s Maps of Meaning”

Marcus Aurelius and the gods

Stoicism is usually described as pantheistic. But Marcus Aurelius and other Stoics also refer to the gods, which sounds polytheistic. Modern Stoicism is open to non-theistic and theistic perspectives. From Meditations by Marcus Aurelius God & Providence Everything is interwoven in a sacred bond. There is one God in the whole. There is one substance, oneContinue reading “Marcus Aurelius and the gods”

Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full

Stoicism is a major theme in Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel A Man in Full. But Wolfe portrays Stoicism as a religion rather than a philosophy. Yet, while ancient philosopher Epictetus believed in Zeus, it’s hard to find a Stoic today who worships Greek deities. In Wolfe’s novel, Conrad discovers Stoicism while in prison. An out of work father,Continue reading “Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full”