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Showing posts from October, 2015

Mind makes matter?

Ever since I returned to religion after trying out atheism, I have been working at reconciling the two. Both atheism and religion ask the big questions of life but they arrive at opposing answers to the questions: Where do we and all the stuff we see come from? Where does thinking come from?
Atheists who are also scientific materialists say our brains create our thoughts. After mulling this over for years, I take the opposite view—I think, therefore my brain forms the way it does. My thoughts form my brain. Scientific experiments bear this out.

And I feel, therefore my surroundings seem as they seem. They suit my feelings and attitudes.Our language reflects this truth. We speak of sunny or cloudy days and dispositions. The metaphor shows the connection between outer and inner. The late Wayne Dyer expanded on this truth: Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.  As I understand scientific materialism, it denies the existence of any in…

Divorce, says Jesus, . . .

In the gospel reading last Sunday, Mark 10: 2-16, Jesus says about marriage, “Let no one separate what God has joined.” I got divorced shortly before I entered the School of Theology. The reading reminded me of my experiences there.
At the SOT I studied scripture under Fr. Ivan Havener, perhaps the most helpful course I had there. Ivan was fully aware that the official Church often teaches nonsense. One day in class he referred disparagingly to bishops in denial of facts.
Ivan’s analysis of Jesus' sayings put into stark relief the distinction between the man Jesus and the myth of Christ. His book, Q: The Sayings of Jesus, informed my God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky. Scripture scholars use a panoply of tools to distinguish authentic sayings of Jesus from inauthentic sayings, those put into his mouth by gospel writers but not said by the man himself. Inauthentic sayings formed after Jesus’ death as a natural process of myth-making ensued, something like the process that created t…

E.O. Wilson and Ants

Few subjects rivet and rile me as much as the intersection of science and religion. I devoted a good portion of last year’s blogposts to scientific materialism, which you can read by finding the topic in my Index (right) and clicking on posts. They contain scientific arguments against it. Two recent programs, one on public radio, the other on public TV, captured me recently.
Krista Tippett, host of NPR’s ON BEING interviewed two Vatican astronomers, Father George Coyne and Brother Guy Consolmagno. Coyne said, My understanding of the universe does not need God. His point was that we should not drag in God to explain science we don’t understand—God as a god of explanation, a god of the gaps. If we're religious believers we're constantly tempted to do that. And every time we do it, we're diminishing God and we're diminishing science. Consolmagno agreed but deplored the tendency to feel that science will answer all questions—conversely a science of the gaps.
Coyne and Con…