Tag Archives: the soul

Let My People Go: Reconsidering the Tea Party

I have of late been rethinking the meaning of the Tea Party to American politics. My first take was dismissive: this movement is the same type of Herderian nationalism that, last century, brought Hitler and his merry band of crazed … Continue reading

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How to Change The Way You See Things: Conceptualization, Reconceptualization, And Thomas Aquinas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             . Thomas Aquinas thought that vegetables and animals have souls. According to him, the soul of the vegetable—its matter and essential form—is to take in nutrients, and the soul of the animal is to enjoy access to the senses and to move. But … Continue reading

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Stanley Fish on What Distinguishes Us from Computers

At the New York Times this week, Stanley Fish offers the following as a key distinction between himself and a computer: [I]ts procedures do not track my practice. I am not self-consciously generating a pattern of statistical frequencies. I am … Continue reading

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Is the Placebo Effect a Problem for Atheism?

Catholic journalist Denise O’Leary seems quite persuaded that the placebo effect stubbornly resists any plausible materialist explanation, and so is a problem for atheists. (O’Leary wrote, with a neuroscientist by the name of Mario Beauregard, an interesting book a few years back … Continue reading

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Consciousness Explained: Spatial Awareness, Time Awareness, Self Awareness, Death Awareness, and Free Will

Below is an excellent BBC documentary on the self and free will. I especially like what Gordon Gallup says at the 11:48 mark: Death awareness is the price we pay for self awareness. If you only have time for a … Continue reading

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The Seven Atheist Denials: God, the Self, the Soul, Immortality, Free Will, the Good, and You’re Never Really Alone

It’s often said that atheism is no more than the rejection of belief in gods, and, on a strict definition, this is true. But there are six other things that also tend to go with this rejection, and they ought to … Continue reading

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Fyodor Dostoevsky foresaw how God would die

Not by closing the gaps in our knowledge of heaven and earth—in which God is increasingly found to have nothing to do—but via the progress of neuroscience, in which spirit is progressively vanquished from the skull. On page 41 of Steven Pinker’s … Continue reading

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Denyse O’Leary on the Signal and the Set (the Mind and the Brain)

I see that Denyse O’Leary, the co-author of The Spiritual Brain (a book I recommend), has a blog. Here she is offering a non-reductionist analogy for the mind’s relationship to the brain (it might be like a television signal in relation to a television set):  Non-materialist neuroscience, … Continue reading

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Can Agnostics and Atheists Use the Word SOUL?

Is the word “soul” forbidden among those of us who call ourselves agnostics or atheists? I say no.  I think that, as an agnostic, the “soul” can be seen as an EPIPHENOMENON of our materiality. Indeed, our souls seem to have emerged from the functioning … Continue reading

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