Tag Archives: faith

Embracing the Wager

My dad and my dad’s dad were Lutheran ministers, and my dad’s brother taught theology at a Lutheran seminary. Lotta preachers on the paternal side of the tree. (Lotta teachers on the maternal side; mom and sis among them. I grew up with preachers and teachers.)

All of which gave me something of an insider view of religion and the organizational church. It also provided a cornerstone I’ve built on through much of my life: a reconciliation between the Yin of my science side and the Yang of my spiritual side.

One interesting place the two meet is Pascal’s Wager.

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Sunday Sundries

day of rest 1I have mentioned before that I like to observe a Sabbath of some kind, a day of rest and difference. Years of religious indoctrination cause me to see Sunday as that day. More than forty years of work life reenforced that view (although I often worked Sundays in my very first job). Ultimately the actual day isn’t important; it’s the idea of taking a weekly break from normal that I think is crucial to mental well-being.

There is also for me, not a religious component, but a moral one nevertheless. I observe certain restrictions on my Sabbath (I don’t watch anything violent, for example), and I try to connect with my gentler side. (I’m actually a gentle soul at heart. The world has had the effect of giving me a crusty, pointy exterior.)

So today, no Python, no POV-Ray, no math (no rants).

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God: Three Questions

When it comes to a spiritual position, there are at least three major positions you can take. There are three metaphysical questions you can ask yourself. Each question, if you answer “no,” halts the process and defines your position.

The questioning continues so long as your answer is “yes.” As the questioning continues, you approach a more and more specific concept of “God(s).”

Basically, it’s a flow-chart that calculates your metaphysical point of view.

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God: Universal Apprehension or Delusion?

One of the things that strikes me about the idea of God is how universal that idea is. To the best of my knowledge, every society in every age has had some sort of spiritual core belief.

I used to state this as the assertion that every society believed in some sort of god or gods, but it was pointed out to me that Buddhists don’t actually have a god. They do have some metaphysical entities, and more importantly, Buddhism is certainly a belief in a metaphysical reality that transcends this one.

So the question is: if humans universally find themselves finding God(s), what does this mean?

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