Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Inerrancy and Inspiration



At one time Karl Barth drew the distinction between the Bible being the word of God or containing the word of God. Since that time conservatives (Evangelicals/ fundamentalists) have imagined that liberals really use this as some important distinction. One example is Matt Slick at CARM. He states: "One of the objections raised by critics of biblical inspiration is that the Bible is not the word of God but that it contains the word of God."[1] Of course he goes on to show that the Bible says different, so he thinks. I'll get to that latter. The problem is Liberal theology is so far removed from the concerns of fundamentalism now that even the idea that the Bible contains the word of God would be too  conservative for most of them. I suggest that the concept of "Bible as word of God" is outmoded but for the reasons neither side would imagine. It's not that there's no God, not that God doesn't communicate with us, but simply that the idea of Bible as word of God is based upon an inadequate model of divine/human encounter. The nature of the encounter that humans have with the divine is more complex and varied it requires a more open  ended sort of model to illustrate it's nature.

The model used by evangelicals and fundamentalists, often called "inerrancy," (officially the "verbal Plenary Inspiration") is sort of based upon the business model. It assumes that the Bible is propositional truth, the statements in it are propositions in that they are either true or false statements and can be defended as such by rational argument. Verbal Plenary because all the verbiage is inspired, thus the opposition to the distinction. This view is usually justified by appeal to scripture itself, this is taking it at is word what it claims for itself, as Slick states:

First of all,["contains" rather than is word] this doesn't fit what the Bible says about itself.  The collection of 66 books that the Christian Church recognized as being inspired speaks as the very words of God in many places.
  1. "Thus says the Lord" occurs over 400 times in the Old Testament.
  2. "God said" occurs 42 times in the Old Testament and four times in the New Testament.
  3. "God spoke" occurs 9 times in the Old Testament and 3 times in the New Testament.
  4. "The Spirit of the Lord spoke" through people in 2 Sam. 23:21 Kings 22:242 Chron. 20:14.
Of course, the errantists (those who say the Bible in its original documents had errors) will reject these scriptures' accuracy; that is, they will deny that God's word is without error -- even in the originals.[2]

First of all speaking "as the words of God in many places" could be construed as containingrather than being the word of God. It doesn't speak that way in every single sentence. There is no conscious awareness expressed by any work within the  canon that there is a canon. The books themselves don't know that they are one of 66 books in a collection deemed "the word of God." There is no reference in the Bible to the Bible. Now the conservatives assert that when we find references to scripture that this is synonymous but it's not. We don't know what scripture means for each writer who uses the term. When Jesus refers to scripture does he mean the same set of books that Paul meant when he refereed to it? If so there is no such place where it says this. When Paul said "all scripture is inspired" (2 Tim 3:16) (literally "God-breathed") the canon of even the OT was not closed, We don't know what he meant by scripture. He could have included books we don't know about, he surely did not mean his own or any other written in "NT era." He was not thinking of letters to Churches by major Christians as scripture,

In terms of the three instances above where it says "thus says the Lord" what follows that phrase might be the words of God, that doesn't mean that what preceded it would be. In many cases the OT says "the word of the Lord came  to him saying." So what is repeated that came to him (whomever) would be the word but that doesn't make things said before that the word. It says God says 42 times how many more times do others speak in the Bible and they are not God? Are the things they say also the word of God? He lists three times where the Spirit of God spoke through people, so those would be words of God but does that mean that all the other times are then not the word of God?

Hate to keep harping on Slick but he's so convenient:
Of course, the errantists (those who say the Bible in its original documents had errors) will reject these scriptures' accuracy; that is, they will deny that God's word is without error -- even in the originals.
If appealing to the Bible in a general sense isn't good enough.  Let's consider that Jesus said the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms (all of the Old Testament) were Scripture and that the Scriptures cannot be broken, cannot fail (John 10:35).
Some might say that there are instances of verses that "contain" God's word, but that it doesn't mean the Bible is God's word.  The problem is addressed by Jesus.
Luke 24:44-45"Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. "
Notice that Jesus speaks about what is written regarding him in the Old Testament.  Then Luke writes that Jesus opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.  What Scriptures?  The Law (Moses), the Prophets, and the Psalms.  This was a common designation for the Old Testament.  Therefore, Jesus says that the written form of the Old Testament is Scripture.  Jesus goes on to deal with the religious leaders who would violate these Scriptures which he called "the word of God."[3]
Jesus doesn't speak about what is written about him in the "Old Testament." They didn't have one then. No passage in the Bible is aware of itself as "the Bible." When Paul wrote that all scripture is inspired (as I said above) the canon of the old testament was not closed, We don't know what works he meant, although it is a safe bet he would have included the Torah. Equally safe he would not have been thinking of his own letters to churches,

Inerrancy as a doctrine was made to combat evolution. That's why it's based upon literalism,so we can insist the days are not ages. Verbal plenary Inspiration has only existed as a doctrine since the 19th century or so. The church fathers don't use that term and never voice the kind of concerns the innerrantists voice. Here's a concept I learned about in seminary and it was a mind blower to med at the time: the Bible is not the word of God, Jesus is. Everyone knows this but fundamentalists will distinguish between the living word and written word and go on talking about the Bible that way. But the Bible dopes not make that distinction. In fact when the OT says "the word of the Lord came to him saying" it could just as easily really be saying Jesus the actual word of God came to him and said whatever,

The concept of inspiration that I accept is called "dialectical retrieval.," it's based upon Barth, Niebuhr, and others who thought there is a dialectical relationship between the reader and the text. We must assume we dealing with the word of god,k even though Bible is just the written record but in our reading of that record the word of God (the Spirit) will show us what we need to see. It's like the assumptions we made with stop signs, We don't stop at them only early for pragmatic reasons, There are some signs cars never go by, We stop at them because it's the law. There is no law that says the Bible is the word of God but we know that the Biblical texts are written out of the same process of Spirit-driven insight in which we read the test, Thus it pays us to not look legalistically but seriously at the text and to be open to the insights to which the Spirit of God would lead us.

I have an essauy that deals with five different concepts of imerrancy and several different models of revelation or inspiration. It's too long for a blog it's on my apologetic site The Religious A Priori.[4] It's based upon Avery Dullle's exceent book Models of Revelation.I recompensed that book Highly,[5] Please read my Essay.

My position is this: The list of canon is a man made institution but it was drawn up with the aid of the Holy Spirit, The Bible is not the word of God but it is a written record of some words the Word has "spoken" to humans though other humans in divine-human encounter. We accept the canon as the judgement of the Church but we know the inspiration is in there and the Holy Spirit will show it to us in dialectical encounter between reader and Text. IOW: read the Bible. Use historical critical methods and think logically,

The point here apologetically speaking is that most atheist Bible problems are based upon the assumption of extreme fundamentalism and extreme literalism. Most of what they say can be dismissed by impelling them what I've said here, I';ve doing tit for years.,


[1] Matt Slick, "the Bible isn't the Word of God. It Contains the Word of God." CARM. Webpage:

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Joseph Hinman, "The Nature of Biblical Revelation," Religious A Priori on line
http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2010/07/nature-of-biblical-revelation.html  (accessed 8/1/16

[5] Avery Dulles, Models of Revelation. Maryknoll New York: Orbis Books; 2nd ed. edition September 1, 1992.

Dulles id a Cardinal in Catholic chruch, made so by JPII, His father was secretary of state under Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles.

different notions of inerrancy Dulles Discusses:

*Inerrency of original autographs and divine protection of manuscripts.
Proponents of this view include Harold Lindsell.

Inspiration of autographs with minor mistakes in transmission of an unessential kind.
Carl C.F. Henry.

*Inerrency of Textual intention without textual specifics.
Clark Pinnock.

*Inerrancy in Soteric (salvation) knowledge but not in historical or scientific matters.
Bernard Ramm

*Inerrent in major theological assertions but not in religion or morality.
Donald Blosche and Paul K. Jewett
As you can see inerrancy is far from settled. There are several concepts of revelation in addition to dialectical:

Revelation as History
as Inner experience
as Doctrine
as Dialectical presence

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Really Long View

Image result for mystical experience

As  a face book friend I have a favor to ask. I am asking all my friends on FB to please read my blog. I work hard at making it interesting. I deal with theology and sometimes politics. Here are examples of some of the things I deal with,I post Monday and Wednesday and if I have a political thing I do it on Friday,


The Euthyphro dilemma and the arbitrariness objection’: Amnswering Wes Morriston

The Euthphro Dilemma says is morality good because God commands it or does God command it because it;ps good,Either way problems for the  believer,Either God is arbitrary ir he;s not the highest authority, Of  course I disproves this as a pseudo problem.

The Transcendental Signified Argument for God part 1

This is my own original argumemt for the existence of God 

The God Who Lurks Behind Modern Science

This argues that the concept of God is still influential  in  modern thought

Please read Metacrock's blog


babe was last one

HRG last

Occam's Razor Shaves Multiverse

 photo 220px-William_of_Ockham_zpsf7881caa.png

Multiverse is the idea that our space/time is merely one "universe" in a huge limitless number of parallel worlds. Atheists often use this concept to argue against the fine tuning argument by saying with all those universe out there the odds of hitting one that can bare life is not so great. Our life bearing universe is not as improbable as the FTA would have us believe because when we consider that it's just one of a limitless expanse of other worlds then it's not so improbable that one would have life. We just happen to be it, if we weren't we wouldn't know about it. We would not be here. Sometimes they also argue that against the cosmological argument on the grounds that the universe is eternal and infinite and parallel words have been popping up forever. Then there's no way to say "here's the moment of creation."

Atheists have another favorite tactic and that is to argue that Occam's razor rules out God because God is not the simpler idea. There they are confusing it with Parsimony. Occam was priest and he believed in God he didn't think the razor got rid of God. For that reason I've always been somewhat peeved by their use of this argument. Moreover, what the razor really says is no not multiply entities beyond necessity.[1] The thing is you see, atheists assume that since they don't believe in God then is not necessary so God is multiply beyond necessity. That's the argument made by those who at least know the real version of the argument but they don't know what it means. Let's try to understand it first by understanding Occam's nominalism. four senses of nominalism:

(1) Denial of metaphsyical universals: applies to Occam.

(2) reduce one's ontology to bare minimum, streamline categories: applies to Occam.

(3) Nix abstract entities, depending upon what one means here Occam may or may not have been a nominalist in this sense. he did not believe in mathematical entities but he did believe in abstraction such as whiteness, or humanity.

Ockham removes all need for entities in seven of the traditional Aristotelian ten categories; all that remain are entities in the categories of substance and quality, and a few entities in the category of relation, which Ockham thinks are required for theological reasons pertaining to the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Eucharist, even though our natural cognitive powers would see no reason for them at all. As is to be expected, the ultimate success of Ockham's program is a matter of considerable dispute.[2]
 He was not getting rid of God. Occam's razor never allows us to deny what spade calls "putative entities" which would definitely include God. It merely bids us referain from positing them without good reason. Of course the many choruses of atheist propagadna slgoanizing would have it that this does include God,[3] but with my 52 arguments we know better, don't we?[4] In fact for Occam humans can't really know what is necessary, "For Ockham, the only truly necessary entity is God; everything else, the whole of creation, is radically contingent through and through. In short, Ockham does not accept the Principle of Sufficient Reason.."[5] Wait a minute, not a contradiction because all the reasor says is refrain form multiplying entities without good reason, not rub them out of existence. Note that he includes God as the only truly necesasry entity. Thus atheist are violating Occam's razor in trying to use it on God.

Occam did not have a razor:

"The concept of Occam’s razor is credited to William of Ockham, a 13-14th-century friar, philosopher, and theologian. While he did not coin the term, his characteristic way of making deductions inspired other writers to develop the heuristic. Indeed, the concept of Occam’s razor is an ancient one which was first stated by Aristotle who wrote “we may assume the superiority, other things being equal, of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.”[6]

Yet this raises the question of the Multiverse. Is the multiverse necessary? It's a matter of empirical question and there is empirical evidence to support it. Claims have been made of hard data proving Multivese, but when investigated they evaporate. Here's a physicist who opposed string theory and multiverse he argues that his evaluation of the papers finds irresolvable problems.

 In recent years there have been many claims made for “evidence” of a multiverse, supposedly found in the CMB data (see for example here). Such claims often came with the remark that the Planck CMB data would convincingly decide the matter. When the Planck data was released two months ago, I looked through the press coverage and through the Planck papers for any sign of news about what the new data said about these multiverse evidence claims. There was very little there; possibly the Planck scientists found these claims to be so outlandish that it wasn’t worth the time to look into what the new data had to say about them. One exception was this paper, where Planck looked for evidence of “dark flow”.[7]
 If hard evidence turns up for it then we have to deal with that on it's own terms. Until that time Multiverse should be shaved with Occam's razor. We don't need it to explain reality, it's only advanced to keep from having to turn to God. It's naturalistic so it's an arbitrary necessity at best. Arbitrary necessitates are logical impossibilities, contingent things jumped up to the level of necessity to answer a God argument. It's not we are going to disprove the unnecessary entity but we are going refrain from advancing it's existence as an assumption until such a time that real empirical evidence makes it necessary. Therefore, Multiverse should be taken out of the issues of God arguments.


[1]C.K. Brampton, "Nominalism and the Law of Parsimony." The Modern School Men, Volume 41, Issue 3, (March 1964), 273-281.
the sentiment of that slogan "don't multiply entities beyond necessity" is in line with Occam's thinking although he didn't actually say that.
[2]Spade, Paul Vincent and Panaccio, Claude, "William of Ockham", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = Fall 2011 (substantive content change) [new author(s): Spade, Paul Vincent; Panaccio, Claude]
[3] Spade, et al, Ibid.
[4] 42 God arguments on Doxa, and 10 more on Religious A prori.
[5]Spade, Ibid.

[6] FS Farnam Street The Danger of Over Simplification: how to use Occam;s Rzzor without getting cut" 

[7]Peter Woit, Not Even Wrong,May 22, 2013  
 Woit, Ph.D. particle theory form Princeton, Post doctorte in phsyics and math from Berkeley, tught at Columbia since 1989.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

When I was born there were two of me


In Honor of my late  twin Ray Hinman (June 20, 1956-Jan 24, 2014.) Tomorrow is our birthday,

My brother Ray wrote those words at one time, "when I was born there were two of me.". We did come into the world together. He was always there, I never knew a time when he was not there. As kids we were rambunxious, obnoxious, noisy, hyperactive, sarcastic. We were always there for each other. When we walked home from kindergarten bigger boys would pick on us because when they grabbed Ray I would cry, and shout "leave him alone!" When they grabbed me he would cry and shout. We always knew what each other meant by cryptic comments when  no one else did. We always looked out for each other's feelings. Always knewoth

In sixth grade the teacher read to the class an unpublished story by Mark Twain, from life magazine. That's when he set his sites on being a writer, He taught himself all about literature. It came from out of nowhere, he began spending all of his time reading, He would get home from school and go right to the books instead of football as had been his passion. In eight grade he gave an oral book report to a speech class on Goethe's Faust part I. It as brilliant the class as thunder struck. I was amazed at his erudition and his poise and his eloquence. People were coming up to me  all day and saying "I didn't know your brother was a genius."

That was crucial because we had dyslexia and early schooling was marked by failure and being treated like dunces (until they tested our IQs!). Spanked with boards for being lazy (by the principle--Texas schools of mid 60s). We could barely read, we hated ourselves and we shored each other up by mutual support. Then this literature thing turned Ray on to using his mind. He just got the idea he could teach himself and he began doing it. This was really in opposition to the teachers. He actually knew more at the end of high school than many of his teachers and I know that's true.

He was also brash and rebellious, sharp and critical of authority. We were both attracted to the "movement" of the 60s. Anti-war, we went to protests (this was 7-10 grade1971-72). An example of how Ray was in eight or ninth grade. We went to a  little private school ran by church of Christ. They had a big Dress code and we hated it. We wanted long hair they would not let us have it. One day we missed some school for snow (rare in Dallas). The school administration declared that we had to go for a make-up Saturday but to make it less odious we could dress any way we wanted to (except no short skirts on the girls). Everyone wore ragged blue genes and t shirts except Ray. He wore a suit and tie.

In the period that followed (72-77) he really was my hero. I resented him but also admired him. He was much more socially able and more successful in dealing with the opposite sex. Sex being the operative word there. Dressed like a hippie but not in a pretensions way. Ran around all over town with all kinds of women, getting drunk and smoking dope and going to parties, making his own -parties by the turtle creek or Bachman lake or some place. He dropped out of high school and moved down town. Took GED and scored one of the highest scores in the City.

In the high school years, 16, 17 he went on several hitchhiking trips. My parents were terrified but he was nota run away, He got them to sign a letter saying he had their permission because the deal was, he was going anyway. He did have stories from the road. He hide in the dark in the Rockies and watched a coven of some kind do something with torches and someone (he really didn't know what they were doing he just didn't want to be seen). He was shot at in West Texas and attacked by a ghost in Denver. He stood on a dark rainy highway in Oregon and did not see Bigfoot (said he never thought about it), He first went to Colorado, the up the West Coast to Vancouver, Then up the east coast to Toronto. That picture at the top on a park bench was taken in Boston on that trip, he was 17.

He was lean and strong and full of life and what the Bible calls "The pride of life." He was brilliant, he read a lot  of Nietzsche and decided he would become an ubermench. He told me once he knew he wasn't one but he wanted to force himself to be one anyway. He wrote prodigiously. After growing apart in high school--I had debate and he had hitchhiking-- we got back together in college. He started to community college took philosophy was on the honor Roll and my parents were elated. He was also at odds with them about being a writer. They wanted him to be able to support himself.  He just wanted to write. We developed a world around ourselves and our books. It centered on the coffee shop. Discussions were to us what water is to a duck. We discussed everything fueled by books and our own writings.

Everything changed in 77. That's when Ray had his break down. He saw the goddess Dianna fly past the moon while smoking dope on the roof at our parents home. He was never again free of delusions. Gradually over time he became like my child. By the time he died I had almost forgotten the strong rash independent young genius he was in his youth. He was lucid but developed a lot of delusional fears. We struggled through the maze of the mental health care industry for two decades before I realized they were nuttier than he was. In the end we wound up wild catting with nutrition and forgot the shrinks., He tried hard to make it as a writer. Every passing year grew that much more desperate; He finally quite trying the last eight years of his life. He was always going to get back to it.

I think the two great defining moments for him were the Central America movement and taking care of our parents. We worked as organizers in the central America movement from about the dawning of Iran=contra (85?) to the anti-climatic end of the Sandinista government in '90. Ray poured his heart and soul into it, s=he shown as an activist. Quoted in the Newspaper for some protest we organized (Dallas Morning News) "Ray Hinman, 31 year old Poet.." I said "hey you are officially a poet, says so in the paper." He said, "I am also officially 31, says so in the news paper." He saved a woman's life. Jenifer Casolo was charged by the Salvadoran government and her lawyer too. Both arrested a d tortured. Ray threw himself into calling all over the country to get urge t action alerts generated. When Casolo came to Dallas Ray was introduced to her as "The person primarily responsible for getting you out." The Lawyer was saved too.The other great moment was in caring for our parents. We basically ran our own private nursing home 2/7 for three years. Our mother had Alzheimer's our father had a big heart attack and then some kind of dementia.  He was invaluable in care for  them. I could not have done it without him. I could really see what he was made of then in his unselfish caring for our parents.

There were more struggles involved in fights criminals disguised a mortgage company who stole our house and living in our car for a short time. This all took it's toll on Ray, his fragile mental condition. The last few years we found a cozy rent house, parents gone, just Ray and I and our little dog Arnie (black and tan coon hound but the tan parts were white).  He loved drinking coffee in the kitchen or on the back Patio and reminiscing. We lost the fire for the great intellectual discussions we had thrived on. He lost the fire for writing he was no longer building for a career as a writer, he was feeling like a a failure and reminiscing about what he loved in the act of trying to be a writer. Nursing his delusions. If only he had written those into novels. He did get the one collection of poems published I think he really just rested in that one accomplishment.

The last Day he was upset because I kept trying to convince him to go to the hospital. He wanted to be at home. He thought I wanted to get rid of him. I told him I wanted to stick together and be old men together, He seemed happy and was perked up. I made him a cup of coffee he drank it and smoked and said it was the best coffee and smoke he ever had, He wanted me to help him to the bathroom and on the  way he had to sit down, He began roaring like a lion, spewed stuff out his mouth and I saw his eyes roll up in his head. I ran for the phone and called 911. By the time I got back he was gone. I was shouting "come back!" After the coroner left I spend hours alone shouting  "Ray! Ray!" I sat out on the patio for days just reliving our times there and try8mng to find peace about it. I eventually realized he was just tired of conflict he made the choices he did for that reason. He was tried of being mentally ill and tired of struggling to make it as a writer in an illiterate society that no longer understands literature.

The Shaman Considers His Craft

by Ray Hinman

Did I say footprints?
Did I say each puddle reflects a world? I use to see distinction in things other people instinctively ignore.
The bird in the bush could sing his door wide, and with windows
there to open
the wealth of those deeper places could catch the thrush's warble and glitter white fire.
But then I got to naming things, and relating one thing to another.
The tracks for instance, no longer just a trail to follow, an extension or some place where the mystery of places might echo a brittle birth.
I had to know that beauty--decode it,
like a song. The thrush's song, the broken tracks, the I ittle brown splotch that is the bird upon
it's branch, it had to be a destiny, a metaphysic or sympathy breaking down haunted tomes ...
levels of Justice and fate.

I had to know what made the haunted real,
to know how these doors open, one into another so that bird sails freely
and his fire pierces through the bush, the puddles that are sl fck as sl iding glass,
and know much more than being carried by a song (his song from his landscape) into a scape not mine and not his.
And at that point, that beauty that became so brittle as I went downward
(through the landscape his beauty built into the scape not mfne and not his)
I missed the whole haunted meaning of fire and magic both.
And I was left there, as if I stood before a maze of bushes all grown with doors.

see a more detailed bio

Monday, June 17, 2019

Misconceptions about Religious Belief


Andy Wright makes comments in response to "More on Extraordinary claims," I will answer his comments here because they are typical of certain atheist misconceptions that I have been trying to correct since I started on internet apologetics boards. The average atheist on the net seems to believe that religion is for feeble minded dullards who can't think, that's its effects are clearly proven to be very bad for both the individual and society, and that belief is receding into he mists of history. Not only are these ideas totally wrong, but they are the exact opposite of truth. Not only so, but that these things are totally false is clearly demonstrably provable with the best scientific evidence. Religion is actually very good for you, religious people are much better adjusted, by and large, than most atheists. Religious people are happier, they are less likely to commit crimes, if you except fundamentalists their marriages are better.

Wright was reacting to my statement that religion is normative for human experince, and the point of saying that was to show that belief is not an extraordinary claim. So let us keep that in mind, because most of Wrights arguments lose sight of this poin.

Andy Wright:

you say "religious belief is normative for human behavior. It is not merely "normal" but "normative" meaning it sets the standard. Belief is basic to human psyche, to our understanding of the good, of meaning in life, the ultimate limits of reality, the grounding of nature and being itself,"
this is not true. there have been and continue to be successful human societies where religion is not part of the society, where simply not knowing was acceptable.

This is clearly disproved by history. There has never been a single non religious society anyone where on earth. There have only been a handful of attempts to make societies that were non religious, and in not only did those cases fail, but they were the imposition of an ideology by an elite who imposed its will upon the masses.There has never been a single organic culture where the masses were just naturally not religious. Even in the Soviet union and china, where the only attempts to destroy the faith of the masses was imposed, it failed miserably. At the height of the cultural revolution in China when the government was the most anti-religious, the people were still 51% religious and Christianity made up a huge portion.

Wright again:

you seem to define religion as belief in a single higher power, yet among the societies that have religion, there have been as many societies that beleived in multiple spirits in a range from every single thing having a spirit to there being many extra powerful beings that you would call gods.

This is my true definition of religion, I've given it hundreds of times on message board all over the net and it is on my website in my credo where I clearly go over the all the beliefs I hold. I got this definition from Dr. Neil McFarlane in his lecture notes in his class on "religion in a Global perspective" at Perkins School of Theology (SMU). I think it was influenced by Dr Fredrick Strung ("string").

My definition of religion:

In my view Religion is an attept to identify a human problemic, that is the basic problematic nature at the heart of being human. Having identified it, reilgious traditions seek to resolve the problematic nature of human life by offering a transformative experince which allows one to transcend the difficulty and to be fulfilled or feel more human or be "saved." Religious traditions also usually seek to mediate this transformation through cerimony or some sort of theological orientation. These three things make up the nature of religion:

(a) identification of the problematic

(b) Transformative power to overcome the nature of the problematic

(c) a means of mediating this transformative power.

All religions offer these things, weather the problematic be seen as separation from nature, or imbalance with cosmic forces, re-birth through desire which leads to suffering, or moral sin in rebellion against God.

Transformations come in all sorts of packages too, they can be the big experince of born again Christianity (mediated through the "sinners prayer") or they can be the mystical experince, mediated through the mass, or enlightenment, mediated through mediation, mandala, mantra and other mediation aids, or what have you.

The reason for identifying with a particular religious tradition is because one feels that this particular tradition identifies the problematic better than others, and offers mediation in a more sure or certain or compelte way. One must go with the tradition with which one feels the strongest connection.

For me that is the Christian Tradition, primarily because I feel that the historical connection to Jesus of Nazareth, and the unique concept of Grace mark the Christian tradition as the best mediation of the Ultimate Transformative Experience. But more on that latter.

So your statement is quite false. I do not limit by view of religion to belief in a single "powerful being." In fact that view of what I believe is so far off, you clearly know nothing about my views. Obviously you are merely reacting to the label "Christian" and have not bothered to find out that Christianity is very diverse. I do not believe that God is a single powerful being! I do not believe that God is "A being." I believe that God is "being itself." That means God is the basis of what being is, the foundation of all being, not a being, but the basic ground of all being. I further believe that differing religions and concepts of God and gods are merely sign posts that point to this foundation of being. The are metaphors and analogies that point to something beyond themselves, something beyond our ability to understand. I have written many pages on this on my website. The major such pages can be found here: The Ground of Being

Wright goes on:

the range and differences among them are so great as to make lumping them all under 'religion' is almost ridiculous.

That is indicative misunderstanding the nature of religion is. Religion is so much bigger, better, and more important than you are willing to accept, or even than you suspect.

there have been many societies around the world where a human was thought of as the current incarnation of god. this differs so much from Christianity as to again, be almost impossible to be considered the same thing.

That's a misconception. It doesn't really matter, it's a meaningless point anyway, because I'm sure I know much more about world religion than you do. Remember the class I mention, above, "religion in a global perspective?" Neil McFarland who taught that class lived in Japan for 30 years. He was the leading expert on the New Religions of Japan (his book was Rush House of the Gods--I love that title!). He was very sympathetic to Eastern religions and he studied them with major Shinto and Buddhists priests in Japan. That class focussed on religions of Asia, especially Japan. There are not other societies or religions which have exactly the same understanding of deity as Christianity. There are none where a human being was thought of as God in the way that Christian theology came to regard Christ after the second century or so. But to say that these religions can't be regarded as the same thing is just poppy cock. They all fit with the definition given above and they all fit with the concept of mystical union which I have clearly espoused for years.


and in all of those societies, there were a wide range of level of belief in the locally accepted 'religion'. some were vigorous hyper believers and most belived some of it but had doubts about a little of it and some believed very little or none at all of it. societies varied a great deal in how much they tolerated the non-beleivers, from none at all to total tolerance, and still, even when there was no tolerance, there were non-beleivers who kept silent about it. your claim that religion is 'normative' lacks anthropological basis for societies and is lacking even more when applied to individuals.

Notice that you don't give a single example. Prior to the eighteenth century true atheists who really believed there was no God at all of any kind were very rare, and mostly they were uneducated. They had no scientific basis for their claims, merely anger toward religious people and institutions.No actually your misconceptions lack anthropological backing. I am quoting anthropologists. I'm quoting major social scientists such as Abraham Maslow who did studies on the nature of religious experience and found that its one of the greatest things or people. Maslow's book was Peak Experience and there is a copy online. A vast body of social sciences data shows that religion is far better for you than unbelief.


Atheists today have all that stuff you claim belief is basic to and they have it without . . . guess what . . . belief in any god or religion. you might not want to admit there are well adjusted atheists making positive contributions to the world, and i am not sure why you are so intolerant of atheism or why it threatens you so, but you claim about belief being essential to a person or a society is . . . bogus.

Saying that religion is normative is not at all the same as saying that there are no well adjusted atheists. That's not the issue at all. In fact the data does show that believers are much better "adjusted" and less mental illness and less depression than unbelievers.

again from my website:

Religioius belief indicative of good mental health

a)Religous Pepole are More Self Actualized

Dr. Michale Nielson,Ph.D. Psychology and religion.


"What makes someone psychologically healthy? This was the question that guided Maslow's work. He saw too much emphasis in psychology on negative behavior and thought, and wanted to supplant it with a psychology of mental health. To this end, he developed a hierarchy of needs, ranging from lower level physiological needs, through love and belonging, to self- actualization. Self-actualized people are those who have reached their potential for self-development. Maslow claimed that mystics are more likely to be self-actualized than are other people. Mystics also are more likely to have had "peak experiences," experiences in which the person feels a sense of ecstasy and oneness with the universe. Although his hierarchy of needs sounds appealing, researchers  have had difficulty finding support for his theory."



In terms of psychological correlates, well-being and happiness has been associated with mystical experiences,(Mathes, Zevon, Roter, Joerger, 1982; Hay & Morisy, 1978; Greeley, 1975; Alexander, Boyer, & Alexander, 1987) as well as self-actualization (Hood, 1977; Alexander, 1992). Regarding the latter, the developer of self-actualization believed that even one spontaneous peak or transcendental experience could promote self-actualization. Correlational research has supported this relationship. In a recent statistical meta-analysis of causal designs with Transcendental Meditation (TM) controlling for length of treatment and strength of study design, it was found that: TM enhances self-actualization on standard inventories significantly more than recent clinically devised relaxation/meditation procedures not explicitly directed toward transcendence [mystical experience] (p. 1; Alexander, 1992)

b) Christian Repentence Promotes Healthy Mindedness

william James
Gilford lectures


"Within the Christian body, for which repentance of sins has from the beginning been the critical religious act, healthy-mindedness has always come forward with its milder interpretation. Repentance according to such healthy-minded Christians means getting away from the sin, not groaning and writhing over its commission. The Catholic practice of confession and absolution is in one of its aspects little more than a systematic method of keeping healthy-mindedness on top. By it a man's accounts with evil are periodically squared and audited, so that he may start the clean page with no old debts inscribed. Any Catholicwill tell us how clean and fresh and free he feels after the purging operation. Martin Luther by no means belonged to the healthy-minded type in the radical sense in which we have discussed it, and be repudiated priestly absolution for sin. Yet in this matter of repentance he had some very healthy-minded ideas, due in the main to the largeness of his conception of God. -..."

e. Recent Empirical Studies Prove Religious Believers have less depression, mental illness lower Divorce rate, ect.

J. Gartner, D.B. Allen, The Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993, p. 3090


"The Reviews identified 10 areas of clinical staus in whihc research has demonstrated benefits of religious commitment: (1) Depression, (2) Suicide, (3) Delinquency, (4) Mortality, (5) Alchohol use (6) Drug use, (7) Well-being, (8) Divorce and martital satisfaction, (9) Physical Health Status, and (10) Mental health outcome studies....The authors underscored the need for additional longitudinal studies featuring health outcomes. Although there were few, such studies tended to show mental health benefit. Similarly, in the case of teh few longevity or mortality outcome studies, the benefit was in favor of those who attended chruch...at least 70% of the time, increased religious commitment was associated with improved coping and protection from problems."

[The authors conducted a literature search of over 2000 publications to glean the current state of empirical study data in areas of Spirituality and health]

This part is very important becasue it speaks diretly to what you said about atheists being well adjusted.

2) Shrinks assume religious experience Normative.
Dr. Jorge W.F. Amaro, Ph.D., Head psychology dept. Sao Paulo

[ http://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/amaro.html]

a) Unbeliever is the Sick Soul

"A non spiritualized person is a sick person, even if she doesn't show any symptom described by traditional medicine. The supernatural and the sacredness result from an elaboration on the function of omnipotence by the mind and can be found both in atheist and religious people. It is an existential function in humankind and the uses each one makes of it will be the measure for one's understanding."

I know you are going to get angry about that because people usually do. but this is a scientific fact. It comes from many studies that compare those who have reilgious experiences to those who do not. They find constantly that those who are are better ad musted, less depression and mental illness. It's not just anyone says "I am a Christian" but those who have religious experinces.

b. psychotherapeutic discipline re-evalutes Frued's criticism of religion


"Nowadays there are many who do not agree with the notion that religious behavior a priori implies a neurotic state to be decoded and eliminated by analysis (exorcism). That reductionism based on the first works by Freud is currently under review. The psychotherapist should be limited to observing the uses their clients make of the representations of the image of God in their subjective world, that is, the uses of the function of omnipotence. Among the several authors that subscribe to this position are Odilon de Mello Franco (12), .... W. R. Bion (2), one of the most notable contemporary psychoanalysts, ..."

[sources sited by Amaro BION, W. R. Atenção e interpretação (Attention and interpretation). Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1973.

MELLO FRANCO, O. de. Religious experience and psychoanalysis: from man-as-god to man-with-god. Int. J. of Psychoanalysis (1998) 79,]

c) This relationship is so strong it led to the creation of a whole discipline in psychology; transactionalism
Neilson on Maslow


"One outgrowth of Maslow's work is what has become known as Transpersonal Psychology, in which the focus is on the spiritual well-being of individuals, and values are advocated steadfastly. Transpersonal psychologists seek to blend Eastern religion (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) or Western (Christian, Jewish or Moslem) mysticism with a form of modern psychology. Frequently, the transpersonal psychologist rejects psychology's adoption of various scientific methods used in the natural sciences."
"The influence of the transpersonal movement remains small, but there is evidence that it is growing. I suspect that most psychologists would agree with Maslow that much of psychology -- including the psychology of religion -- needs an improved theoretical foundation."

3) Religion is positive factor in physical health.

"Doctrors find Power of faith hard to ignore
By Usha Lee McFarling
Knight Ridder News Service
(Dec. 23, 1998)


"Some suspect that the benefits of faith and churchgoing largely boil down to having social support — a factor that, by itself, has been shown to improve health. But the health effects of religion can't wholly be explained by social support. If, for example, you compare people who aren't religious with people who gather regularly for more secular reasons, the religious group is healthier. In Israel, studies comparing religious with secular kibbutzim showed the religious communes were healthier."Is this all a social effect you could get from going to the bridge club? It doesn't seem that way," said Koenig, who directs Duke's Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health .Another popular explanation for the link between religion and health is sin avoidance."

"The religious might be healthier because they are less likely to smoke, drink and engage in risky sex and more likely to wear seat belts.But when studies control for those factors, say by comparing religious nonsmokers with nonreligious nonsmokers, the religious factors still stand out. Compare smokers who are religious with those who are not and the churchgoing smokers have blood pressure as low as nonsmokers. "If you're a smoker, make sure you get your butt in church," said Larson, who conducted the smoking study."

see also: he Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993 For data on a many studies which support this conclusion.

4) Religion is the most powerful Factor in well being.

Poloma and Pendelton The Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993, p. 3290.


"The authors found that religious satisfaction was the most powerful predicter of existential well being. The degree to which an individual felt close to God was the most important factor in terms of existential well-being. While frequency of prayer contributed to general life satisfaction and personal happiness. As a result of their study the authors concluded that it would be important to look at a combindation of religious items, including prayer, religionship with God, and other measures of religious experince to begin to adequately clearlify the associations of religious committment with general well-being."

(5) Greater happiness

Religion and Happiness

by Michael E. Nielsen, PhD

Many people expect religion to bring them happiness. Does this actually seem to be the case? Are religious people happier than nonreligious people? And if so, why might this be?

Researchers have been intrigued by such questions. Most studies have simply asked people how happy they are, although studies also may use scales that try to measure happiness more subtly than that. In general, researchers who have a large sample of people in their study tend to limit their measurement of happiness to just one or two questions, and researchers who have fewer numbers of people use several items or scales to measure happiness.

What do they find? In a nutshell, they find that people who are involved in religion also report greater levels of happiness than do those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85% reported being "very satisfied" with life, but this number reduced to 77% among those who never went to church (Inglehart, 1990). This kind of pattern is typical -- religious involvement is associated with modest increases in happiness

Argyle, M., and Hills, P. (2000). Religious experiences and their relations with happiness and personality. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 157-172.

Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture shift in advanced industrial society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Nielsen, M. E. (1998). An assessment of religious conflicts and their resolutions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 181-190.

Nielsen again:

In the days before research boards reviewed research proposals before the studies were conducted, Pahnke devised an experiment to induce people to have a religious experience. On a Good Friday, when they were to meditate in a chapel for 2.5 hours, twenty theology students were given either psilocybin or a placebo. The students who were given the psilocybin reported intense religious experiences, as you might imagine. Their levels of happiness also were significantly greater than the control group reported. But what is especially interesting is that these effects remained 6 months after the experiment, as the psilocybin group reported more "persistent and positive changes" in their attitudes to life than did the placebo group.

Pahnke, W. H. (1966). Drugs and mysticism. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 295-314.

Now finally let's not forget the context of the original issue. I was showing that belief in God cannot be an "extraordinary claim" because it's normative for human experince. That means it sets the standard. I have proven that it does. This has nothing to do with proving that it's true, it is merely a matter of proving that it is standard for human experince. The vast majority of all humans who have ever lived have believed in some form of God, we are fit to be religious, it's better for our minds and our bodies. We were religious 65,000 years ago, our distant ancestors, our cousins the Neanderthals, were religious. Humanity has been religious longer than it has been human! Obviously then it is normative. IT doesn't matter that there are few exceptions, that's not the point. It doesn't make you a bad person, to not be religious. Nor does it make you abnormal or somehow lacking. But is the standard human experience to be religious. that is simply a fact.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Laws of Physics: Alternatives to the Prescriptive/Descriptive Dichotomy

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Alternatives to “law” and P/D dichotomy in science<>

It seems clear that a great deal of the fuss is the result of the words, “law” vs. “description.” The prescriptive/descriptive dichotomy is probably too simplistic. Neither is it so simple to just find a new term. One of the more interesting developments in philosophy of science is the small, yet determined, group of feminist science critics. Their social project is to clean science up from it's “sexist spin” (my term) by ridding it of paradigms based upon dominance, hierarchy and linear understanding. Naturally one of the first places they have to start is in dealing with the notion of natural law. Nelson quoting Keller:

Our under standing of what constitutes a law (in nature as well as in society) is of course subject to change, and not all laws necessarily imply coercion. Certainly not all scientific laws are either causal or deterministic; they may, for example be statistical, phenomenological, or just simply the 'rules of the game.'….The extreme case of the desire to turn observed regularity into law is of course the search for the one 'unified' law of nature that embodies all other laws, and that hence will be immune to revision.[1]
Keller doubts that the P/D dichotomy distinguishes the law of nature metaphor from coersion, (Nelson's analysis of Keller). Keller wants to draw upon biology rather than physics. She moves from search for laws to a search for order. Linear hierarchy of the legal metaphor limits our relation to and understanding of nature. Keller admits that order can imply the same hierarchical relationships as does law. It also allows for other kinds of relationships. “Order is a category comprising patterns of organization that can be spontaneous, self generated, or externally imposed; it is a larger category than law precisely to the extent that law implies external constraint..”[2]

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Ruth Bleier says dominance determinism and hierarchy is in genetics, so biology is not free of it. She also uses that fact to justify using political concerns as guides to scientific paradigms, because in matters such as racism the relationship between the scientific and political was one to one. In other words the dominance and hierarchical nature of genetics was used to justify racism.[3]A Derridian might say, however, that the tension between the two implications of “order” is the point of deconstruction. Law and order go together like soup and sandwich. There's an even better answer as to way the idea of using order rather than law is not a defeat for my argument: order, and organizing principle might fit together well. Oder might be the product of organizing principle.

Mind, the best organizing principle

Mind is the best organizing principle we know. Only mind can plan, deal with complexities, and choose the best way to deal with a problem. I've dealt with self organizing systems in chapter one. “Self” organizing is a misnomer, and it is relative to the perspective of the thinker as to whether or not there is organizing or disorganizing. All of the phenomena we've been discussing are mind dependent. Deciding what is universal and what only looks like it is, is mind dependent. We can't consider the universe and not be aware that all our labeling and understanding is our attempts at forging constructs to organize our experience of the universe. Why should we think that complex organization can be free of mind? This applies to our own perceptions. It doesn't prove that mind is what makes the phenomena organized, but phenomena as we understand it is dependent upon our minds to organize the patterns in such a way as to put together a complex understanding. Such understanding usually entails a complex organization in nature. Skeptics will inveriably charge that we are just imposing our own patterns upon nature. Are we imposing them or discovering them?

Science requires that we find patterns. If the patterns we find really explain, or if they give us a plausible answer, we are on the right track. This is especially true if we can navigate in the world by the patterns we seem to find. We can't get outside our perceptions to prove reality. We cannot extricate ourselves from either the web of pattern-imposing or the “prison house of language”[4]in order to judge objectively weather or not the patterns are really there. We do not find this state of affairs debilitating, however, because, as Thomas Reid intimated, we go by our perceptions as long as they work and we stop following what does not work. But it is not merely because we perceive certain patterns that we accept those patters as real. It is because we perceive it in a particular sort of way. We accept certain patterns as real because we perceive them in a regular and consistent way. This has been stated above by Reid. The common man goes on with his lot never giving a second thought to the fact that he can no more prove the veracity of the things around him than he can the existence of God or anything else in philosophy. Yet we accept it, as does the skeptic demanding his data, while we live out our lives making these assumptions all the time.

If every time we woke up in the morning it was in a different house, with a different family, but one which made the assumption that we did nevertheless belong there and always had, and if the route to work changed every morning, if we never went to the same job twice, if our names and our looks were always different each day, we might think less of direct observation. But because these things are always the same from moment to moment and they never differ, we learn to trust them and we trust them implicitly as a matter of course. We do not try to prove to our selves each day when we get up "I am the same person today that I was yesterday," precisely because we learn very early that we always are the same person. We observe early on that we cannot penetrate physical objects without leaving holes and so we do not try to walk though walls; we know that doesn't work because it never works. As I pointed out above, Hume observed that when we see two billiard balls we do not really see the cause of one making the other one move. What we really observe is one stopping and the other one starting. But, in practical terms, we do not observe the causality of a car running over the pedestrian as causing the pedestrian to fly across the road, but we know from experience that these two factors usually go hand in hand and so we don't play in the street. In other words that our perceptions work to enable us to navigate in the world is good enough reason to think we got it right.

Our understanding of cause is based upon frequency of correlation. Thus a tight correlation is usually indicative of a cause. In making this argument on the internet many skeptics have argued "I see that the world is real with my own eyes." That's the point, why trust your eyes? You cannot prove they are seeing things properly. Everything could be an illusion everything we observe could be wrong. We cannot prove the existence of the external world, we assume it because it is always there. Some try to claim this direct observation as empirical proof. But they are confusing the notion of scientific empiricism with epistemological empiricism. Before we make the assumption that scientific data is valid we first make the epistemological assumption that perception is valid. Otherwise there would be no point in assuming the data. So epistemological empiricism is prior to scientific methods. In fact we have to simply make this assumption a priori with no proof and no way around the problem in order to be able to make the assumptions necessary to accept scientific data. We do usually make these assumptions, but they are assumptions none the less. Still others try to contend that empirical scientific evidence proves the reality of the external world. But of course if the world were an illusion than any scientific evidence we gather would be part of the illusion as well. So there is no other way to demonstrate the truth of the external world, the existence of other minds, or the reality of our own existence except through the consistency and regularity of our sense data.

We can add to consistency and regularity the concept of inter-subjective testimony. In other words do others claim, as far as we can tell, similar observations of the same phenomena? This is encapsulated in the colloquial expression, “do you see what I see?” The idea that others see it too is an important aspect of epistemic criteria. Science would have no meaning without this assumption. That's the whole point of repeating experiments. “Inter-subjective” is a better term than “shared experience” because we don't share the same experiences. All perception is subjective. This does not mean, however, that coroberative testimony is not part of the epistemic criteria for justification. We get around the subjectivity problem by not seeking absolute proof but confirmation by the coroboration of like-experiences. So our epistemic criteria, which we impose without knowing or thinking about it, we use it habitually or instinctivley consists of: regular, consistent, inter-subjective and navigational. When perceptions meet this criteria we tend to trust them.

The upshot of it all, in terms of epistemic criteria, is an understanding of what works. We can navigate in the world by our perceptions, we don't run into the wall when we walk through the door, we know our perceptions are working. If we can confirm the patterns with experiments connecting them to to nature we know we have the right patterns. If our explanations enable us to confirm our understanding we know we must be finding true patterns. Without that there would be no point to science. It is our minds discerning the pattern. We make assumptions about natural law to explain complex organization in nature. Why assume no mind is involved in laying down those “laws,” (whatever we call “laws” that produces regularity in the workings of the physical world). The epistemic criteria is very mind dependent. Those are two separate reasons to think that mind is the best organizing principal: (1) All understanding of phenomena is mind dependent (even pointing out that we are picking out patterns is mind dependent), (2) Our epistemic criteria (product of mind) enables us to understand which patterns work for navigating or explaining the world. If mind is necessary to understanding the workings of the world why should we think its not involved in whatever it is that produces the law-like regularity? There are two more reasons for understanding mind as the best organizing principle: (1) The hierarchical nature of complexity, (2) the phenomena some construe as consciousness in nature(pan-psychism).

I pointed out above that the grand unified theory posits a single simple idea at the top of the metaphysical hierarchy. As Wineglass put it “...the theory of everything will unite all aspects of physical reality in a single elegant explanation .” That is a transcendental signifier, that's its job description. The thing is having one simple and elegant idea to explain the immense complexity of the universe is very much a hierarchy. It's no simple two stage affair either, the more complex data and explanations become, the more stages or layers are needed. Going up the structure we would go from vast to simple to one final idea at the top. That idea would have to be aware, thus include mind. First in order to account for mind as part of the brick-a-brack of the universe it would have to have the same understanding that mind gives us, or it could not comprehend the idea of mind. Secondly its one thing to look at causes and posit a reduction in complexity going back to the first thing, so just in terms of causes it might make sense, like Hawking's idea of gravity to see a progression from simple to complex (excluding the weaknesses in Hawking's theory I will discuss, latter), its is quite another to take one simple idea and claim an explanation of all things. How could a simple mindless idea choose from immense complexity? It would have to make choices or the odds would vastly favor not producing life. Thirdly, the idea about gravity as final cause assumes that consciousness can be reduced to brain function alone. I have shown this to be wrong.v[5]Thus if mind is more than just a product of complex brain function then its hard to see how it could come to be from non mind. The obvious answer the skeptic will give is consciousness is emergent. That assumes the reduction I just spoke of, and has not been proved. As the noted geneticist Sewell Wright said, “Pancycism and Science” 82, “Emergence of mind from no mind at all is sheer magic.”[6]

1 E. F. Keller, quoted in Lynn Nelson, Who Knows?... op. Cit., 220. see parts 1 and 2
2 Keller, quoted by Nelson, Ibid.
3 Lynn Nelson, Analysis of the ideas of Ruth Bleier, Ibid, 221. Ruth Bleier was a neurophysiologist, Ph.D, from Johns Hopkins, she was a life long activist, summoned before the HUAAC by Joe McCarthy, for running a peace committee in Maryland. She also taught Psychiatry, was professor at University of Wisconsin at Madison, and one of the first feminist thinkers to bring a feminist critique to scientific paradigms.
4 The phrase "prison house of language" is a post modern slogan I used to hear in my Derridian days. I can't find where it originated.
5 Brad Peters"Mind does not reduce to brain" Modern Psychologist blog URLhttp://modernpsychologist.ca/the-mind-does-not-reduce-to-the-brain/ Peters is a psychologist in private practice; I have also done many blog pieces on the topic. Here 
hereand here.

6 Sewell Write, “Panpsychism and Science,” In Mind in Nature.Lanham Maryland:University press of America, ed. Cobb and Griffin 1977, 82.