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About this site

To make clear the nature of the site I have created the table below on what it is and is not. From this I hope you can gain a clear impression of the underlying philosophy and position adopted, a position not always simple to put clearly in words.

What this site seeks to be

What this site seeks not to be

Intellectual prepared to follow where reason and good judgement flow.

Academic. Tied to rules too narrow, dogma to rigid, detail to suffocating.

Concerned first to ensure the questions are clear and accurately put. Ensuring the aim is not lost. Accepting it is dangerous to build on sand, but overly much attention to the foundations may mean the building is never built. Always judging when the foundation is enough to move on, always accepting that one can return and review any issue or problem if the solution adopted proves unsound.

Given to pre-existing answers, where reason and argument is intended to take you to the point already decided upon.

Concerned with issues of faith, belief and spirit.

Religious. Denying of other views or other ways to be in the world.

Concerned with living in this world.

Concerned with passing to some other world be it heaven or hell.

Basing acceptance, that is the truthfulness of some idea or some experience of others or ourselves on balanced judgement and not on any simple rule or tool (such as falsification or verification).

Deny the experience of others not able to be explained by current understanding. For example, if they see a ghost.

Accepting that there is no absolute Truth.

Replacing uncertainty with dogma.

Accepting of our individual and collective ignorance. That there is much not known and so much not able to be explained, but that does not mean an explanation is not possible at some future time when we understand more.

Embracing miracles as an answer when something cannot be explained.

Accept that there is nothing that in principle cannot be explained.

Accept that some things can never be explained.

Belief that our spirit and consciousness and our experience of life rests in our own hands.

Belief that our spirit comes to us from any sources other than ourselves.

Seeking of explanation of all that is human leaving nothing beyond that explanation.

Rejection of such understanding because of any of the above or because of inadequate understanding of understanding itself, that is understanding first what knowledge can and cannot tell us, what we can and cannot know and share, what is and is not able to be said of all people everywhere.

  What does it mean?

Many years ago a friend and myself enjoyed vigorous discussions on religion over dinner and a glass of wine. He was recently married, and it was some months before it came out that his wife was quietly religious. Upon inquiring she admitted that the discussions often left her uncomfortable and hurt. That was never the intention, so I changed the discussions. People are entitled to their point of view and entitled not to have another point of view pressed upon them. Life is hard enough, and if a person can draw some strength from some source to assist them get through it then they should do it. But this is a private and personal choice, solely to do with what goes on inside one's own head. When the discussion however is on what does or does not exist in the universe, then it is no longer a private and personal choice, it becomes something much more akin to science.

More recently, at a dinner party, a guest claimed to have seen a ghost, and that such events were possible. My position is that in witnessing a ghost something certainly happened in that person's mind. For ghosts to exist as something beyond the mind of one person requires that ghosts be systematically noted. Even a number of independent anecdotes are not sufficient if upon all structured studies no evidence emerges. This does not mean that ghosts do not exist, but that for the moment, a rational judgement would have to say that while people are sometimes prone to see such things no systematic evidence can be uncovered and as objects of the universe, they need to be treated with caution.

As a final anecdote and example of what it all means, my son (doing an B.Com.Hons) recently commented how a friend had challenged the notion of science, because we had to be more than electrical impulses and atoms. The idea that we are atoms and electrical impulses is based on the view that psychology is reducible to neuro-physiology. This again is based on the view that there is reductionism across domains of science. Now if any of these assumptions is wrong, then the proposition that we are merely atoms etc fails.

In simple terms, the principles of the site are to treat people and their attitudes with respect, even though one may disagree. And second, to treat issues with care and respect, affording them due diligence and thought and wrestling hard with them to uncover the key questions and core issues.

 


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