Paganism

The much lamented social commentator Christopher Hitchens, in his defence of atheism, was often countered by his interrogators with Pascal’s Wager. Hitchens usually confuted the suggestion in his urbane way. I thought I’d take a closer look at Pascal’s idea, as so many Christians seem to think it such a good one. ØØØ Blaise Pascal … More Paganism

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Sacred

A word meaning set aside for religious purposes, or arousing feelings of awe associated with the divine. Or coping with immanence. ’Sacred’ is related to the word ‘holy’, which carries the same meanings, and which is derived from the word ‘whole’ (OED). (’Sacré bleu’ BTW was originally ’sacré dieu’). The sacred is a useful concept. … More Sacred

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The Saga of Atreus

The vendetta in the House of Atreus is a story set in the earliest period of Greek history, when Indo-European language speaking tribes began moving into the Balkan peninsula and Anatolia about 1400 BC-1200 BC from the Steppes region. The vendetta culminated in the attack by Greeks on Troy, written about by Homer in the … More The Saga of Atreus

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Dangerous enchantment

I can still remember being enchanted when a child by fairy stories. Tales of the Brothers Grimm or of Charles Perrault, or Hans Christian Andersen or the One Thousand Nights and One Night, they include figures like Hansel and Gretel, Puss in Boots, Jack the Giant Killer and Aladdin. Associated with them are the stories … More Dangerous enchantment

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Other realms

Human beings are confined to the evidence of their senses in exploring the world of which they are a part. But we want more: the senses tell us how; but we want to know why. To find out why though, we have to use our imagination. No matter how bolstered up it is with assurances … More Other realms

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Holy books

I’d like to begin this with an acknowledgment of the role of women religious leaders, who have influenced much of the world’s population. They were powerful in many early cultures, in which the deity was female. If they wrote any holy books though, these have not survived. All the more reason not to forget them. … More Holy books

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The search for eternity

Holy Innocents Chapter 2 of the Gospel of St Matthew records what might be an old tale concerning Zarathustra. In the Persian empire Zarathustra had been a reforming religious figure, and his reforms had spread far beyond Persia. But he was regarded with jealousy by the priests of the older polytheistic religion of the Medes, … More The search for eternity

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