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Dean Kirkland

Church of the Churchless

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/

Located in Salem

Last update: November 25th, 2016 at 01:37 am

ping: http://ignoregon.com/ping/271

153 post clicks in the past 90 days

Preaching the gospel of spiritual independence

Here's a true tale about my life that does a pretty good job of illustrating the philosophical notion of "contingency." I related it in a comment on my 2006 post, "Breaking free of family influences." I graduated with a useless...

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Along with my progressive, liberal, Clinton-voting friends and acquaintances, I've been struggling to come to grips with the bizarre reality of a President Trump. (Yikes, just writing those last two words brought about a feeling of impending doom.) Today I...

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Like a lot of people, I was shocked last Tuesday when, instead of the Hillary Clinton win that I expected, I went to bed with the nightmare of a President Trump coursing through my still-awake brain. It took me a...

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November 8 can't come soon enough for most of us. The presidential election campaigning feels like it has been going on for years. Because, really, it has. We're stressed out. Whether someone is a Clinton fan, a Trump supporter, a...

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Religious believers like to claim that they're more humble than us atheists. Their devotion to God supposedly is a reflection of a selflessness lacking in spiritual skeptics. Actually, the reverse is true. It's taken me a while to realize this,...

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When I decluttered some bookshelves recently, and gave a bunch of books away, one of the titles in the Absolutely Must Keep pile was Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am a Strange Loop." This is one of my favorite books. It does...

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In the course of de-cluttering my office yesterday, I came across a long-forgotten piece I'd written for RS Greetings, a spiritual magazine published by Radha Soami Satsang Beas, back in the days when I was a member of this India-based...

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I love books. I learn a lot from books that I've bought. But yesterday I also learned a lot from deciding which books to give away (to the Friends of Salem Library, who sell them to support the library). Two...

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I used to think that I knew what it meant to be "spiritual." Now, I don't. (See here and here.) But whatever the word means, I'm pretty damn sure that Donald Trump doesn't have any sort of genuine spirituality --...

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This month's Scientific American has a great "Skeptic" column by Michael Shermer: At the Boundary of Knowledge: Is it possible to measure supernatural or paranormal phenomena? Shermer cites physicist Sean Carroll's book (The Big Picture, which I enjoyed) in this...

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Here's another chapter in my never-ending story of Observations About the Cosmos That Are Either Astoundingly Brilliant or Fucking Obvious. I've figured out where anxiety comes from! And how to cure it! OK, let's make that my anxiety. Your results...

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Amazingly, and not a little scarily for me, I've written 2,194 Church of the Churchless posts since I started this blog in 2004. I've covered lots of subjects. But an important topic hasn't gotten much attention from me. It's difficult...

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I'd expect better from a professor of philosophy than William Irwin's poorly reasoned essay in the New York Times, "God is a Question, Not an Answer." I really have no idea how he can defend statements such as this: Dwelling...

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We've all heard lofty sounding spiritual phrases that initially seem like they mean something, but on further reflection are recognized as empty words. In one of his Scientific American Skeptic pieces, "The True Meaning of BS," Michael Shermer uses Deepak...

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My churchless "sermon" this Sunday is based on an article in TIME magazine's March 28 issue, "In a turbulent stock market, the best investment move is the least obvious." This non-sacred secular scripture ends with a paragraph that has deep...

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Back in 2011 I discovered David Chapman's "Meaningness" writings. In a blog post I praised Chapman's dizzying thoughts about what life is, and isn't, all about. And shared what I said to the person who turned me on to the...

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Great timing, Steve. Your comment today on my "Why 'man of faith' is an insult" post came soon after I'd come across a perfect reply. But first, the comment: Brian, thank you for taking a moment to respond to my...

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Here's some news items from 2013 and 2014 I've learned about for those who like to keep up on what's happening with an Indian guru-led spiritual organization, Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB). RSSB has been appropriating land from a wildlife...

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After reading Steven Pinker's book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," my thoroughly atheist wife recently was moved to write a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the Salem Statesman Journal. The claim that...

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Wow. That was my thumbs-up one-word reaction to a well-written, cogent, intelligent, moving comment on a 2006 blog post, "Top ten signs you're a fundamentalist Satsangi." The writer put so much time and thought into the comment, right away I...

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Do you believe in God? This isn't an either-or question where the only possible answers are "yes" and "no." There are many shades of unbelieving and believing when it comes to God. Many outwardly religious people aren't inwardly sure whether...

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I'm still making my way through a thick, serious, thoughtful, well-written science/philosophy book, "The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time." (Previous posts about the book are here and here.) The authors, Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin, wrote different...

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Oh, man. As if I needed another reason to hate religious bigotry. But there it was, couldn't be ignored... a New York Times story that got my moral blood boiling: "Anticipating Nationwide Right to Same-Sex Marriage, States Weigh Religious Exemption...

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I guess this shows how I've really dived into the churchless, irreligious, naturalistic deep end. Reading the current New Scientist issue last night, I came across an article, "Meet your other brain." Online version has a different title and subtitle....

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Talking is good. Face to face, or otherwise. One of those other ways is through what I like to call "comment conversations." These frequently happen on this blog -- where people exchange a series of comments on some blog post...

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After more than ten years of blogging on this here Church of the Churchless -- 2,410,012 page views; 2,036 posts; 29,750 comments -- I'm still asking this question. Why should the claims of "modern mystics," who claim to have personally...

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As irritating as it can be to hear it is what it is uttered so often by athletes after a loss, I find this phrase appealing. I described why in a blog post a few years back, "The profundity --...

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A few weeks ago I said that I agreed with Obama's statement at a prayer breakfast regarding wrongs being committed by adherents of all religious faiths. But a Salon article argues for a broader conclusion: no President should be attending...

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Oh, man. I'm so glad I got pulled in by the Book Magnet. That's how I explained my purchase of two thick, serious books to the cashier at the Book Bin in downtown Salem, Oregon. I'd parked my car in...

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People who irrationally fear vaccines shouldn't be allowed to opt out of vaccination laws for either philosophical or religious reasons. After all, a lot of scientific research shows that vaccines are safe and effective. Sure, there are some risks. But...

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