« Jesus is alive and well in India | Main | Religious beliefs keep us from spiritually dancing »

February 15, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"perfectly suited to what was happening at the moment"
--Have you asked the dog its opinion on this matter? :)

Watts could have written a much more interesting book around this question: why could he--although only mostly reflected in his private life--barely stand this 'insecurity' while in public praise its virtue?

Dear Brian,

I do not wish to be rude in my responses to you today, but I do wish to also ask the following:

You state: "Watts gets it absolutely right when he says...."

Kindly forgive my raising this general question, but might you not be absolutely "...wrong, wrong, wrong"? (Not only about any statement from Watts [or others], but regarding lots of other opinions just as well. [Consider your previous cult-group membership.])

Nevertheless, thanks for your regular essays/thoughts.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, the assumption behind my "gets it absolutely right" statement is this: it's impossible to know what is coming next in life.

Now, it is possible to predict the paths of mechanical objects. Billiard balls, planets, that sort of thing.

But where is the evidence that complex living beings, who are interacting complexly with a complex environment, can predict precisely what will happen in the next moment?

I'm not a relativist who believes that nothing is knowable. Some things can be known. Otherwise science is useless, a farce.

There are personal opinions, and there are generally accepted facts. I based my statement on what seems to be an undeniable fact: that regarding everyday life, it isn't possible to be secure in one's confidence that such and such will happen in the future.

As Watts says, we then have several choices. We can redouble our efforts to control the world -- the religious approach -- or we can embrace uncertainty (which is, as noted above, reality).

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your prompt response.

I do happen to agree with you. But I, too, could be "...wrong, wrong, wrong."

Robert Paul Howard

I did some "Rhawn Joseph" checking via Google and found that he's as scientifically uninformed as I suspected. I looked over this PDF writing of his and can't figure out what he's getting at.

Here's an Amazon review of one of his books. Joseph apparently believes that not only is the big bang wrong, but also evolution, general relativity, and the laws of thermodynamics. Well, if you're going to be grandiose, you might as well go all the way.


"Panspermia, the hypothesis that life did not originate on Earth but Elsewhere, needs to be given serious consideration by the scientific establishment. This book is a huge step in the wrong direction.

In the introduction Joseph throws out evolution. In the first chapter he throws out the Big Bang, General Relativity, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Yes, at least some of our current ideas are probably wrong, but you need something more to throw out the Second Law of Thermodynamics than that it conflicts with your pet Steady State hypothesis.

On top of that, this reads like a rough draft, with punctuation errors and mis-numbered diagrams that a halfway competent editor would have caught on the first read through.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.