chasing the fantasies that filled our minds

Regular Sunday posting resumes today. Happy 2015!


In September/October of 2014 I went through an internal rebellion. I realized that I want to consciously, intentionally move away from blogging (almost) exclusively about Christian Science. Part of me feels like I need to move on because I’m not in Christian Science anymore, and part of me wants to make information about the dangers of Christian Science more easily accessible. I feel like this is a fine line.

I’m also going to have more guest posts so others can share their experiences and thoughts, and I plan to collaborate with fellow x-CS blogger, Emerging Gently to cover some of the larger topics.

Christian Science aside, there is other stuff I want to talk about too, and I have a massive stack of books on my desk that I’m hoping to read through this year. I have so many ideas I’m working on in my head about life, death, the universe, where I’m going, and I want to branch out. Time management is going to be important. 

I recently came across Mark Green‘s essay at AtheopaganismHow I Became a Godless Heathen” and I highly recommend reading it. I’m not ready to open embrace the “Godless Heathen” title, so I’ll claim I’m a secular Humanist (with possibilianism leanings — but consider yourself warned, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence). Although, as my husband points out “I don’t like humans,” I do like that

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

And it is an -ism (I have a soft spot for -isms).


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A Parable

I came across this in a collection of essays entitled The Truth about Jesus : Is He a Myth? compiled by M. M. Mangasarian, I found it again, online at www.bibliotecapleyades.net.

 I am reminded of the opening of Lord of the Rings (the movie): much that once was is now lost, for none now live who remember it. No one left alive today met Apollo, or Jesus, or Mary Baker Eddy. What will we remember of Ms. Eddy in 2500 years, or even another 20?


I am today twenty-five hundred years old. I have been dead for nearly as many years. My place of birth was Athens; my grave was not far from those of Xenophon and Plato, within view of the white glory of Athens and the shimmering waters of the Aegean sea.

After sleeping in my grave for many centuries I awoke suddenly – I cannot tell how nor why – and was transported by a force beyond my control to this new day and this new city. I arrived here at daybreak, when the sky was still dull and drowsy. As I approached the city I heard bells ringing, and a little later I found the streets astir with throngs of well dressed people in family groups wending their way hither and thither. Evidently they were not going to work, for they were accompanied by their children in their best clothes, and a pleasant expression was upon their faces.

“This must be a day of festival and worship, devoted to one of their Gods,” I murmured to myself Looking about me I saw a gentleman in a neat black dress, smiling, and his hand extended to me with great cordiality. He must have realized I was a stranger and wished to tender his hospitality to me. I accepted it gratefully. I clasped his hand. He pressed  mine. We gazed for a moment into each other’s eyes.

He understood my bewilderment amid my novel surroundings, and offered to enlighten me. He explained to me the ringing of the bells and meaning of the holiday crowds moving in the streets. Continue reading

Praise be unto He

Regular commenter Bill S. left me a link proclaiming “Scientists say they’ve proved God exists, and then it gets complicated” (1). I followed that link to the logical conclusion, through four more links (see below,  2) until I came across the abstract of the paper (3):

  • Goedel’s ontological proof has been analysed for the first-time with an unprecedent degree of detail and formality with the help of higher-order theorem provers. The following has been done (and in this order): A detailed natural deduction proof. A formalization of the axioms, definitions and theorems in the TPTP THF syntax. Automatic verification of the consistency of the axioms and definitions with Nitpick. Automatic demonstration of the theorems with the provers LEO-II and Satallax. A step-by-step formalization using the Coq proof assistant. A formalization using the Isabelle proof assistant, where the theorems (and some additional lemmata) have been automated with Sledgehammer and Metis.

Say what?

The International Business Times boils it down to this, emphasis in bold mine:

  • Godel was an Austrian mathematician who, in 1978, left behind a theory, which essentially says that a higher being must exist if people believe He does. Though the mathematics are much more complex, God exists as a concept, than he can exist in reality.

1005646_338235369642424_164222894_nWhat about those of us who don’t believe in God? Does everyone else’s conceptual reality over-ride out own? Does simply wanting (or not wanting) there to be a God make it so?

So I believe in the existence of invisible sparkly pink unicorns and the space teapot, does that make them real too? What about the earth being flat, or “Creationism” as a credible science? What about those of us who don’t believe in “God”? Just because something exists as a concept does not make it real.

Assuming some sort of “God” is real, what variation of “God” is correct? Abrahamic God? Islamic God? Greek or Roman Gods? A pantheon of Gods, or just one? Is this “God’ loving? Does this God care? What does this God (or gods) do? Is he all things to all people? Does it matter how he is viewed? What if it is a Goddess?

Then there’s the question the FB meme asks: What if “God” is a metaphor for the universe and we really are created in its image? We are pretty cool, as is our universe.

If anyone can simplify and explain the math as to how we think God into being, please get in touch!

391065_483478515057752_896425098_n

  1. http://now.msn.com/christoph-benzm%C3%BCller-and-bruno-woltzenlogel-paleo-scientists-say-theyve-proved-god-exists
  2. Is God Real? Scientists ‘Prove’ His Existence With Godel’s Theory And MacBooks (http://www.ibtimes.com/god-real-scientists-prove-his-existence-godels-theory-macbooks-1446396); Computer Scientists ‘Prove’ God Exists (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/computer-scientists-prove-god-exists/story?id=20678984); Scientists ‘Prove’ That God Exists… Kind Of (http://www.inquisitr.com/1011640/scientists-prove-that-god-exists-with-macbook/#xOx8qmBKAPY8oG3w.99); God exists, say Apple fanboy scientists (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57609422-71/god-exists-say-apple-fanboy-scientists/)
  3. Formalization, Mechanization and Automation of Gödel’s Proof of God’s Existence Christoph Benzmüller, Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo, http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.4526

Further reading:

One Year In, Now What?

I started this post months ago, and I’ve revised it and revised it and revised it ever since (and I’ll probably have revised it a few more times before it goes live – it has had 25+ revisions so far). I was initially considering quitting blogging entirely — I’ll be honest, the fact the top searches that land people here deal with Christian Science and death got to be more than a little depressing, but then a talk with my husband changed my mind, he said I was too focused on where I had been, and needed to talk more about where I was going and where I hoped to be – just the other day he reminded me that I can “write about something other than Christian Science!” I plan to, I’m working my way there.

I started this blog to chronicle my journey away from Christian Science, and somewhere along the way I seem to have gotten turned around and gone straight off the deep end. On one hand while it has been interesting to see where I have been, I’m going to try and move forward with where I’m going and would like to go. I’m also insatiably curious about Ms. Eddy’s inspirations (or liberal borrowing if you will), and every now and again I have conversations with Christian Scientists that make me want to scream (or blog).

I never dreamed this blog would have such an impact on my life, or the lives of so many others. I’ve done a lot of thinking about Christian Science, what it means/meant to me, how it has impacted those I care about and the world. I’ve picked apart Ms. Eddy’s prose, had insightful conversations, and read about and studied Christian Science more than I ever did even at the peak of my desire to be a “good” Christian Scientist.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I believe now. I won’t go back to Christian Science, and I’m fairly certain that regular church attendance (in any denomination) is not in my future.

There are so many ideas that I would like to explore further in some context, but I must be realistic, as I also have a growing list of projects around the house. One of my goals is to move away from navel-gazing at Christian Science, so I’m going to move on to pondering the seemingly endless possibilities that the universe has put out before me.

Apparently there is a movement, Possibilianism, which is based on a similar idea. From their website:

  • “Our ignorance of the cosmos is too vast to commit to atheism, and yet we know too much to commit to a particular religion. A third position, agnosticism, is often an uninteresting stance in which a person simply questions whether his traditional religious story (say, a man with a beard on a cloud) is true or not true. But with Possibilianism I’m hoping to define a new position — one that emphasizes the exploration of new, unconsidered possibilities. Possibilianism is comfortable holding multiple ideas in mind; it is not interested in committing to any particular story.”

I think I’m open to being a possibilian, I like stories, and I think it would work nicely with my grass-roots movement that never really got going. Things to think about.

I would like to make everyone aware that as of October 2013 I am changing the regularly-scheduled posts: there will be a new post on the FIRST SUNDAY of every month, and as often as inspiration hits and I have the time to get to my computer. I’m aiming for random Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we will see what works.

I’m not sure what my next year of blogging will bring, but I welcome the adventure.

I will now close with “a few kind words” and a cookie recipe, because really, everyone needs at least one good cookie recipe. Continue reading