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May 15th 2009

    The West has put in place a separation between Philosophy and Religion.  I think we have done this because of a desire to separate reasoning from belief.  The very accurate assumption being that those who believe do so despite evidence to the contrary and are therefore prone to mental disorder that mitigates against rational thinking.  Here, I suspect, rational thinking is not something one believes in, rather it is something one practices, otherwise philosophy would be a religion.

    I am too old, too cantankerous and too irrational to put reason into a temple.  The academic philosopher has a job to keep.  He is a courtier after funding.  So all the more exciting to enter the world of Philosophy and Consciousness.  A catchy little title to excite the student body.

    

    

    Difficult to imagine a Western Philosopher exploring his mind for evidence of a material origin.  In the matter of 'qualia' he endeavors to do this reasonably.  For the sensible, who have avoided this word, I will say 'qualia' and its singular 'quale', mean to refer to such things as "what a head ache feels like" or "what it is like to see the color green".  Introspective mental phenomena that are experienced, and which are the central feature of the "mind/body problem".   And here the "mind/body problem" so resembles the "philosophy/Religion problem", and both problems appear to be a problem for philosophy, not for religion.

    Those philosophers I have read who are employed by philosophy have that same smell of devout cloth about them.  Sometimes they are "with it and groovy".  Sometimes they are stuffy and superior.  Those philosophers I have read who are not employed by philosophy tend to contain a passion that suggests belief.

    Either way, the expression "a ghost in the machine" has my admiration.  Not because it is a derogation of dualism, but because it expresses the problem.

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