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Showing posts with the label discursive detours

Spiritualism, Attitudes

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I've read that spiritualism and spiritism started in the 18th or 19th centuries. Folks who take one or both seriously seem to think spiritism isn't spiritualism. How the 'isms' are different depends on who's talking.

Some say spiritualism is a religion, while spiritism is a social movement. Or spiritism is a science and spiritualism isn't.

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Ghosts?

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Whether or not I believe in ghosts depends on what's meant by "believe in" and "ghosts." And how I see myself, for that matter. I'll be talking about ghosts and why I think seances are a bad idea. Also, briefly, superstition and metaphysics.

I don't fear that an ancestral banshee might come to the new world and find me. Or think spirit photographers were selling pictures of ghosts.

If that's 'believing in ghosts,' then I don't. On the other hand, I'm not a materialist. I think part of me won't die, no matter what happens to my body....

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Gnosticism

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Some folks act as if they think physical reality is bad and having a body is icky. The notion's 'Biblical,' sort of.

Galatians 5:19 through 21 call bad ideas like licentiousness, hatreds and idolatry "works of the flesh." With a little paraphrasing, I could claim that 1 Corinthians 3:3 says jealousy and rivalry are "of the flesh." Romans 8:3 mentions "sinful flesh."

Taking those verses, ignoring Genesis 1:31, Psalms 84:3, Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 and two millennia of Catholic teaching, and I might see loathing physical reality as an option. But not, I think, a reasonable one....

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Materialism, Robots and Attitudes

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Robots are starting to look and act a lot like humans.

Wondering if robots can be people, or if humans are merely biological robots, involves assumptions about reality. I'll look at one of those assumptions in this post and why I believe there's more to me than chemicals.

Whether a robot could be a person is more of a philosophical question than a legal issue. So far. The question would be particularly interesting if a robot asked to be recognized as a person. Or disturbing, depending on how you look at it.

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Spirit Photographs