Friday, March 27, 2020

Third anthology available on Amazon: Dirge of the Awakened Ones

My third anthology is available now on Amazon, collecting mostly my Medium articles and some other recent ones that came out on my blog after the second anthology. 

The third one's called Dirge of the Awakened Ones, it's 578 pages and it's out in paperback and eBook formats. This eBook includes chapter links, and I'll be fixing up the formats of the earlier anthologies, now that I'm a little better at formatting.

Stay safe, wash your hands, and treat each other like the plague. ;)


  1. Congrats on another collection. Well timed for my quarantine, heh. I was curious how you feel about Medium so far. Beyond the obvious fact you continue to publish there exclusively. I'll admit it pushed me into a subscription, something I would not normally have done. There are some good authors on there though you need to wade through a lot of dross. Anyone you enjoy reading or can suggest? Stay solitary!

    1. Thanks. Good to hear from you again. Well, I've been putting out my articles on Medium because it's a captive pool of new readers and because it pays a little as opposed to nothing (like on Blogspot). I don't read much on Medium, if only because I haven't taken the time to look around. One thing that annoys me about Medium is the arbitrary, seemingly random way articles are picked to go up on the main, categorized pages.

      I made sure to put up on my blog links to my Medium articles that should be accessible even to non-paying viewers of Medium. (Mind you, recently, I erred and put some member-only links up, but I went back and changed them.) So you shouldn't need a membership to read my articles, although I suppose you would if you want to clap and comment.

      Sorry to have pushed you into a subscription there. I doubt I'd have paid for one if I wasn't writing for Medium. There's so much free stuff to read on the internet, although the problem is finding it, because wherever you look you'll find plenty of crap to go along with the hidden gems. One thing I like about Medium is how easy it is to use it for publishing. The platform is less buggy than Blogger. But Blogger is ancient and blogging itself is outdated.

      Honestly, these days I'm feeling a little tired of writing articles. I don't like having to keep thinking of topics I haven't already covered. More importantly, I'd rather be writing a novel or doing a graphic novel. I might slow down a little with the articles.

      Stay solitary, indeed! I love how "social distancing" has become a thing. The coronavirus is like the bane of extroverts. (I might write about that soon.)

    2. I was happy to support the platform if it led to a larger audience for your thought, just as I am happy to have more collected articles. I think you raise a lot of important ideas that I'd like to see engaged with by other philosophers as well, but we could discuss lots of reasons that almost never happens. And to the extent they retain a more RSS like format for writing instead of Twitter, good on them. Even if most of it is really bad. When is that not true?

      I can't blame you for the lack of enthusiasm to continue writing long form articles despite how much I've appreciated your very regular output. Amazing output when I think about the amount of time you've been sharing it and the subjects you have hit. I imagine it's easier at this point when you're responding to some event in the world (what is the relevance of our Orange President), or something you've read. A graphic novel sounds interesting, and I've made no secret I'd like to see more like your first published novel which is also criminally underrated.

      Some of us were more prepared than others for the current state of affairs haha. It doesn't make it any less surreal for all that and I imagine many of us are struck by what exactly this form of life, which is likely to repeat, means. Wash your hands and be well.

  2. Have you written anything about Theodicy Ben?

    1. The formal problem of evil doesn't really affect atheists, since their problem, rather, is to account for the reality of moral values (they have to answer the moral argument for theism). I've done that in numerous writings. For example, I've reconstructed morality in aesthetic terms, to naturalize morality on atheistic grounds, but I've also considered the moral argument for God as a challenge for secular humanism. I've also raised a version of the problem of evil (the tragedy of natural life) for atheists.

      If you're talking about my explanation of the existence of evil (of unnecessary suffering), most of my writings carry that explanation directly or indirectly, by positing nature's godlessness and living-dead creativity. But if you're talking about the problem of evil for theists, and of theodicy from a theistic standpoint, I haven't written so much on that. I think the problem of evil came up a few times in my debate with the "Thinking Christian."

      What exactly interests you about theodicy?

      Here are some links (the last one might be most relevant):

    2. I've been trying to get a straight answer from creationists about the origin of things like deadly viruses. On one hand they say God created everything, indeed the bible clearly states that all things come from God. Their argument against this is that God created a perfect world, and the world became degraded after sin came into it. This of course contradicts their story of creation. They are attributing creative powers to something/one other than God.

    3. Ah, so you're debating creationists? Are you sure that's a good use of your time? If their religion amounts to an unfalsifiable, self-reinforcing delusion, they'll have an answer for everything to avoid the cognitive dissonance of admitting even the appearance of a troubling counterargument or piece of evidence.

      I used to debate fundamentalists and creationists, such as by attempting to show their worldview is incoherent, but I doubt now that that's the best way to deal with the conflict. But if you're just trying to understand what a Creationist might or should say, I think that's a question that could be readily answered. Remember, though, the answer will be empty, because the Creationist worldview is inauthentic, which means it's based on arbitrary faith rather than reality. I think debating a Creationist would be like debating a Star Wars fan about whether Star Wars is better than Star Trek. The debate would be subjective and the fan can always come up with a reason why she prefers one franchise to the other. It's just that that reason need mean something only to her, since it has nothing much to do with the real world.

      If you're talking about a Creationist who rejects modern biology and cosmology (the age and size of the universe), I'd say you might as well strive to understand the ins and outs of a full-blown lunatic's mindset.

      But yeah, if the Creationist accepts as true only the Bible, not any scientific consensus, I think the answer is just the standard story about the Fall. Viruses and suffering come from freewill. Before humans fell from grace, the angel Satan did so and he corrupted God's perfect creation, by rebelling and then tempting us into sin. God had to kick us out of that creation and into one that punishes and purifies us. God foresaw that freewill would threaten us with destruction, so he prepared a plan to save us by entering into covenants with us. First there was Judaism, then Christianity, Islam being a wholly demonic offshoot like Buddhism, Hinduism, and the other religions.

      The trick is that this theodicy has to steer clear of Manichean dualism. God has to be sovereign over creation, but he can't be blamed for anything because he's incapable of making a mistake. If it looks like God's responsible for something imperfect, such as for freewill or for sin, evil, and suffering, the theist can always appeal to the mystery of God's unknown, superior intentions.