Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Theological Conflict (Book Review)

Reviewing Alvin Plantinga’s new book, Where the Conflict Really Lies (Oxford University Press, 2011), I find the author takes on a straw man, i.e. orthodox belief versus pure atheism. Regarding orthodox belief, merely affirming the “personhood” of God (whatever that means) versus a position that denies many of the underlying assumptions in the traditionalist religious […]

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Divine Pollen

Here’s another mythic construct: I get to be a point of “focusing consciousness” in the cosmos. It’s sort of like a pollen grain. Staying with that metaphor, the cosmos has been spending billions of years in constructing: – a star not too hot or cold, and a planetary system with at least one planet capable […]

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New Information

In the olden days it was sufficient to learn new information. We were sort of expected not to play with it. But nowadays the thing with information is that many bits invite a shift from assimilation to accommodation—which means that to really “get” the new information, we must creatively adapt it to our interests, needs, […]

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Confidence or Arrogance?

Many people think they know, or they give out to others the attitude that they believe completely in what they’re saying or doing. Examining history, it’s clear to me that nobody ever should be fully confident, because humans cannot know the full extent of the impact of their actions. A measure of at least 10% […]

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I think that’s the call of a Cardinal-bird. A walk on a late Spring morning, with Allee, who is recovering from an appendectomy. (It was done with one of those little ‘scopes that go in through the belly button.) Wow. In the olden days she would have had to stay in the hospital a couple […]

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Zen Network

My wife is on a Zen Buddhist study group e-network recently, and we were chatting about her spiritual journey. She’s impressed with the very fact that these new friends have sought to raise their consciousness; they’ve embarked on a journey that is in itself sufficient. (The Hebrew word for this is “dayenu,” meaning, “that would […]

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One of my subtle roles has been as a true romantic, one of the boy-girl fall-in-love romantic. It was a theme in the 1920s through the 1950s, but then increasing notes of cynicism crept into popular music—alas. Happily, my second wife is equally romantic. I realized, listening to Frank Sinatra’s songs on my audio-tape cassette […]

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My Karma

I’ve had it easy. No, Uncle Bud says, You were given the stresses and challenges you could handle, precisely calibrated to your talents and potentials. A small part of this judges—erroneously—and compares myself to the cultural ideal of the courageous and stoical Marine who takes on stresses of the training and the battlefield that would […]

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The Big Joke

I heard this intriguing prayer: “Lord, if you can forgive the many little jokes I’ve played on you, I’ll try to forgive the one gigantic joke you’re playing on me!” I vaguely recognized that God’s big joke is that we die. I pondered this: How is it a joke? Well, our life story at this […]

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Rich Inner Life

I’m tempted to think that everyone has a rich inner life, but my wife says that’s not so. She asked me to think about it, so I did. First, I am reminded that what’s true for me is most definitely not so for others. There are many differences in temperament and other variables. My autobiography […]

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