Tag Archives | Theology

Clone Ethics: What shouldn’t you do with your clone?

c2k2e (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

c2k2e (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Would it be incest to have sex with your clone? Whitney Kimball explores clone ethics over at Hopes&Fears:

Do clones have souls? How about human rights? Can we kill our own clone? What happens if we… have sex with one? Hopes&Fears consults psychologists, geneticists, bioethicists, twin specialists, theological experts and a Raelian bishop to answer these ethical questions.

A few weeks ago, I was tasked with investigating a highly theoretical question: Can you have sex with your clone? Let’s consult B movies. We know from Weird Science (1985) and its chick flick sibling Virtual Sexuality (1999), it is acceptable and desirable to genetically engineer a person to have sex with you. You can also harvest their organs, build an army, and program them to do house chores, provided said clone transmorgrifies as a parentless, fully-formed adult. (The process has something to do with “tweaking the gamma” and 3D printing, I guess).

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The Solipsism of Evangelical Morality

Joel Penner (CC BY 2.0)

Joel Penner (CC BY 2.0)

Morgan Guyton writes at Patheos:

“Against you alone have I sinned.” These words from Psalm 51:4 are attributed to the Israelite king David speaking to God after he knocked up another man’s wife and had that man betrayed and murdered on the battlefield. Many evangelical pastors have praised this verse for how it names sin, but I consider it to be one of the most morally problematic verses in the Bible. It does do a very good job of encapsulating the solipsistic morality that I grew up with as an evangelical, in which sin had nothing to do with hurting other people and everything to do with whether or not I was displeasing God. Solipsism describes the delusion that I am the only person who actually exists in the universe. While I can’t blame anyone in particular for instilling me with this mindset, I grew up viewing morality as though the universe consisted of just God and me walking through a minefield of temptations, whether they were female bodies, drugs, or other objects.

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Dr. Rick Strassman Sheds Light on the Mysterious, Profound Paradox Hiding Within Us- DMT

Join Dr. Rick Strassman (DMT the Spirit MoleculeDMT and the Soul of Prophecy) and I as we discuss the deeply mysterious, alien-filled inter-dimensional chemical portal that is DMT. 

Via Midwest Real

“DMT is a forcible reminder that there’s a lot more about reality, the universe, ourselves, (and) the biosphere than we imagine.” – Dennis McKenna.


Within your body, there’s a chemical gateway to another world and it’s called DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

IMG_6098As if that weren’t crazy enough, it’s not just in the human body. In fact, it’s quite commonplace throughout nature. DMT is produced within every mammal and found in thousands of plant species (which indigenous cultures have taken advantage in ceremonies for thousands of years). Why is this compound with such extreme psychedelic capabilities so ubiquitous and what is its practical function? There’s no consensus.

Chemically speaking, DMT is not a complicated substance. In fact, it closely resembles neurotransmitters and essential amino acids that your brain is brimming with.… Read the rest

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Outer Space and Inner Soul

Ted Peters

Ted Peters

Outer space has been lodged in my soul since my youth. This led me to write the first edition of UFOs: God’s Chariots? in 1977. In more recent years, I’ve invested considerable academic energy in the dialogue between science and religion with a special focus on astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). One thing I learned is that SETI scientists and UFO researchers do not attend the same barbecues. Rather, they sneer at each other in each other’s absence. Each accuses the other of not being scientific enough. I find this curious, but not boring. So, after writing a few treatises on astrotheology and astroethics, I’m returning once again to the UFO question with a focus on the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

As I return to prepare the second edition, I find today’s media right where they were a half century ago. Unfortunately, the media still thinks that the entire UFO pie can be divided into two slices, people who believe in UFOs and skeptics who do not believe.

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Mormon Church Changes Stance on Race

Mormon Jesus

Mormon Jesus approves.

Just as the Roman Catholic Church has become  more liberal, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormon Church, has decided that “dark skin” is no longer the “mark of Cain.”  I tell ya, the End must be extremely goddamn nigh.

VIA Dwindling in Unbelief

The LDS church has finally confessed. It admits that it was wrong about
race from the church’s beginning in 1830 until 1978 when God changed
his mind about black people.

Here is what the new document “Race and the Priesthood” says about it:

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse … that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else.

If that is true, then the LDS church disavows the Book of Mormon, which says that God cursed people by blackening their skin, causing them to be “a dark, filthy, and loathsome people,” and that any “white and delightsome” person who “mixes seed” with them will be “cursed with the same cursing.”

Here are just a few passages in the Book of Mormon that the Mormon church now disavows:

After they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.

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Alchemical Traditions: An interview with Dr. Aaron Cheak


I’ve known Dr. Cheak for a while now. I’ve never met anyone with such a broad understanding of alchemy, magic, or religious studies in general. He’s truly a gem of the modern scholarly crowd. His new book is fast establishing him as one of the foremost authorities in the world on alchemy. I had the chance to interview him at my home in Los Angeles over a bottle of wine. Awesome conversation ensued.

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Beyond God and Money

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

When Christianity was the West’s main system of control some of the finest minds in the world were employed to articulate brilliant, complex, philosophical arguments in defence of the various paradoxes which sprout from a belief in the bible. These “experts” were capable of ingenious and amazing[1] responses to the major stumbling blocks presented by the religious belief systems of the day.

For example:

If God is all powerful can he make a rock which nothing can move?

Answer: Yes of course.

Paradox: Can he then move that rock?

Either way his power appears to have limits. [2]

Wrangling round questions such as these gained articulate and clever people a lot of power and status back in days gone by. Don’t get me wrong, St Thomas Aquinas and his mates probably believed what they said. It’s just a lot of it, from the perspective of 2013, now seems like very clever, interesting, well-written, bo—cks.… Read the rest

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Is There Room For God After Higgs Boson?

Victoria Gill reports on a meeting of theologians and scientists to discuss a time before the Big Bang, for BBC News:

Now that the Higgs has finally been spotted – a scientific discovery that takes us closer than ever to the first moments after the Big Bang – Cern has opened its doors to scholars that take a very different approach to the question of how the Universe came to exist.

On 15 October, a group of theologians, philosophers and physicists came together for two days in Geneva to talk about the Big Bang.

So what happened when people of such different – very different – views of the Universe came together to discuss how it all began?

“I realised there was a need to discuss this,” says Rolf Heuer, Cern’s director general.

“There’s a need for us, as naive scientists, to discuss with philosophers and theologians the time before or around the Big Bang.”

Cern’s co-organiser of this unusual meeting of minds was Wilton Park – a global forum set up by Winston Churchill.

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Neoclassical Economics Has Become a Religion

World Economic Forum (CC)

“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad – or an economist.” ~Kenneth Boulding

Using a string of quotes, Washington’s Blog shows how economists have always regarded their subject as a religion, if not an imperfect science like that of alchemy:

Economics professor Steve Keen notes:

Neoclassical economics has become a religion. Because it has a mathematical veneer, and I emphasize the word veneer, they actually believe it’s true. Once you believe something is true, you’re locked into its way of thinking unless there’s something that can break in from the outside and destroy that confidence.

Paul Heyne said:

The arguments of economists legitimate social and economic arrangements by providing these arrangements with quasi-religious justification. Economists are thus doing theology while for the most part unaware of that fact.

Economics professor Bill Black told me:

The amount of fraud that drove the Wall Street bubble and its collapse and caused the Great Depression is contested [keep reading to see what Black means].

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Dancing On Pinheads

Many people have at some point heard, or are at least vaguely familiar with the question, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” – a reference to the pointless theological debates that consumed much of European academia during the latter half of the Middle Ages.  Although it turns out this particular phrasing was most likely never actually discussed (not appearing in print until hundreds of years later as a retroactive jab at Thomas Aquinas and his “scholastic” brand of philosophy) it continues to serve as a handy metaphor for any dubious intellectual endeavor lacking in apparent practical value and without any foreseeable means of resolution.

Questions of this sort, while no longer at the forefront of serious scholarly inquiry, haven’t completely subsided in the modern age, especially in the United States where we have the unusual distinction of being by far the most religious of any advanced, industrial nation. … Read the rest

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