About me and this blog
|On Raddon Top, Devon|
The best description of my long-term general, overall philosophical position was articulated in 1956 by the philosopher Paul Wienpahl who wrote:
“As I see it, the point is not to identify reality with anything except itself. (Tautologies are, after all, true.) If you wish to persist by asking what reality is; that is, what is really, the answer is that it is what you experience it to be. Reality is as you see, hear, feel, taste and smell it, and as you live it. And it is a multifarious thing. To see this is to be a man without a position. To get out of the mind and into the world, to get beyond language and to the things is to cease to be an idealist or a pragmatist, or an existentialist, or a Christian. I am a man without a position. I do not have the philosophic position that there are no positions or theories or standpoints. (There obviously are.) I am not a sceptic or an agnostic or an atheist. I am simply a man without a position, and this should open the door to detachment” (“An Unorthodox Lecture”—1956).
I explore something of what this looks like in practice in my talk for the 2016 Sea of Faith Conference. You can read this at the following link:
The freedom to be tomorrow what we are not today. “The newer testament—the Gospel according to this moment”: Becoming “Free Spirits” and “Archeologists of Morning”
This blog contains, for the most part, my Sunday morning addresses offered up to the congregation of the Memorial (Unitarian) Church on Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, England. However, you will also find here posts about music and walking and cycling (often accompanied by photographs). A short biography and CV can be found here.
If you want to know why this blog is called CAUTE, just click on this link.
It seems important to make it clear (to quote Herbert Fingarette) that "These studies [you will read in this blog] are outcomes rather than realised objectives. In making the journey, I have no aims. These studies are intellectual footprints, not blueprints." I reserve the right to change my current opinions and beliefs as the journey of life unfolds. Indeed, anyone reading this blog closely will note a change emphasis from an explicitly Spinozistic pan(en)theism (2007-2008) to a species of Christian a/theism or religious naturalism that particularly draws upon Neitzsche's free spirit series of writings (Human, all too human, Dawn and The Gay Science) and Epicurus and Lucretius.
Some readers might find this winding, onging, developing philosophical/theological journey frustrating but I take heart from one of my early influences Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote in his essay Self Reliance that "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
For what it's worth important personal theological/philosophical influences upon me over the years include: Epicurus, Lucretius, Parmenides, Benedict Spinoza, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gerrard Winstanley, Jacob Bauthumley, Martin Heidegger, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Søren Kierkegaard, David Hume, Ernst Bloch, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Paul Tillich, Henry Nelson Wieman, James Luther Adams, John F. Hayward, Paul Wienpahl, Thomas Altizer, Donald A. Crosby, Jerome A. Stone, Gianni Vattimo, John D. Caputo, James C. Edwards, J. L. Schellenberg, Simon Critchley, Knud Ejler Løgstrup, Emanuele Severino, Henry Bugbee, Edward F. Mooney and Thomas Nail.
Politically speaking, I've have in the past described my position as being a species of hermeneutic or weak communism but, as I've worked this through, I can see that, actually, a better name for this is probably "Communalism" or "Social Ecology." A good introduction to this latter position can be found at the New Compass website.
If you are so minded, you can read a couple of examples of my more politically inspired addresses at the links below.
The Katechon — a political theological meditation on the withholding or restraining power with an afterword specifically directed to individuals and communities belonging to the Unitarian & Free Christian movement