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Theo Todman's Blog

(Text as at 05/04/2016 23:19:41)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)

This continues to evolve over time, though suffers from long periods of stasis. I'm not sure whether it should count as a “real” blog, but I intend it as a general dumping ground for discussions that don’t obviously fit elsewhere, or which are hidden about the site but to which I wish to draw attention.

The entire blog and the individual entries use my patent “Note” technology which I developed for my more formally philosophical investigations into Personal Identity, which is why it comes with the usual cross-referencing baggage, though the reading-lists are usually switched off. Here is the “Jump Table” for the entire Blog, which allows quick access to the various sub-topics. One day I may make these tables topic-specific, but currently I think the cross-pollination a potential “good thing”.

For a printable version of the entire Blog, click here. An alternative – which repeats the Jump Table and then lists all the Notes in title-sequence, also showing links to other Notes that reference them, and an indication of the number of referenced and referencing Papers and Books – is here. Individual notes will say if they have a printable version. If there is none advertised, you can always cut and paste the relevant bit of the printable version of the full blog into your favourite word-processor, and print that. The motivation behind the “unprintable” versions is the hyper-linking, more relevant in some texts than others. If a word is underlined and followed by a superscript, clicking on the underlined word will usually lead to further enlightenment or obfuscation. A word that is underlined but followed by a subscript links to a note that is still “in progress”, so if clicked will return a polite “private” message.

Some of these entries are discussions between me and a respondent. Comments that belong to the respondent appear in a different colour, a rather nasty shade of purple. To allow for candour, I’ve in general not been explicit about the identities of correspondents, though those who know me well may be able to make deductions in some cases. If anyone wants their identity revealed (or even further disguised), no doubt they will let me know.




31st March 2016

This may not be worth the effort, but I was – in my youth – impressed by W Somerset Maugham’s short stories. I recently came across a volume of these, and have been reading them and making notes on the ethical issues that arise. This is work in progress; one of many background tasks.


19th November 2013

This is an attempt to exorcise a recent obsession with J.S. Bach, and in particular with his St. Luke Passion, Passacaglia and Fugue, and the Chaconne from the Second Partita for solo violin. The entry is mainly links to YouTube with a few jottings.


10th June 2013

I happened upon three 21st century controversies in Biblical Archaeology – the so-called “King Solomon's Tablet of Stone”, “James Ossuary” and “Talpiot Tomb” – which set me thinking about how controversies in archaeology are resolved, and whether the issues matter. This is work in progress, if not currently so.


31st March 2011

I came across an article on the giraffe by James Le Fanu in The Oldie. What he could possibly be saying? This is work in progress, though not being progressed at the moment.


21st February 2011

The Singularity … this will be a review of an overly-optimistic article from Time entitled 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. This is currently work in progress.


13th February 2011

I was forwarded a “viral video” entitled Megawoosh under the cover of “Who did the calculations for this water slide?”. It turns out to be a clever German advert for Microsoft Project, but it’s fun to watch …


1st February 2011

I considered taking the course “Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Islamic Thought” at Heythrop, and contacted a friend from my Birkbeck days who has converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam. That conversation didn’t get far, but a few (unresolved) issues were raised. And then another friend sent me a web-link …


26th January 2011

A further discussion with two Christian friends, mainly on the way the authority of experts ought or ought not to structure our beliefs.


28th April 2010

A discussion of two issues – the difficulties for theism of unmerited suffering, and the scientific status of the various current theories of hominid evolution.


22th January 2010

Hartnett and Carmeli. Cosmological Relativity and a young Earth. This correspondence arose following receipt of a book that purports to explain how we can see the stars if the universe is only 6,000 years old.


20th January 2010

Haiti and the problem of evil. This discussion with a couple of friends was stimulated by the receipt of a brief article following the Haitian earthquake, and ensuing humanitarian crisis, on the BBC News Magazine website, alerted by the author on Philos_List.


14th July 2009

Response to some comments on an ancient booklet of mine on the Virgin Birth of Christ.


21st February 2009

I was idly watching TV while eating my dinner circa midnight last Tuesday, when a program on Identical Triplets came on ITV1. Just slotted in was a claim and supposed experiment to show that if one triplet feels pain, the others do, at least subliminally. This must have been a spoof, but was completely straight-faced. Follow the link opposite for more information, and my reasoning behind being unwilling to be convinced by the facts.


14th February 2009

I received an email from Philos_List requesting submissions for the world’s worst argument. A suggested candidate was that from a creationist group, suggesting that the banana is a good illustration of the “Paley’s watch” argument. Follow the link for the background, and my thoughts.


14th February 2009

Julie received an email petition asking for “something to be done about” the plan to settle the killers of Jamie Bulger in Australia. This is a complex moral issue. Follow the link for my thoughts, though I’m not altogether comfortable with them. In fact, it turns out that the email has been circulating aimlessly for 8 years, and contains numerous inaccuracies. I wish I’d just binned it.


29th April 2008

A bridge friend forwarded on to me a circular email raving about certain aspects of the Coldplay video The Hardest Part, available on YouTube. The comments seemed to miss the import of the video (indeed, to get it completely round the wrong way) – but the affair raises some interesting questions in philosophical aesthetics on which I’d welcome the thoughts of experts.


29th November 2007

I got this question from Sylvia: “I remember you saying you were never persuaded by the “mad, bad or God” argument. This has cropped up a couple of times recently, and I can’t remember what your alternative is. Do you mention this on your website somewhere, and if so, where?”.


17th August 2007

Another out of the blue query – this time about the interaction of Ethics with Personal Identity.


15th August 2007

An out of the blue query about Carthusians, and subsequent correspondence. Someone does look at my website after all.


14th August 2007

Another Oldie. An email from a friend I’d not heard from for 10 years at least. His email address now bounces, so this is by way of a response to an interrupted discussion.


4th August 2007

This entry antedates those that precede it, but is still on-going. It is a discussion between me and a friend and former HSBC colleague who now lives with his family in New York. His 16-year-old daughter had just become a Christian, and he needs some philosophical counselling. It is unusual in being initiated by a respondent.


23rd July 2007

Herewith the account of some vicissitudes on an impromptu holiday to Spain.


22nd July 2007

This is my list of worries about the Bible. It’s only here because it’s got no other home to go to. It’s not worth reading as I’ve only just started it (chapters on which I’ve something to say are indicated by superscripted hyperlinks). I intend to produce a parallel, but even more naïve, commentary on the Koran, which I hope will not involve me in the receipt of a fatwa.

Jump Table

15th July 2007

The account of a discussion with some old friends, followed by an outreach meeting at a Baptist Church. Sounds dull, but such events can be important. There are some affinities with the item below.


7th July 2007

Today I had a discussion on the topic of “Why I am no longer an active Christian”. Here is an attempted account of the discussion, together with some general points about extempore debate.


11th May 2007

At a former colleague’s retirement lunch, we got talking about the menu, which lead on to the topic of vegetarianism, to which persuasion my friend was persuaded. He loaned me a book, "Ishiguro (Kazuo) - Never Let Me Go", which I read with some interest, but wasn’t fully clear on the connection. So, I jotted down some notes, emailed them off, and awaited feedback. To date, none has come, of course. The story of my life.


Printable Version:

Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 16)

Date Length Title
20/11/2013 10:46:34 17469 Theo Todman's Blog
03/08/2013 23:44:10 16764 Theo Todman's Blog
27/06/2011 18:57:36 16199 Theo Todman's Blog
19/03/2011 17:18:14 15678 Theo Todman's Blog
18/12/2010 19:58:05 13451 Theo Todman's Blog
01/07/2010 21:37:26 12771 Theo Todman's Blog
24/06/2010 18:50:24 10031 Theo Todman's Blog
30/04/2010 09:14:24 10317 Theo Todman's Blog
22/02/2009 15:17:17 11017 Theo Todman's Blog
15/02/2009 10:32:10 10231 Theo Todman's Blog
03/05/2008 11:02:24 8731 Theo Todman's Blog
29/11/2007 19:32:10 8002 Theo Todman's Blog

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
05/04/2016 23:19:41 268 (Theo Todman's Blog) None

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Bach's Greatest Hits Bible – Pluses and Minuses Biblical Archaeology Carthusians - Hugh Coldplay - The Hardest Part
Creationist Bananas Gordon Haiti and the Problem of Evil Hartnett, Carmeli and a Young Earth Islam 2
Jack and Sheila James Le Fanu Jamie Bulger's Killers Mad, Bad or God? MegaWoosh
Mike & Sylvia (29/12/2010) Never Let Me Go Personal Identity and Moral Action Simon Somerset Maugham Short Stories - Part 1
Spain Sylvia The Singularity Triplet Parapsychology Unmerited Suffering & Hominid Evolution - Response
Virgin Birth        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Summary of Note Links to this Page

Theo Todman's Christian Page Theo Todman's Personal Page      

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Text Colour Conventions

  1. Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  3. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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