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Theo Todman's Blog

(Text as at 03/08/2013 23:44:10)


(For the live version and other versions of this Note, see the tables 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.

Date Topic Reference
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 This is currently work in progress. Text1
31st March 2011 I came across an article on the giraffe by James Le Fanu in The Oldie, which set me thinking about what he could possibly be saying. This is currently work in progress. Text2
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. Text3
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 …Text4
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 …Text5
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.Text6
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.Text7
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.Text8
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.Text9
14th July 2009 Response to some comments on an ancient booklet of mine on the Virgin Birth of Christ. Text10
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. Text11
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. Text12
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. Text13
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. Text14
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?”. Text15
17th August 2007 Another out of the blue query – this time about the interaction of Ethics with Personal Identity. Text16
15th August 2007 An out of the blue query about Carthusians, and subsequent correspondence. Someone does look at my website after all. Text17
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. Text18
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. Text19
23rd July 2007 Herewith the account of some vicissitudes on an impromptu holiday to Spain. Text20
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. Text21
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. Text22
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. Text23
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. Text24

Live Version of this Archived Note

Date Length Title
01/04/2024 20:08:10 19525 Theo Todman's Blog

Table of 12 Earlier Versions of this Note (of 14)

Date Length Title
27/06/2011 18:57:36 12440 Theo Todman's Blog
19/03/2011 17:18:14 12077 Theo Todman's Blog
18/12/2010 19:58:05 10486 Theo Todman's Blog
01/07/2010 21:37:26 9806 Theo Todman's Blog
24/06/2010 18:50:24 9812 Theo Todman's Blog
30/04/2010 09:14:24 10085 Theo Todman's Blog
22/02/2009 15:17:17 8690 Theo Todman's Blog
15/02/2009 10:32:10 8062 Theo Todman's Blog
03/05/2008 11:02:24 6958 Theo Todman's Blog
29/11/2007 19:32:10 6376 Theo Todman's Blog
26/09/2007 20:41:17 5906 Theo Todman's Blog
19/08/2007 11:34:05 5956 Theo Todman's Blog

Table of the 5 Later Versions of this Note

Date Length Title
03/07/2020 22:09:07 20336 Theo Todman's Blog
04/04/2020 00:14:24 23354 Theo Todman's Blog
14/07/2019 18:05:46 22984 Theo Todman's Blog
05/04/2016 23:19:41 13859 Theo Todman's Blog
20/11/2013 10:46:34 13386 Theo Todman's Blog

This version updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
03/08/2013 23:44:10 268 (Theo Todman's Blog) None

Summary of Notes Links from this Page

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 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 (if any).

Text Colour Conventions

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2024

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