Within this website I explore whether there is a spiritual realm, a supernatural realm, containing God, mind, souls, consciousness with its contents (ideas, emotions, love, reason, etc) — this, from a purely philosophical and unreligious point of view. I first assume there is a spiritual realm so as to explore the implications; then I present my conclusions (in this article and related articles).
I abandoned Christianity in 2018 and wished to determine whether atheism and secular humanism were true, or whether I could continue to believe in a spiritual realm having: (1) souls, and (2) a good God. After more than a year, I reached my conclusions, and here they are.
For this project, I assume: (1) science is true, and (2) miracles or interventions from the spiritual realm can't violate the laws of physics. A major challenge was to find a way for spiritual beings to interact with the physical universe, and I found a way.
Also, I had this feeling, an intuition, that consciousness and purpose were real, independent and separate from the physical universe, not merely generated by the brain. Almost by definition, this requires both a spiritual realm and a physical realm. But...
People I've learned from:
Richard Carrier: My favorite. His analysis of the nature and scope of science and philosophy is spot on. Has a Ph.D. in ancient history. Proposes a theory of mythicism (that Jesus was not a historical person).
David Chalmers: Distinguishes between: (1) the easy problem of consciousness (identifying brain structures producing particular conscious experiences), and (2) the hard problem of consciousness (explaining why there is such a thing as consciousness, how it developed, and how it assists with an individual's survival).
Christopher Hitchens: My favorite of the "new" atheists. He has accurate criticisms of the abuses of religions.
Bart Ehrman: Scholar of New Testament and early Christianity. His analysis of the evolution of the ideas about Jesus being God is very intuitive.
Stuart Hammeroff: An anesthesiologist. With Roger Penrose, that consciousness arises in certain patterns of certain microtubules of certain cells of the brain.
Roger Penrose: Many contributions: (1) collapse of the wave function occurs when gravitational field is stretched too much, and this generates qualia; (2) certain brain functions are not achieved via calculation but rather by intuition; (3) with Stuart Hammeroff, that consciousness arises in certain patterns of certain microtubules of certain cells of the brain.
William Propp: Has a couple of good YouTube videos about the Exodus.
Christine Hayes: Yale professor. Has a course on the YouTube channel "YaleCourses" called "Introduction to the Old Testament".
Dale Martin: Yale professor. Has a course on the YouTube channel "YaleCourses" called "New Testament History and Literature".
Daniel Dennett: Proposes that consciousness is merely an illusion created by the functioning of the brain.
Max Tegmark: Proposes the mathematical universe hypothesis.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Paul Bloom: Yale Ph.D. professor of psychology
Robert Sapolsky: Has "Human Behavioral Biology" course on YouTube on Stanford channel.
Rupert Sheldrake: A proponent of panpsychism. This view fails miserably.
Leonard Susskind: Physicist.
Tim McGrew: A Christian philosopher who tries to support the New Testament by claiming it's only as accurate as witness testimony; in other words, it has errors. This view mangles inerrancy, and fails miserably to validate the claims of Christianity.