[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Apr 25 03:28:49 UTC 2007

On 4/24/07, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

(3) "feel
> strongly that X is true because a transcendently impressive thing
> happened to me leading me to this conclusion," atheism is indeed an
> absence of belief. On his blog, the sf writer John C. Wright provides
> copious articulate and generally well-mounted but entirely incredible
> comments derived in part from (3). He is not stupid, far from it,
> although what he feels impelled to defend--his interpretation, that
> is, not his raw experience--is, on its face, asinine (he has become,
> of all silly things, a "Christian Scientist"; well, I suppose he
> might have embraced the E-meter instead).

### The conversion of J.C. Wright is a mystery of epic proportions.
How could the man who invented the Golden Oecumene end this way? I
have really had the greatest admiration for his brilliance (I have
personally contacted him and invited him to join our list) and seeing
such an apparently abrupt and sweeping change in his worldview really
was guite unnerving.

Mr Wright always referred to his transformative experience only in
very general terms. I wonder if there is any more detailed
information. Was it a vision? A voice? Is it a persistent phenomenon?
Was there an underlying susceptibility to Christianity, perhaps due to
previous toxic memetic exposure in childhood that never healed

I am pretty sure that only a very persistent and multimodal sensory
experience, well integrated in my general perception of the world,
would be necessary for a religious conversion in me. Any transient
discorporeal voices would immediately prompt me to get an MRI scan,
since at my age such symptoms are likely to be due to organic rather
than primary psychiatric causes. I would order an EEG to look for any
suspicious temporal spikes, and in the absence of objective finding, a
psychiatric evaluation and a stiff dose of neuroleptics would be in
order. Angels, especially little ones scuttling around in the
periphery of my vision, would make me suspicious of Charles Bonnet
syndrome, or perhaps the beginnings of Levy body dementia.

I wish that Mr Wright would tell us about more about the wellspring of
his faith. I still think he is one of the best sf writers alive.


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