Sceptical ForewordWhy have I written all this stuff?
Here you will find pieces giving a critical or sceptical outlook on a wide range of topics. Many of them are concerned with belief or the lack of it and therefore lie on the margins of religion. To explain the tone of these pieces, I should say that I have been touched by several religious or spiritual belief systems at various times in my life but nowadays I prefer to be free of all of them. I've generally found that the less my thinking is circumscribed by adherence to belief systems, the better I feel.
The position from which I have written this material could probably best be described as metaphysical naturalism. That is, I don't look to find any transcendental realm beyond what we can perceive. At the same time, for reasons explained elsewhere on my site, I recognize that materialism is itself a metaphysical position and is therefore in a sense an act of faith. (See Reflections on the F word.)
To the believer faith is a virtue, to me a vice, and a vice because it nullifies what is to me the greatest human potential, the exercise of reason. Marghanita Laski, [Ecstasy]