Sabio Shares Himself

Tri_Satanic_AvatarI have made several “Share Thyself” tables to aid bloggers in sharing information about themselves so as to facilitate dialogue.  Transparency can be very helpful.  So below, for one quick viewing, I list my own tables to share myself.

My Demographics

Biology Background
 — age/generation  baby boomer
 — gender  male
 — sexual orientation  heterosexual
 — health challenges  none now — but gettin’ older
Family Background
 — ethnicity, race  white (Welsh, German)
 — birth order, siblings, household  oldest of 3 boys
 — parent’s / guardian occupations  Dad: sales, factory owner (deceased)Mom: elementary teacher (deceased)
 — present family  married, two kids (son, daughter)
Socio-Economic Background
 — occupation history  Physician Assistant (more here)
 — residence history  Mid-west, USA
 — class / income  middle class
Education Background
 — languages  mother tongue: Englishprevious fluent: Japanese (more here)
 — education  See here
 — religious  non-religious, former Christian (see here)
 — political  libertarian-ish (see here)
 — clubs and groups  no affiliations
 — hobbies  weiqi, kayaking, music (guitar)

My Atheist Positions

Level of Certainty:
Moderate (agnostic in the deep sense, of course)
Openness: Open, but cautious (closeted at with patients etc)
Degree of Outreach:
Debater (with friendly acquaintances) , Evangelical blogger 🙂
Present Religious Participation:
Rare–Occasional (Buddhist, Christian, Jewish )
may increase out of anthropological interest
Stance toward
Categorically Rejecting Religion:
Degree of Enchantment Enchanted
Mystical Perceptions: Highly Mystical
(see here, here , here)
Theory of Religion:
It evolved like all other mechanisms of mind.  I will elaborate later.
Non-theistic Leanings
I am partial to many Buddhist teachings and insights.
Part of me is a Panentheist, I think.
(see, “Many Selves, No Self“)
Secular Superstitious or Irrational Habits
I have many little superstitious habits, most of them I am aware of and embrace.
View of Reason
Reason is only one tool of mind and never divorce of emotions.  Most of our decisions are made mechanically by our minds with intuitive heuristics, “willful reason” is not a big player.  We are largely a juggernaut of habit.
(see, Hyper-Rationalists)
Faith Items
I strongly believe that love, compassion, freedom and forgiveness are of great value.  I have no evidence to support this. (See this list of unprovable items scientists believe)
I do believe “I think, therefore there is awareness”, and that may take a little faith, but I don’t believe in a “self”.  :-)
Past Belief History
Former Believer (whole-hearted, deeply personal)
Past Orthopraxy History
Former Practitioner (fairly diligent)
Past Sect History
Christian – Baptist & Charismatic,  Buddhist to some degree

My Philosophical Positions

School of Philosophy:
not sure
Science: Scientific Realism
Theory of Time: not sure
Atheist 90% (with flavors of Buddhist), Impersonal Pantheism 10%
Language: Fregeanism (probably, I am not sure)
Mind: 90% Physicalism + 10%  Anti-Physicalism
Mental Content: Internalism
Abstract Objects:
not clear on the categories
Personal Identity:
not clear on the categories
Free Will:
not clear on the categories
Normative Ethics:
Not sure where my opinion lies
I am probably an anti-realist, non-cognitivist, relativist (but not a moral nihilist). See Wiki on Meta-Ethics


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

15 responses to “Sabio Shares Himself

  1. this is great! good insight into your thought processes and really how i encounter you for the most part. i don’t think i know enough of the Philosophical positions to really fill the thing out. the stuff i know is that i’m an existentialist and a panentheist and i like science. that’s it.

    i like your view of reason as well! i remarked how i’m watching that PBS show and last night they talked about how our emotional core is in an “older” part of the brain and it has a super-highway to our frontal lobes (where our thinking and reasoning centers are) but our frontal lobes only have country roads back to the emotional core.. and thus that’s why it’s so hard to control our emotions or reason them out. we’re not evolved to do so, the networks were made that way for a reason. one scientist stated “ppl who see an oncoming saber-toothed tiger and say ‘i wonder what this kitty wants’ don’t live long enough to survive. the fight or flight response is vital to our survival.” i thought that was cool!

    great stuff dude. i’ll ponder some more and see what questions i have for ya!

  2. I’m glad to see an (90%) atheist hold such a position on reason and personal faith. Maybe that remaining 10% is your moderating influence. 😉 Atheists I know personally hold moderate views similar to your own; however, among the atheist bloggers I know, it’s another story. Perhaps cyberspace fosters faux-extremism.

  3. @ Laughing Boy
    I agree 100%. When I first blogging, I visited many of those Atheist sites and soon grew tired of them. I would comment about their over-emphasis on reason and lack of understanding on how human’s decide (faith and trust). And many seemed very angry in general. Further, and ironically, they were sloppy in their logic as they bent over themselves to support their views.
    Thanx for understanding. I am actually learning from this experience.

  4. True, Laughing Boy, I’ve seen a lot of atheists (only on the Internet, though) who aren’t as rational as they claim to be, and believers who are reasonable, friendly, and kind. Atheism doesn’t necessarily lead to rational thought and actions, it seems.

    Anyway, to those who’ve read my blog, do you feel that I may be too dogmatic? I think that I’m not really that rational as the “good” atheist should be.

    BTW, here my self-review – My Atheistic Stand (by Sabio)!

  5. bataille9

    Could you distinguish between certainty and affirmation?

  6. @bataille9

    Thanks, yes, as others have questions, those two were fuzzy. So I eliminated one. Luke originally had both of these in his post.
    That is the great thing about using this as a tool. I have already altered some of my expression with that help of others. Thank you !
    Will you be declaring yourself?

  7. dreadpiratescetis

    Once again I give ye a hearty slap o’ the shoulder! I be liking your open stance and the courage you have to be squawk’n “I don’t know” and actually mean it. Many want to say “I don’t know” but really mean “You don’t know” and then go about talking about how you don’t know and how they do. Orwellian double-thinking! But I should talk, I be a Christian Plunder’n Pirate! YAR!

  8. Steve Wiggins

    Declaring oneself seems to be very limiting. I find belief itself to be a poor tool to define who one really is since beliefs are apt to change. (My political beliefs, however, I refuse to relinquish!) Religious beliefs are more slippery. Being raised to fear Hell is a hard thing to outgrow, even when the rational mind rejects it. Christianity, too, is hard to define. It goes all the way from the Doobie Brothers’ Jesus is just alright with me to inflamed fundie! Maybe you should have a category called “just confused.”

  9. @ Steve
    Probably several readers are likewise averse to declaring themselves. But I have several caveats that make me feel comfortable with it:

    (1) I don’t take myself too seriously

    (2) I have changed major ideas of mine many times in my life and am ready to do it again.

    (3) Like you, I don’t feel beliefs, define a person. They are only some of the tools we use to explain or manipulate our more concrete anchors in life.

    (4) If you have read my view of self, I see ourselves as holding many conflicting beliefs and so above, to illustrate, I label some beliefs with percentages to conflicting positions.

    But aside from those, and I wonder which of these you agree with me on, we have two huge differences:

    (1) My identity is protected. Yours is not.

    (2) You are in the religion business and your livelihood depends on people not knowing too intimately your real thoughts. For any given position will offend someone. When I taught comparative religion at the Univ. of Minnesota, my students would ask me, “What do you believe?” and I would say, “You can’t tell?” and they would say, “No.” and would say, “Great! My job is to help understanding, not discuss my positions.”

    But lastly, Steve, here on this site, I am wrestling with how we use ideas to navigate. I am trying to understand how the mind uses belief in its world. So to avoid discussing positions and yet talking about them, can result in slow unnecessary word exchanges while we subconsciously guard ourselves from exposure and don’t show our vulnerability.

    I prefer transparency here.

    I get the confusion stuff. I labeled lots of stuff as “I don’t know” — as my pirate friend noticed.

    Because of your job, I can’t expect you to fill this out. But I know you could if you felt safe if you used all the same caveat I have used. In that case, the ones filled in contrasted with the “I am confused” sections would tell us a lot. At least for today. 🙂

  10. Too much work, Sabio. I have to read the instructions, label myself, and then post it on my blog.

    I’m so heavily involved in the Olympic experience, that I won’t have time. But it may still happen, next week.

    We are breathing, dreaming, and spitting Olympics here in the Vancouver area. But it will only last 14 days. So maybe after….

  11. @ Lorena : Enjoy !!

  12. societyvs

    “(1) I don’t take myself too seriously” (Sabio)

    That may end up saving the world one of these days! I am the same way…

  13. Thanks for creating all these philosophical maps and illustrations. Very helpful and fun! (Yes, I’m a fan of such stuff, used to ply my students with charts and maps comparing/contrasting the major worldviews of American
    history and literature. For some it was a real clarifying help, though others saw it as confusing:-)

    Using Your Chart, here’s mine (though without the boxes as I don’t know how to do that in Word.

    Biology Background
    — age/generation the infamous class of 1965
    — gender male
    — sexual orientation heterosexual
    — health challenges bad back and neck—from motorbike accident at 18 when trying to impress my ex-girlfriend, and losing my literary memory
    Family Background
    — ethnicity, race white (Irish, English, German)
    — birth order, siblings, household older brother of a sister
    — parent’s / guardian occupations Dad: teacher—30 years, minister-14, repairman (died last month at 90 years of age) Mom: childcare worker, apart. manager, (87)
    — present family married, two kids (son, daughter)
    Socio-Economic Background
    — occupation history Youth Minister-1 year, Literature Teacher-26, Writer
    — residence history Southeastern Nebraska, USA
    — class / income middle class, though my first year of teaching, I only earned $14,000 in Salome, a small village in Arizona
    Education Background
    — languages mother tongue: English, though I studied Spanish in high school for 2 years–gone
    — education 1 year at University of Nebraska, B.A. Creative Writing (yes, that’s a real degree) Long Beach State, CA, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ teaching credential
    — religious theistic searcher/panentheist, (maybe a bit like Charles Hartshorne) a castaway from Christianity after 59 years, having battled Calvinism for 51 years
    — political small ‘l’ libertarian
    — clubs and groups former Sierra Club, former
    — hobbies writing, travel, reading, photography,
    My Atheist Positions Highly doubtful of atheism, main reason: Don’t think consciousness, reason, math, structure of the cosmos, aesthetics, etc. are a fluke, but rather such observable characteristics seem inherent in reality; also turned off by many atheists’ arrogance and demeaning attitude
    Level of Certainty: a seeking agnostic about most stuff
    Openness: Open, but insecure
    Degree of Outreach:
    Debater (with friendly acquaintances) I like to do deep long hour dialogues; find debating, too, often becomes rhetorical manipulation and overstatement
    Present Religious Participation: Sometimes still consider myself a Friend/Quaker, (though don’t identify with either Evangelical Friends or Nontheistic Friends)

    Categorically Rejecting Religion: Religious orphan—strongly wish liberal Christianity could be true
    Degree of Enchantment: ? Don’t remember what this means

    Mystical Perceptions: Experienced incredible mystical experiences 3 times in my adult life, all during mundane daily activities, once when I had just finished stocking Coors beer in the cooler where I worked graveyard for 7-11 during college! Once when I was out of work with a family to support, driving from interview to interview in 110 degree heat near Hemet California!

    Theory of Religion: It’s complete. I think the book, Religion Explained by Boyer does good effort at showing many of the natural factors that led to religion.
    But as a theist, I also think it was planned by the Good, the Ultimate (in a non-fundamentalistis sense)

    Non-theistic Leanings: Don’t really have many, though once in my life I seriously comptemplated the very real possibility that existence is absurd—during my second year of college at Long Beach State, when I was studying Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, etc.

    Secular Superstitious or Irrational Habits
    I pray often, sort of a spiritual rabbit’s foot now.
    Don’t think I’m superstitious in the general sense at all, never believed in ghosts, etc.
    View of Reason:
    I don’t remember the term; it’s been years since I took my formal philosophy courses. Generally maybe some combination of Plato-Kant-Whitehead?

    Strongly support the idea that the sense of “i” within each of us is real (though it’s not a substance such as the “soul”) and that each of us within limited temperments, backgrounds, etc. have “alternative choice,” aren’t determined objects.

    No “free will,” no ethics. except in a redefinition of the terms that gut the basic meaning of the words. Also, I’ve never met anyone or read anyone who is a determinist who can practice determinism. Even very strong-willed determinists like Stonewall Jackson couldn’t totally live it out. Also, it’s so scary to me what happens when people do try to live out determinism. It gives them an unwarranted, very dangerous, sense of confidence (or despair)—that usually greatly harms others.

    Faith Items: As I said above, I do think each person has a real finite self—a process consciousness that observes the world and faces the sense of ought

    Past Belief History: Moderate Baptist fundamentalist—my father who was a pastor and teacher did think Neanderthal man existed, etc., so not young-creationists, but we opposed dancing, movies, drinking, cards, rock music, etc.
    Then became raving liberal Christian in college, Quaker, then back to Evangelical, an Anabaptist, finally liberal Quaker again, and then philosophical theist

    Past Orthopraxy History: ?

    My Philosophical Positions; I get confused by the various complicated terms, but am as I said before somewhere between Plato and John Cobb, Kant and Whitehead.

    Theist currently about 78%–most of my life was over 85%,
    though on doubting days I lean more toward an Einsteinian view—that the Universe in its struture itself has purpose, meaning, and beauty. I also used to say that on Thursdays, I’m an existentialist:-)

    Small ‘l’ libertarian

    Nominalism: I strongly oppose nominalism.

    Free Will: Well, that’s a bad term as so many determinists who I’ve read have explained so well. How can the “will” be free? Rather, it’s our consciousness which is capable of reflection, guilt, reasoning, creativity, planning, observation, etc., which is capable of choosing from alternative choices.

    I reject deterministic (fatalistic) views because not only do they lead to despair—of course as was determined;-) and they can’t be lived on a daily basis.
    What I mean by “free will” is that the 9/11 hijackers didn’t “have” to fly the planes into the twin towers. No rapist must rape, no nice person is helplessly driven to help a person in need. They could have chosen alternatively. I hate Islam, Calvinism, and some forms of atheism that turn humans into the puppets like on the cover of Sam Harris’ short volume supporting determinism.

    Normative Ethics:
    I suppose I’m a Platonist in one sense: I do think ethics are eternal. No matter on what planet in what galaxy within what conscious alien species, I think that rape, slaughter, dishonesty, etc. would be wrong as such acts are in human ethics.

    I don’t understand the view of “evolutionary ethics” at all. Various leading thinkers keep saying that natural selection led to our current ethics so we should follow them.
    On this I agree with David Hume, I don’t think one can get an “ought” from what is. Just because some act is evolutionary adaptable doesn’t make it “good” or “right.”

    Others claim humans should base ethics on our survival.

    Why? Even though I like surviving, I don’t see how survival is ethical. Some people argue that the U.S. bomb-killing of nearly a half million Japanese civilians (and in Europe (Dresden, etc.) was justified because it helped win the war and thus protect us.

    Seems very unethical to me.

    Thanks for the opportunity to think through these boxes. The answers show I do exist;-)

  14. @ Daniel,
    Wow, thanx. You did a lot of work on that. It was fascinating.
    May I suggest that you read this post:
    Then, take this information you just made, fix up the formatting and put it in your new “About” tab on your blog.
    — Sabio

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