Ancient Philosophy

Naturalizing Ancient Pagan Thought

Philosophical Paganism is the text I used for my Ancient Philosophy course (PHIL 2150, Spring 2020). Its purpose was to link ancient thought with contemporary concerns. Much ancient philosophy is distorted by looking at it through a Christian lens. But the ancient thinkers were not proto-Christians - they were pagans. Philosophical Paganism works to make ancient thought consistent with modern science. It is not affiliated with any current religious or political ideology.

Philosophical Paganism

An introduction to my book Philosophical Paganism, which is available for free download.

The Plotinian Image

The Plotinian image includes the five elements of water, earth, air, light, and fire. It illustrates the architecture of our modernized Plotinian system.

The Plotinian Zero

Why is there something rather than nothing? Because non-being negates itself. The self-negation of non-being is the Plotinian Zero, which logically comes before the One.

The Plotinian One

How can we think about the Plotinian One in logical terms? We turn to Quine: "to be is to be the value of a bound variable".

The Good is not the One

The One is at the bottom of the great chain of being; the Good is at the top. Things evolve up the chain from the One to the Good.

Plotinus and Set Theory

Four axioms of set theory are found in Plotinus.

The Demiurges

The forms are binary strings. They are programs for the demiurges, which are cosmic computers. By running their programs, the demiurges generate their universes.

A Naturalistic Cosmological Argument

A naturalistic version of the cosmological argument shows that there exists a simple initial demiurge.

The Evolution of Naturalistic Gods

Demiurges beget demiurges. As they evolve, they generate increasingly complex universes.

The Platonic Cosmic Computer

Our demiurge is a cosmic computer. It runs our universe.

Plotinus: The Higher and Lower Worlds

Ideas from evolution and modal logic help us to revise Plotinus to make his thought consistent with modern science.

The Titanic Computers

Our universe is filled with titanic computers. Stars and planets compute. They are the titans.

The Platonic Gods

The Platonic gods are natural computing machines.

Plotinus and Magic

Plotinus thought of magic naturalistically. Magic spells don't work. They do something else.

Plotinus and Reincarnation

Plotinus argued for reincarnation with retributive karma. But his theory is neither naturalistic nor moral - it needs to be improved.

Naturalizing Reincarnation

How can we make the Plotinian theory of reincarnation consistent with modern science? Since Plotinus talks about a multiverse ordered by counterpart relations, we'll use those ideas.

Your Digital Afterlives

A summary of my recent book on digital approaches to life after death.

Infinity: Compression and Acceleration

To understand infinity, we need to understand compression and acceleration. An infinite whole contains a part with exactly the same pattern.

The Divine Mind

The Plotinian Divine Mind is an infinitely self-representative structure. It is a self-reflecting hologram. It can be understood in modern naturalistic terms using transfinite mathematics.

Divine Unsurpassability

A divine mind is an unsurpassable series of surpassable minds. Every divine mind is an absolutely infinite mind, realized by an absolutely infinite computer. And there are absolutely infinitely many divine minds.