About me and this blog

On Raddon Top, Devon
I'm a Unitarian minister in Cambridge UK, with sympathies towards Christian atheism and religious naturalism. Communalist, jazz bass player, photographer, cyclist and walker. The best description of my long-term general, overall philosophical position was articulated in 1956 by the philosopher Paul Wienpahl who wrote:

 “As I see it, the point is not to identify reality with anything except itself. (Tautologies are, after all, true.) If you wish to persist by asking what reality is; that is, what is really, the answer is that it is what you experience it to be. Reality is as you see, hear, feel, taste and smell it, and as you live it. And it is a multifarious thing. To see this is to be a man without a position. To get out of the mind and into the world, to get beyond language and to the things is to cease to be an idealist or a pragmatist, or an existentialist, or a Christian. I am a man without a position. I do not have the philosophic position that there are no positions or theories or standpoints. (There obviously are.) I am not a sceptic or an agnostic or an atheist. I am simply a man without a position, and this should open the door to detachment” (“An Unorthodox Lecture”—1956).

I explore what this looks like in practice in my talk for the 2016 Sea of Faith Conference. You can read that at the following link:

"The freedom to be tomorrow what we are not today—becoming Free Spirits and Archeologists of Morning"

This blog contains, for the most part, my Sunday morning addresses offered up to the congregation of the Memorial (Unitarian) Church on Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, England. However, you will also find here posts about music and walking and cycling (often accompanied by photographs). A short biography and CV can be found here.

If you want to know why this blog is called CAUTE, just click on this link.

It seems important to make it clear (to quote Herbert Fingarette) that "These studies [you will read in this blog] are outcomes rather than realised objectives. In making the journey, I have no aims. These studies are intellectual footprints, not blueprints." I reserve the right to change my current opinions and beliefs as the journey of life unfolds.  Indeed, anyone reading this blog closely will note a change empahsis from an explicitly Spinozistic pan(en)theism (2007-2008) to a kind of Christian atheism, religious naturalism, or perhaps even what W. V. Quine described Henry Bugbee’s thought of being, namely, “an atheistic mysticism, free of mythical trappings.” And, in connection with all this (at least at the beginning of 2018) I still think Wittgenstein was right to say that “The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is” (Tractatus logico-philosophicus, 6.44).

Some readers might find this winding, onging, developing philsophical/theological journey frustrating but I take heart from one of my early influences Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote in his essay Self Reliance that "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

For what it's worth important personal theological/philosophical influences upon me include: EpicurusLucretius, Benedict Spinoza, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gerrard WinstanleyJacob Bauthumley, Martin Heidegger, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo EmersonLeo TolstoyLudwig Wittgenstein, Søren Kierkegaard, David Hume, Ernst Bloch, Dietrich BonhoefferPaul Tillich, Henry Nelson Wieman, James Luther Adams, John F. Hayward,  Paul Wienpahl, Thomas Altizer, Donald A. Crosby, Jerome A. StoneGianni VattimoJohn D. Caputo, James C. Edwards, J. L. Schellenberg, Simon Critchley, Knud Ejler Løgstrup,  Henry Bugbee and Edward F. Mooney.

Politically speaking, I've have in the past described my position as being a species of hermeneutic or weak communism but, as I've worked this through, I can see that, actually, a better name for this is probably "Communalism" or "Social Ecology." A good introduction to this latter position can be found at the New Compass website.

I've written in slightly more detail about "hermeneutic" or "weak" communism in a piece called "Ghostly Communism — An opinion piece" which you can read by clicking this link.

If you are so minded, you can read an example of my more politically inspired addresses at the link below.


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