1. says

    “Unwavering fealty”? Is that any good? Can one get a dose of “undying fealty”? Sounds like that would last longer.

  2. Stevarious says

    Unwavering fealty”? Is that any good?

    Not really. Wavering is more of a ‘side-to-side’ motion. It leaves all sorts of vertical and diagonal drooping and flagging on the table.

    I’d prefer ‘Unyielding fealty’, which has the benefit of not moving at all and doesn’t tie your descendants down to any prenatal commitments.

  3. Loqi says

    Let it never be said that PZ lacks mercy. If someone does say it, he’ll probably crush them with a clenched tentacle.

  4. postman says

    Infidel! If you were a true follower, you would know that being eaten first is an honour.

  5. Stevarious says

    Infidel! If you were a true follower, you would know that being eaten first is an honour.

    Of course! But as a sign of his incredibly fealty and devotion, he will forgo that honor so that he may remain and serve.

    Such breathtaking devotion!

  6. joed says

    Seems sadness rather than fear may be a more honest way to meet death.
    Sadness of the loss of our human consciousness.
    Not ego so much as knowing we will not be part of the lives our family and friends, loved-ones. will not be taking our daily walk any more. That sort of loss.
    Here is a link to an essay about that sadness which my be intrinsic to the human condition.
    The full article I found worth reading.

    “In an essay published in 2002, Nathan Jun “regards sadness as intimately related to the basic metaphysical condition of human beings.” — He argues that “the fundamental human condition involves a conflict between the desire for permanency and the inevitability of loss. Inasmuch as sadness is a response to loss, and inasmuch as loss is the defining aspect of the universe in which we live, it follows that sadness is the most basic and fundamental human emotional response. All other emotional responses seem to be temporary interludes between otherwise inevitable losses. Therefore, sadness is not a deviation from a normal psychological state at all; rather, the tragic sense of being is the normal psychological state from whence all other emotional states deviate.” …

  7. joed says

    and, if i can share this poem, traslated by the late and great carlos Casteneda.

    “El Viaje Definitivo” (The Definitive Journey)

    . . . and I will leave. But the birds will stay, singing:
    and my garden will stay, with its green tree,
    with its water well.
    Many afternoons the skies will be blue and placid,
    and the bells in the belfry will chime,
    as they are chiming this very afternoon.
    The people who have loved me will pass away,
    and the town will burst anew every year.
    But my spirit will always wander nostalgic
    in the same recondite corner of my flowery garden.
    Juan Ramon Jimenez – translated by Carlos Casteneda in his book Journey to Ixtlan

  8. rapiddominance says

    I have a few questions stemming from the article. I hope you have time for them.

    1) About how old were you when you formerly identified yourself as an atheist?

    2) Related to question 1, where were you at in life when you made that decision? (I’m asking you this, in part, to help stimulate your mind for question 3)

    3) Did the decision, itself, to self indentify bring about any interesting effects in your life? (good, bad, both)


    On a side note, I noticed and appreciate your honesty in admitting that personal bias led you towards materialistic thinking. Most of my fellow theists simply do not recognize and appreciate the joys to be had through curiosity, inquiry, and further speculation. That shit is fun, is it not?

  9. magistramarla says

    I’ve found that the older I get, the more fearless I’ve become. While I was busy raising children, I had no desire to take any chances with my life. I had little people who depended upon me.
    Now that they are all adults, I’m more adventurous.
    I realized that when riding on a bus on the island of Santorini. The bus was careening around curves on a cliffside road headed toward the village of Io. I looked down the cliff, looking for the carcases of burned out buses, and thought to myself, “At least my children are all raised.”
    I think that was the moment that I realized that now is the time for my husband and I to live it up.
    I love that quote “I don’t want to go softly into that good night, but instead I want to go skidding in sideways, Chardonnay in one hand, saying Damn, that was one helluva ride”.

  10. lcaution says

    @magistramarla. Santorini? I’ve seen photos which I use as wallpaper. Is it truly so absolutely stunning?

  11. joed says

    @17 KG
    Yeah I know, Castaneda was a fraud etc. I find his early books excellent, especially Journey To Ixtlan.
    Journey To Ixtlan captures the beauty of the instant. Our human consciousness allows us the self-awarness which he describes so beautifully.
    “Doesn’t affect the quality of the poem or the translation, of course.”

  12. John Morales says



    Our human consciousness allows us the self-awarness which he describes so beautifully.

    You have that backwards.

  13. Roberto Aguirre Maturana says

    According to Wikipedia:

    PZ Myers
    Born Paul Zachary Myers
    March 9, 1957 (age 55)

  14. unclefrogy says

    question I have been thinking about the comment above about human consciousness and self-awarness. These words have been used often I am unclear what they are trying to say when they are used. The sentence above sounds a little elliptical to me, self-awarness allows self-awarness or human consciousness allows human consciousness.
    many terms heard and read I find confused in meaning or deliberately vague. Some words would have very different meanings and could still be used truly.
    uncle frogy

  15. says

    If you want an extended paean to the precious and ephemeral nature of life and stoic devotion to duty, read Flight to Arras by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (author also of The Little Prince), about his service in the French Air Force while the British had withdrawn, the Germans were invading, and the Americans were staying out of France.