The Strange Solipsism of Traditional Religion

Recall from the last post how I was once accosted at a bus stop by the apparent reincarnation of eighteenth century clergyman, Christian apologist, and philosopher William Paley hawking his argument for the existence of God via the analogy of a wristwatch? To refresh your memory, the conversation went down like this:  “Do you have [...]

If Communication is Imposition, Missionaries are among the most Imposing of all Communicators

“Do you have the time?” “Uh, yeah. It’s half past—” “I know what time it is. I wanted to know if you knew. Have you ever considered your watch there on your wrist? Like how it had to have a maker?” Hold up there, Bill Paley.  When this conversation unfolds, I am an undergraduate at [...]

Speech, Sex, and Imposition

The purpose of this post is to chart some specifically Satanic religious ground in the debate over free speech within liberal democracies. I argue for a position on communication as imposition and maintain that the frequent calls from free speech advocates for meeting hate speech with simply more speech from its intended victims in the [...]

Communication as Imposition: The Satanics of so-called Free Speech

The purpose of this post is to stake out some particularly Satanic religious ground in the problematic struggle over so-called “free speech” in a liberal democracy. I will argue that communication—understood to minimally comprise the two acts of signaling intent to communicate, followed by relaying a message—is a form of imposition on the sovereign attention, [...]

Strangers at the Crossroads

I was in high school when I first read English writer Bruce Chatwin’s 1987 offering The Songlines. The book is many things, a complicated pastiche of a work, traversing territory as broad and varied as the customs of Australian Aborigines, the eccentricities of European expats set up in the Australian Outback, and evolutionary anthropology and [...]

Children, but not Siblings

Oh they’re a motley, problem crew, these Children of Erlik. And how not? Darkness, Courage & Bravery, Chaos, Evil, Disaster, Defeat, Iron & Mining, Informants, Discord: that’s a cohort worthy of Pandora’s fateful box. The leadership are alternately unpredictable, acting under cover of darkness, courageous but given to bravado. The apologist is on the warpath, [...]

Who is Erlik?

Erlik, Erlig, Erklik or Erlik Khan (equivalent to Hungarian Ördög) is the god of death and Tamag or ‘hell’ in Turkic and Mongolian mythology. Erlik didn’t start out as a god, however. One day, the high creator god Ulgan noticed a clump of mud floating on the primordial waters and thought it seemed to have [...]