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Photo credit: Jesse Shoff

All religions contain a spectrum of zealotry among their members, from the very liberal to the fiercely orthodox. The Buddhist monks in Myanmar are no different in this regard. Among the protestors, BBC reports that ‘monks were seen heading out onto the streets of Yangon’ in support of democracy. On the other side, are ultra-conservative senior monks who not only have the ear of the military leaders, but who actively and openly condone the coup and the suppression of democracy.

The more radical conservative monks feel that democracy is a threat to their religion, and that the military will help…


The question and answer site, Quora, pretends to be about knowledge dissemination. This claim is utter nonsense.

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About Quora

In the same week as Twitter and Facebook banned Trump, Quora moderators, once again, deleted replies I made directly challenging the false information provided by another user in their answer. This is not the first time this has happened to me and many others, as John Watson noted in his 2016 article for The Tech Reader, Top 10 Reasons Why Quora Sucks And Deserves To Die A Quick Death:


Many early modern philosophical ideas have precedents from Classical Antiquity, but what is less obvious is just how interconnected many of the concepts are and where the later Europeans got their inspiration. Hyperlink Philosophy connects these ideas in brief overviews.

Ezequiel de Olaso opens his 1993 paper, Hobbes: Religion and Ideology. Notes on the Political Utilization of Religion, stating: ‘The importance of Hellenistic scepticism in the growth of modern thought is today widely acknowledged and generally accepted in the domain of theoretical philosophy although little is known about its influence in practical philosophy.’ …


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A popular, but totally misattributed, meme

This popular quote is often posted on atheist and freethinking blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds. The more astute observers will have noticed that in none of the postings is the source of this quote ever cited. There is a reason for that. The following is an excerpt from my current book, Dangerous Ideas.

Epicurus is widely misunderstood as an atheist, due primarily to a popular maxim that was mistakenly attributed to him by others. The English formulation of his trilemma comes to us from eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher, David Hume:

Epicurus’s old questions are yet unanswered. Is he willing to…


Professor of Italian Studies at Brown University, David I. Kertzer, has written a number of books on the history of the Vatican rule in Italy. The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe details the 1848 secular democratic revolution and the founding of the short-lived Roman Republic of 1849.

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Flag of the Roman Republic (1849)

Kertzer provides a compelling history of events, with plenty of citations from diplomatic correspondence and news reports, painting a vivid picture of the dysfunction of priestly rule in the Papal States (754 to 1870), and Pope Pius IX’s bumbling and ham-fisted resistance…


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Photo by Manuel Cosentino

While it may seem strange to link Buddha to the modern secular West, there are some key facets of his teachings that influenced later thinkers and which connects them from the perspective of an extended history. The first connection is to the Greek philosopher, Pyrrho.

Traveling with Alexander’s army, Pyrrho came into contact with and was influenced by the teachings of Buddha, and on his return to Greece he began teaching a philosophy that bears all the hallmarks of Early Buddhism (Beckwith, Greek Buddha). One of these tenets, was a rejection of all dogmatic forms — religious or philosophical —…


Spinoza turned his attention to the topic of miracles and belief in them by the credulous; in this he is joined by Hobbes who was equally dismissive, but the two differed in what a miracle was — and for Hobbes, who could perform them.[1] Spinoza was not merely attempting to twist the knife into the clerics, following the thrashing he had given them in the first chapters, by going after miracles. His need to do so was very much driven by the remarkable time in which he was living. By the time he had published the TTP, Copernicus, Galileo, and…


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Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677)

There are several Brahmanical and Buddhist elements that parallel many of Spinoza’s philosophical conceptions. Philosophers maintain that it is philosophically irrelevant where an idea came from, and they are not surprised to see the same conceptualizations appear in multiple cultures across time as it is expected that the search for truth would result in similarities or a convergence. Historically, it remains a matter of scholarly interest whether these ideas were transmitted or developed independently. However, this is an interesting aspect of his philosophy that has long been overlooked by many scholars. Indeed, Hongladarom (2015) noted:

A search through the literature…


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Buddy Christ — Dogma (1999)

The errors contained in the nativity story are numerous, with several mangled references that need to be unpacked to make sense of the mess that is the true story of Christmas. Despite the claims of evangelicals that the Bible is literally true and error-free, the virgin birth narrative contains multiple contradictions and mistakes rolled up into this conflicting tale.

Major passages in the Bible are, more often than not, political in nature and such is the case with the origins of the virgin birth. To put the virgin birth into its original context, we need to look back to 732…


As July witnessed the celebrations of national days in many countries, including Canada (1st), the United States (4th), and France (14th), I have been reflecting on my own journey as a citizen of the world.

I left Canada in my mid-twenties, and my job as an international troubleshooting consultant has taken me to live and work for extended periods of time in eight other countries; and there are no signs that this trend will come to an end. …

Jason Sylvester

Jason (Diogenes of Mayberry) covers the backstory of Judeo-Christian doctrines to refute evangelical literalism related to socio-political action.

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