Skip to content


  1. Why would an RC philosopher choose to name his blog after a Mesopotamian goddess? Doesn’t he know he is breaking the third commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods [or goddesses] before me.

    • Maybe it’s not names after a Mesopotamian goddess. Often the first answer found to a question is not the correct one.

      • Thony

        I’m aware that “[o]ften the first answer found to a question is not the correct one,” and in this case, the Google search yielded at least two answers before Mesopotamian goddess . However, The Mesopotamian goddess answer is the one that allowed me to make the comment.

    • It’s not “Thou shalt have no other blogs before Me”…

  2. John,

    I very much like your agnostic version.


    Thony’s quite right. I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t name a blog after a Mesopotamian goddess, but it’s not named after one. The name comes from George Berkeley, who wrote a work in the eighteenth century called Siris; it’s a striking although very unusual book, very aphoristic and all about the medicinal value of tar-water, Newtonian alchemy, speculations about the nature of light, and various Platonic metaphors for God. ‘Siris’ is Berkeley’s anglicization of the Greek word sereis, chain or rope (the word is related to the Latin word ‘series’, but etymologists seem to differ on what the relation is); not only does it describe the work itself, which is a chain of reflections, it is an allusion to Homer’s Iliad, in which Zeus at one point tells the other gods that he is the mightiest god if they fixed a chain (or rope) of gold to the heavens, and all the gods and goddesses pulled the other hand, they still couldn’t budge Zeus. So it fits, and is already such a jumble of allusions, that I thought it was perfect for the name of a blog, since a blog is both a chain and a jumble of allusions.

  3. roger roger

    bet on black

    • Ah, but the rules permit an as yet unseen White…

      • roger roger

        As may be, but is that the way to bet?

  4. Brian Brian

    Hi John, how goes it? Are you in Melbourne these days? I haven’t checked the skeptical/philosophical intertubes much in the last few months….
    I liked the agnostic version. Brandon seemed to have it right in his rejoinder. Taken literally is was pretty boneheaded the atheist version. Then I thought, perhaps it was coming from another angle. I’ve found that arguments for and against the existence of the Abrahamic deity as given by philosophers are just a dialectical (probably using the word wrong) thing. There is no victory, so like a chess board without kings, it’s a draw before the game starts. You know, atheist offers problem of evil, theist offers fine tuning or theodicy, atheist points out theodicy implies this or that given whatever theodicy is being offered or that cosmological argument falls down here or there, and wash-rinse-repeat.
    It’s probably being too generous to the original cartoon to suggest that the atheists in question know that have the super-power arguments (in their opinions), and (again in their opinions) the theists have pawn-like arguments which appeal to ignorance or coincidence such as fine-tuning or why is there something rather than nothing, etc, and thus even though it should be stacked in the atheists favour, it’s a tie from the start. Because in the end, a theist won’t give up his belief because the Ontological argument isn’t sound alone, and mutatis mutandi an atheist won’t become theistic just because of some argument…..

Comments are closed.