“After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it: "I refute it thus.”
(August 6th 1763, as told in James Boswell’s 'Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol 3'; 1791)
I admire Samuel Johnson's feet-first, hands-on approach. I enjoy metaphysical questions such as whether matter exists or not and I consider that if it does, then methodological naturalism should be a fruitful endeavour. Since methodological naturalism is so obviously a fruitful endeavour then it seems to me that kicking actual stones is a better approach to investigating reality than indulging in a-priori armchair metaphysics predicated on logical word-games. Truth is discovered through rigorous methodology and hard work, not invented. Thus I have little respect for beliefs and claims lacking support from empirical evidence; except as mythology, which I do appreciate. I'm an agnostic atheist with a sprinkling of ignosticism who sometimes worships at the altars of Bacchus, the god of wine and Veronica, the patron saint of photographers (and, apparently, laundry workers). I capture images because photography allows me to combine a PhD level training in vision science with my wholly self-taught love of art. I value both. I play no musical instrument but a day without music is a rarity. I have two nationalities but ideally I'd need none. Politically, I have a strong aversion to right-wing ideology rather than any particular love affair with the left. I write crap poetry and fiction, which is why you'll find none of it here. Nor do I do social media. It wasn't me that wrote that. I don't write in the third person either; it sounds even more pretentious.