Terry Plank I’d consider myself agnostic in a loosely Carl Sagan way. The closest to atheist I’d get would be akin to a Monty Python-ish / Douglas Adams way. At the same time, cybernetics (internet, neural networking etc) holds great fascination, so I’m not adverse to a self-organizing systems kind of “seems supernatural but is just science that’s past us” so far view, as I find Socratic discourse and Aristotle’s law of excluded middle a rather limiting view, although useful at times.
For skepticism, https://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/…/reflections-on…/ Pigliucci who I only discovered a year or so ago, suits my way of thinking. Interestingly, he came to similar conclusions as me but from an entirely opposite direction a sense : I’ve never been atheist nor could I consider myself one as I’ve never had any animosity towards religions or supernatural concepts-as-metaphorical processes (I think they hold great value and that ‘religious sense’ is part and parcel of being human).
Pigliucci came from the skeptical / reason side and moved more towards the middle after dealing with extremes from within his own side, and has received flak for it.
It’s been nice to find a philosopher I can generally agree with and enjoy as I usually detest philosophy.
Ministry (of some sort) has always been my calling but of what? Raised Methodist, went through UU, Episcopal, glances at Judaism, Islam, Vipissana meditation and basic western style Buddhism, some Quaker, 5 years as Russian Orthodox (including a short monastery stay), a little Osho yet psychology and sociology was the thread throughout it all.
In 1994, on the early internet at the age of 22, I created MINISTRY-L, and brought together a few thousand ministers from all walks in order to see what they had in common. It was enlightening and when I did my Eastern Orthodox conversion a year or so later, I left the group to a Southern Baptist minister and a Pagan earth religion lady from Alaska to run it together, which they did for several more years.
Now, I’m just me. Always was. Never became a minister (yet) and yet always on the outskirts of the profession. Never felt a sting from religion yet always trying to make sense of the purpose of the religious parts of humanity.
Connecting with others seems to be #1. That’s what I’m dong here, with you and whoever reads this, in the way I know how. I suppose this would be my ministry : not to impress certain worldviews but enacting connectionism as best I can from this connectionist environment.