It seems I struck a nerve with you. I see from the photo of you on your Amazon bio page that you’re a handsome young man. Is your physical appearance the source of your laughable arrogance? I’m just picturing handsome and beautiful Millennials running around making fools of themselves with their presumptuousness and overcompensation for their egos’ fragility. You don’t want to be part of that crowd, do you?

I’d just encourage you to reflect on the fact that you can’t always coast purely on your good looks and youth. I mean, if I were hiring actors for a beer commercial or something like that, sure, you’d be led to the front of the line. But when it comes to thinking, writing, and philosophizing, I’m afraid those strengths don’t count for much.

Do I even have to tell you that I have a Ph.D. in philosophy? Shouldn’t you have already assumed as much, based on the quality, quantity, and subject matter of my writings? Shouldn’t you have already known that because you don’t identify any actual flaw in my article’s reasoning, I’d recognize your comment is meant mainly to puff up your ego? That’s fine, because this is the internet. But it’s not like you weren’t just writing to yourself or anything.

You say, “Every word has a subjective meaning” and “spirituality” can mean something completely different to you than it does to me. Yes, that’s the kind of feel-good solipsism I’d expect from a Millennial who feels everyone should get a trophy just for showing up. But are you aware of Wittgenstein’s argument against the idea of a private language? Do you not see that language would be pointless if there were no such thing as public or universal meanings of words? Those are the meanings of “spiritual” I quoted in the article, from

Yes, I’m aware that spirituality is different from religion. In so far as spirituality is translated into the more sustainable conceptual framework of existentialism, I’m less opposed to spirituality than I am to theistic religion. (It’s mostly mainstream, exoteric religion that annoys me, because of its necessary betrayals of spirituality. For example, Christians tend to betray Jesus’s spiritual/existential message, to preserve the power of Christendom, the institutionalization and secular cooptation of that founding message.)

If you think it’s worth your time attempting to explain where you think my arguments go wrong, I’d be happy to listen.

By the way, I noticed that the last sentence of the Amazon summary of your book The Way of Being could use some work. It should read, “But in the end,” not “But the end,” and I think it would go on better to read, “But in the end, Joshua will answer the most important question…” not “…Joshua will discover the answer to the most important question…” The previous sentence already says “Joshua will discover the answers…” and my briefer version is less clunky. Just a suggestion.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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