Prof. Richard G. Benefield
A. PHILOSOPHERS’ STONE
Magic stone! A myth that died.
Alchemy was a Medieval chemistry. While it made some advances
it also was
steeped in myths. The philosophers’ stone was believed to be a magic stone or substance
which could be used to turn baser metals into gold. Another myth believed in by some
alchemists was that the magic “thing” could lengthen life. Alchemy was dedicated to
finding the philosophers’ stone, magically producing gold, and getting rich. The myth did
I got the idea of writing a book titled “PHILOSOPHERS’ STONES.”
writing it several years ago and continue with that project. This article includes some of
the pieces of wisdom, wise sayings, and “proverbs,” from that book. The article is
copyrighted in 1999 but the book goes back to 1976. It will be published when finished.
There is nothing magical or mystic about philosophy. Neither
are there miracles or
magic stones in the sciences. Today real philosophy is asleep. Philosophers do
stereotyped philosophy. They “do philosophy” which is analytic and which sounds
professional. Or they write “safe philosophy.” They do not want to take the risk of
upsetting the “saints,” or of rocking boats, or of going against the currents of
contemporary acceptances. They are mainstream people, often members of the “right
religion” or “right social organizations.” They are often extremely community oriented
which means that they are conformed.
B. RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHERS
Philosophers in the United States are often members of the “right
have the reputations of being “fine fellows” or “nice ladies.” There neither are nor can be
a “Baptist philosopher,” a “Methodist philosopher,” a “Catholic philosopher,” a “Nazarene
philosopher,” or a “religious philosopher.” Each of these claims is a contradiction in
terms. These people talk about philosophy, discuss it, and some teach it. But they are not
real philosophers. They believe in denominational “truths” or religious “truth.”
C. SAFETY FIRST IN PHILOSOPHY
“Safety first” in philosophy avoids taking the risk of doing real
philosophy. It is
safe in departments of philosophy and in classrooms to read, study, and write about the
traditional problems of philosophy. This is the stereotyped way of “doing philosophy.”
Such “doing” seldom makes it outside of the mythical ivory towers. Besides this, all of
philosophy’s problems were solved long ago. But if “philosophers” admit it, they are
afraid that philosophy will cease to exist. Of course they could probably invent new
Since I have been teaching in state university systems and religious
university systems for many, many years, I certainly understand the fear of losing a
teaching job, salary, and benefits. It could also make it more difficult to get another
teaching job. Effective teaching might be a subversive activity, but professors and
instructors need academic freedom, which is often restricted by conformed gatekeepers.
Studies bear out this fact. A real philosopher is a threat to an academic community not an
asset to it. My method has been to teach, and work as I can and write my works mainly
in the privacy of my private library. Hypocritical? Perhaps. But I have completed piles of
manuscripts, and some are published, and others will follow. And I am within three
semesters of completing my goal of teaching for 30 years. But I might not complete those
last three semesters. The world is a religion belt, and a society belt not an intellectual belt.
I have worked fanatically day and night for decades in pursuing my goals. I hope to
complete all of my goals and live to see it. But who knows?
E. FIVE SMOOTH STONES
David, in the Bible, picked up five smooth stones from a brook
forward to face the giant who was with an evil army. But it only took one stone to fell the
giant. Moral: When a stone hits a target something can happen. Read the story in 1
Samuel 17:40, and 17:39-58. Now I am no David. I am no prophet, seer, or king. I am
only a man who writes because I must. My stones are words. My targets are the worlds.
F. RELIGIONS ARE GOLIATHS
Ambrose Bierce in his “Devil’s Dictionary” said that philosophy
is a road that leads
from nowhere to nothing. But he used the word “philosophy” when he should have used
the word “religions.” You see: Religions are roads which lead from nowhere to nothing.
Religions are lost and so are their nothings. Well, there is a stone, smooth or otherwise.
Who can deny that evil religions are giants (“Goliaths”) in the world?
Consider some more stones.
G. ANTI-RELIGIOUS STONES
1. Religions have multiplied like rabbits.
2. Churches are further ruining themselves with the illogical
CONSERVATIVE and LIBERAL.
3. Labels are “illogical cuckoos” without nests.
4. There are deep divisions in so-called liberal churches
and in so-called
conservative churches. Some clergypersons are working to build some liberal (whatever
that means) seminaries in some conservative (whatever that means) denominations.
Others are working to build some conservative seminaries in liberal denominations. Will
they never learn?
5. Interdenominational fighting, war in the same church
replaced fighting against other evils.
6. Religion is a whore in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 17:1).
7. Religions use gooney bird logic.
8. Snake handling churches have disciples which handle
snakes. They say they are worshipping God not the snakes. Perhaps that is why many
snake handlers get bitten.
9. Religions are your mortal enemies!
10. Religions are tax ripoffs and “worth” all of the money.
11. Snake handling churches, and snake handling religions
-- should they
be allowed to kill people? Sure! If they didn’t someone else would.
12. “The Bible Belt” no longer exists. I changed
that name to “The
Religion Belt.” It is as religious as hell.
13. If religion is such strong medicine, then why does
governments to make so many laws to control or prevent evil?
H. ANTI-POLITICAL STONES
1. There is no fool like a political fool.
2. Politics and religion went to bed together and procreated
became men. That is why theories of evolution are so confused.
3. Greed is one of the gods of politics.
4. Money is more important than people. Thus spake Saint Politicus.
5. Look at the world politicians, and their political wars
wars, and tell me you don’t believe in cloning.
6. Politicians could ride their political dinosaurs to extinction.
7. Politics is the best of all possible sciences; therefore
that it must be
non-perfect makes it the worst of all possible sciences. It is totally evil but totally good.
There is no doubt that it must fall but it is destined not to fall. Superior dialectics!
8. What the world needs now is another Thomas Jefferson
9. Only an honest man can be a politician so women need not file.
10. Political snake oil is the right medicine for governments’ woes.
11. Down, Down, Down the Drain They Go -- PP -- Political Parties!
12. Politics is gold
Politicians are sold
Government is old
Concern is cold
1. Hoodoo economics is the one the OTHER political party
2. If economics is the dismal science it is not that because money is not
3. Economics, like law, is a science of doublespeak so
that economists will
not have to be held accountable for their vast mistakes.
4. America went from manifest destiny to manifest irony and errors.
5. Money is the source of everything good.
6. Only poor people are evil. Rich people are good.
7. Economics is the science of Production, Distribution
And of sex in all the right places.
8. It costs too much to die and be buried. So forget it.
9. Every woman has her price. So does every man but
the price is not
10. Rich clergy, since they have much money, must be the
most blessed of
11. Complete honesty and money always go together but usually
12. The highest value of money is its worth in paying for
J. ANTI-RACISM AND ANTI-ETHNICISM
1. Only an Arab can be religiously saved -- if he is white.
2. This is the best of all racist worlds.
3. Abstract talk like abstract painting can be understood
any way that the
beholders want it to be.
4. The world is screwed up by the Devil. The Devil
is always presented as
being red or black. This insults Indians and Blacks. So I made the Devil white. Now
everybody is pissed off.
5. Feminists and women libbers often claim that men are
evil, and some
claim that God is a woman. But I discovered that the Devil is a woman.
6. Each gay White man has decided to be a lesbian.
7. Adam and Eve were created from red dirt. Therefore
Indians. Probably Choctaws. I received this Truth by revelation.
8. Perfectly logical:
All men are immortal.
King Kong is a man.
Therefore King Kong is immortal.
9. If brown cockroaches can think about goddesses, then
will look like brown cockroaches.
10. Some people believe that the White race got here through
Other races then got here through evolution.
11. If there was one race which was the richest race then
people would believe that it was the chosen race because of its money.
12. There is only one race -- the human race.
J. FINAL WORD
I ran out of stones for today -- Watch for more, and look out!