Dr. Eric Steinhart draws on his philosophical background to create a naturalistic foundation for the Pagan Wheel of the Year. To better understand axiarchism, the philosophy on which Dr. Steinhart draws to create a Naturalistic Pagan theology, see Part 1 and Part 2 of his essay “Axiarchism and Paganism”.
Lammas marks the first harvest, which is the anthropic harvest. At Lammas, the human species has gone extinct. Every suffering human animal has made its prayers, and the whole suffering human species has made it prayers; and the answers to all these prayers have been gathered together into a set of possible universes, a set of utopian worlds, radiated by our universe. Our universe is now surrounded by a vast plurality of anthropic utopias, alternative ways our universe might have gone, in which our axiological demands are satisfied. Within some anthropic utopia, every sick human has a healthy counterpart; every wretched human has a happy counterpart; every unjust society has a just counterpart. And yet, at Lammas, all these anthropic utopias lie in the shadow of unreality. They are merely visions, the axiological* dreams of our universe. Our universe does not need to have a mind to have these dreams or visions. These visions are not produced by thinking; they are calculated by divine computations which implement the logic of possibility.
*Axiarchism is a philosophical theory which states that reality is ultimately defined by some kind of value. The demands made by value are axiological demands. An axiological demand is a proposition whose truth follows from the nature of the thing which makes it.
Eric Steinhart is a professor of philosophy at William Paterson University. He is the author of four books, including Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death. He is currently working on naturalistic foundations for Paganism, linking Paganism to traditional Western philosophy. He grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. He loves New England and the American West, and enjoys all types of hiking and biking, chess, microscopy, and photography.