Ernstraud Philosophy
Realizing existence, purpose, and joy forever
We believe differently and cooperate lovingly.

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Godhood is not isolated selfish pursuit of individual sanctification. Instead, it grows infinitely out of collaborating here and now to create a better world for all people. Ernstraud philosophy embodies our shared contribution to this common good.

Problem to solve:

You fear you are climbing the wrong mountain.


New vistas along the Ernstraudian Way liberate your best self and inspire you to become a blessing to humanity. Academic scholarship remains in the background. In this school, you expand by vicariously living dozens of stories. You attach your own unique meaning to your life.

Kent Busse, your loving guide


Click a topic to expand it.

We apply truth and self-consistency to describe our reality. It is inapplicable to say that this or any other philosophy or any religion is "true."

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."
"We know that physics cannot be taught. We will occupy you with techniques, hoping you will catch on to physics in the process."
Helmut Fritsche
Professor of Physics
University of Chicago 1967

by Kent V. Busse:
We experience for ourselves the road traveled by philosophers throughout history. Each, including me, points out a different set of landmarks. If you say "I have never heard of that before," I am doing my job.

I am not the classifier like Aristotle or the enumerator like the Buddha, but I set my plow as deep.

I am not a scholar cataloging and analyzing previous great thinkers. I am a creator who may be analyzed by scholars.

The purpose of the material is the thinking you do between discussions. Learn to see every issue from every viewpoint.

Envision your best future self. Your thoughts become actions that create a new world.

There should never be lineages of Ernstraudian philosophy as there are of Buddhism. Ernstraudian philosophy is not a fully parsed, ordered, classified, and recorded academic system. It is not a destination. It is a journey, a tool for crafting who you are. There is no orthodoxy. If studying the materials helps you mature your own unique world, you may regard yourself as Ernstraudian.

Life is to promote my neighbors' welfare- -not by competition, but by collaboration and sharing. Human intelligence is the capacity to apply love to the details.

"We see things not as they are, but as we are."
H M Tomlinson
"I am the one who sees things as they are not--(yet)."
Kent Busse


Senior class president and co-valedictorian, Hood River High School, Hood River, Oregon 1961

AB Physics, General Honors, University of Chicago 1969

JD with High Honors, Chicago-Kent College of Law 1984

Highest grade in the class in Torts, Contracts, Property. After registering, I learned of the adversarial model of American jurisprudence (a versus b). After graduation, I realized I cannot work in adversarial environments. Law school teaches us "to think like a lawyer." It benefits innumerable other professions. Studs Terkel chose oral history; I chose philosophy. We both use a lot of stories.

Illinois Bar 1984-2019, retired

Registered Piano Technician, Piano Technicians Guild 1970-2022, ongoing


ERNSTRAUD / ERNSTRAUDIAN [adjective, noun]: (One who is) finding happiness in the greater good by caring for others ahead of self without profit motive or contention.
(examples: Ernstraud Magazine; I am (an) Ernstraudian.
derivation: my parents were ERNST and WalTRAUD)

Secular neutrality
When reading the prophets expands my horizon of possibilities, it contributes to my growth; however, there is no way I will limit my thinking to what the prophets believed. Individuation requires freedom from scripture.

Scriptural beginnings
Physically we consume these items:
Mentally / spiritually we produce these items:
Ernstraudian Way:
  • Begin where you are.
  • Face the light.
  • Proceed at your own pace.
  • Bring someone with you.


In your browser you can search the blog just as you can search the textbook below. However, online search engines are not all alike and not always accurate.
To search for "xxxxxx," enter this line exactly: xxxxxx


Class discussion occurs here in the blog at the bottom of every article. This moderated discussion does not require registering or logging in.

COURSE    TEXTBOOKS    (work in progress)


This is a dynamic course in progress. When enough readers are ready, we will hold online meetings. Get the discussion started by leaving a request or suggestion at the bottom of any article.
-- December 2022

Moral Symmetry principle
In science or religion, humans have equal value. Therefore, morally symmetric taxation is not measured by percentage. Basic fairness is the equalized standard of living of the people who pay the tax. Greed is wealth accumulation. Society is even standard of living distribution.
We decide to survive together.

Natural Resources
Natural resources including land, water, substances, and living organisms such as crops and forests are to be treated with reverent stewardship for blessing present and future populations. The resources cannot morally be owned or exploited for gain or profit by individual governments, associations, or people. They relate to humanity as a unitary whole.


Human: Thank you God for all my blessings, but why are you letting some children starve?
God: You are my apprentice. I attached their portion to yours so you can learn to distribute. You are letting them starve.

My fellow humanists are invited and expected to understand this metaphor.


The most specific, urgent, and important social service needed in 2023 is to enshrine the principles of Roe v. Wade in every constitution in our country.

Ernstraud Philosophy encompasses moral evaluation of thought, action, and consequence. It does not utilize the lesser philosophical concepts of
  • sin
  • guilt
  • retribution
  • profit motive

Profit-motivated self-interested capitalism claims to be the strongest motivator of growth and development. My life experience contradicts that with case after case of people who would have given up but did not because of those, frequently their children, who depended on them. Metaphorically, food is most nourishing
when we feed each other.

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