This is a dictum that was put forward by the enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant. On this view, unless people can do otherwise, it would be ridicules to give them prescriptions to do anything else than what they are going to do. Such is a basic and simplistic understanding of the dictum, but will suffice for the purpose of this blog. So, does this mean we need to do otherwise for behavior we consider good to be proscribed?
In this blog, I will give a Christian response to this. The first qualm I have is that God nowhere in scripture gives this as a moral basis. In fact, there are scriptures that give a sufficient theodicy.
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? - Romans 9:20-22
Nowhere does it claim that God's right to hold people blame worthy is necessitated by an ability to do otherwise. God's power to hold blame and praise steams from his position as creator over all. I defend this theodicy here in full detail.
Now, some might claim that this does not ...more
So, this week Jaclyn Glenn has been caught plagiarizing. This is not the first time it has happened and I will not be surprised if she plagiarizes again. But while this is going on, I will take the time to show her sloppiness in the past. The following is a summery of her historical failure on Hitler as a Catholic that I wrote a while ago for my old blog. I hope this is enjoyed.
Thanks to Sufferthorn for picture His Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWx0pN9v470G6R8tYtU-WvA
Before going into my criticisms, I would just like to share my point of view regarding the video she criticized. I too think it is stupid, offensive and counter-productive to Christian-Jewish relations. There is little more to be said and the creators should take down the video. However, while the video deserves criticisms, criticism should be made using reputable sources and historical rigor that Ms. Glenn knows little of.
At first minute and 15 seconds, Ms. Glenn alludes to Jesus as a character whose existence is questionable, there arises a small problem. Most historians and Biblical scholars do hold that he exists. To say, as she does, “even if”, requires you to demonstrate why people should be agnostic. Even Richard Carrier, a noted mythicist, is quick to point out how he accepts the burden of proof is on him (echoing atheist philosopher Dan Fincke) and that atheists should be humble enough not to even bring up claims of agnosticism regarding the existence of Jesus. I ...more
In case you haven't heard, this week the end of the world was yet again predicted and nothing came to pass. But what was lost in seeing the end of the world, was a bit of comedy in the failure of the supposed “prophets” power of predict. David S (whose YouTube channel can be found here) used this time to post about the psychology of the end times and applied it to the Holy Scriptures. While I do think the approach to be interesting – his general approach is actually really out of the box, and that's why I would recommend his channel – I will of course be giving a defense of scripture. The full video can be found below, make sure to watch before reading the rest of this blog.
It should be said that there is nothing wrong with Dave's video insofar as it refutes what I will call a full futuristic account of the end times. That is, an account that posits most of the end times will take place in the future. However, this is not the position that I take, nor I believe one taught in scripture. The position that I hold scripture teaches is called the postmillenial partial preterist view. Before going on to answer David's objections, I will give a brief breakdown of the position. Postmillenialism is the position that the millennial kingdom – the thousand years of peace on earth spoken of in Revelation 20 - will happen before the second coming ...more
What is God? What is Divine Simplicity? Is God an old man in the sky? These questions will be answered in this video. It's very heavy in metaphysics and the history of Christian theology.
Saint Aristides, The Apology, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1012...
Saint Bonaventure, Journey into the Mind of God, http://www.discerninghearts.com/PDF/B...
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia, http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1003.h...
Saint Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1101...
Music was improvised and written by me.
Angel and the Badman. Performed by John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey and Bruce Cabot. United States: Republic Pictures, 1947. Film. - Protected Under the Public ...more
Jazz Handed Hiddeness
This will be a small and concise blog about the nature of Arguments from Non-Belief Against the Existence of God. These are a family of arguments that try to provide reason against the existence of God from the existence of rational non-belief. My philosophy professor, JL Schellenberg, put these arguments on the map in the discipline of philosophy of religion with his 1993 work Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason. I will take up some blog space to detail his argument as best I can. While there are many ways of formulating it, he provides an argument from analogy in the anthology Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Religion.
Schellenberg provides three stories of hide and seek. The first story has a child abandoned by his mother while he is looking for her. The second story has a child who got amnesia and is unsure if he had a mother; he looks for her every day and she refuses to make herself known. The third story is a retelling of the second, except that the kid with amnesia is in terrible danger, crying out for his mom.
The first story is about those who lost their faith and after painful searching gave up (think of Charles Darwin). The second is about honest seekers who would love God to exist (John Stewart Mill). The third are people who die tragically before they can come to know God.
From this, Schellenberg would consider neither God nor the mother to be loving and hence the ...more
It was a while ago where I wrote a three part series responding to Aron Ra's 'refutation' of the cosmological argument. Those can be found here, here and here. This post will be my critique of his August 31st, 2015 blog post, responding to Spencer Hawkins and his blog claiming that even atheists have assumptions. Hawkins gives some good examples that anyone in a philosophy 101 class would go over. Aron Ra's responses are too hilarious to pass up for the sake of comedy. So I thought I would take out gems like this and comment,
I can show how evolution is an inescapable fact of population genetics, fossils, and phylogeny. The typical response to all of that is that we can’t really know if anything is true or false because we can’t really know anything, because we can’t even be sure if we even exist.
My impression of this sophistry is that their position is so weak that the only defense they have is to question reality itself, because the only way they can be right is if reality is wrong.
So there are a couple of things that I find funny, the first of which is that it is the skeptic is critical of another person being too skeptical. Now, this is not one of Hawkins' claims, it is just how Aron Ra describes his interactions with those he criticizes. But Aron Ra's supposed interlocutor is just applying the same type of skepticism to one of his cherished beliefs, so what ...more
This is my reformulation of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I take the basic premise of the Kalam, and rather than use it to prove God, I use it to refute naturalism. For more, please check out the ...more
For my next installment in the week I need to be lazy, decided to be retro, I've brought up an essay that I published for my undergrad class on religion, dealing with the topic of love in the thought of Confucius and Jesus of Nazareth.
The nature that we endow love can be defined not solely by what it does, but also what it does not. In the song What is Love, Haddaway describes love in the negative sense with the chorus lyric “baby, don’t hurt me”. By this reasoning love is never supposed to hurt; rather, it is supposed to put one in a state of well being. However, love is supposed to leave us vulnerable as well. Given the demand that love takes on us, the question of who is it we should love also plays an important philosophical question. The two thinkers to look and compare are Confucius and Jesus of Nazareth, who have come to two different conclusions. For Jesus, love is unconditional and is something to give to all people. For Confucius, love is anything but, love is something more valuable.
Before going into examination, it is important to note the difficulties in making such a comparison in the first place. The first difficulty is the cultural barriers that are placed between both the two thinkers. Jesus was raised within a Jewish culture under the jurisdiction of a Hellenistic empire, whereas Confucius was a traditional Chinese philosopher. The second difficulty is my own personal bias, as a Christian ...more
This week I'm going to lazily bring back this wee a couple of old blog posts of mine. This one was originally published back in 2012 on my Tumblr - yes, I had one of those. I posted it on my old Blogger and now I've brought it here. Please enjoy.
In the Gospels, one of the more interesting characters would have to be that of Judas Iscariot. In recent years, the Gospel of Judas was rediscovered in Geneva Switzerland in 2004, dating no later than the late-third century and was composed mid-second century. Most famously known for his betrayal of Jesus Christ to the authorities, Judas Iscariot became the poster boy for back stabbing and deceit; yet, remains an essential element in the gospel narratives. Through this essay, I wish to explore the development of Judas in both the canonical Gospels, and the Gospel of Judas. Regardless of one’s faith, it is best to look upon these stories as less religious and historical narratives, and more of an analysis with regards to stylistic representation for the purpose of plot exposition,
Judas – The Canonical Gospels
When reading about any human, real or fictional, we don’t really see a complicated being. Rather, we see the two dimensional silhouette that an author portrays. Keeping this in mind, how does the character of Judas fair in the gospels within the Bible, and that in the Gospel of Judas? To begin with the Gospel of Matthew, Judas is not really highlighted as much of a villainous character. In fact, he seems to be rather remorseful ...more