One of the most reoccurring topics of discussion is the topic of evil as privation. It is a proposition that I have put into my own apologetic and many Christians in the past as well. Now, how exactly did this doctrine come about. Well, oddly enough it did not come from Christian circles, but rather from the Neo-Platonic philosopher Plotinus who is discussed at length in the following Philosophy Bites Podcasts that can be found in this video,
The video is an interesting discussion on not just Plotinus' views of evil, but also Platonic ...more
Platonist – So above all, there exists the "One", a being that is indivisible, simple (that means of one part, containing no part more fundamental to it).
Epicurean – Even matter itself?
Platonist – Yes!
Epicurean – Prove to me that this “One” exists.
Platonist – Okay, around us we see various things that are composed that we know exist. trees, plants and the like are such examples of composed things.
Epicurean – Yes.
Platonist – Well, from these we see that composed things are composed by other things.
Epicurean – Okay…
Platonist – Well, the ultimate composer must be the "One".
Epicurean – Hold your horses, why?
Platonist – Well, either the composer is simple or complex, if it is complex, then it is composed by something else because composition does not suffice for it's own existence. So it must be simple.
Epicurean – So you're defining the "One" into existence?
Platonist – I reasoned from one premise to another in a disjunctive syllogism.
Epicurean- Well, what else could suffice?
Platonist – Nothing!
Epicurean- So you made your argument fit your belief?
Platonist – I just went from premise one to a conclusion, whether I had a prior belief does not discount the argument. You are attacking me, not the argument. If you think there is something else, then suggest it.
Epicurean- Well, what about matter?
Platonist – Matter goes from one place to another and is composed within the realm of time.
Platonist – So… it has a temporal component. It does not suffice.
Epicurean- This is unfair, you're just giving preference to your "One".
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
Psalm 103 is a favorite of mine, and should speak to the state of grace taken upon by the faithful. It is both humbling and awe inspiring, to think that the creator of the universe is able to take beings of dust and rise them to the state of the Angels. He gives us the heavens themselves, and looks past our shortcomings. Psalm 103:10 gives me the greatest joy,
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities (KJV)
David invokes not only Israel to praise God, but even the hosts and angels of heaven,
Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. (Psalm 103: 20-21 KJV)
It brings me great joy that I as a lonely sinner can invoke praise from the saints and hosts of heaven by calling upon the praise of God. These are beings bless with far greater power than I, and yet the Lord allows me this grace, despite all my short comings.
Bless the Lord all my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name, blessed art thou o' Lord. Glory to Father, and to the Son and to the Holy ...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