My graduate research is in philosophy of science and religion. My thesis is on the fine-tuning argument from cosmology and physics in multiverse scenarios. I have lectured in logic, existentialism, metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of science, theological liberalism, neo-orthodoxy, personhood, free will and determinism, theological fatalism, axiology, moral argument for the existence of God, various cosmological arguments for the existence of God, fine-tuning argument for the existence of God, and the problem of evil. Following my graduate work I will be completing my PhD in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
The two divisions of absurdity, subjective and objective, by all evidence, binding. If God does not exist then man lives in Bertrand Russell’s world of scaffolding despair. Man is merely the product of pointless cause and effects with no prevision of the ends being achieved. All the labors of the age, devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vase death of the solar system. Man’s achievements are destined to be buried in the debris of the universe. Only within the scaffolding of these [teleological] truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built. Continue reading →
It would be an appropriate evaluation of Nietzsche to state that his mere calling for the übermenschis a teleological claim. To call for redemption of something and to set a standard model is a purposeful and meaningful proclamation. The desire appears to be motivated by the very thing Nietzsche is often accused of, nihilism. Nietzsche was in despair over the implications of Christianity with no God—that was nihilism, which was a catalyst to his philosophizing with a hammer.
Nietzsche never denied there being any meaning or purpose. His qualm was that if Christianity continues without God it would be meaningless and purposeless. He understood that there had to be meaning and purpose. The teleology, for Nietzsche, was a pursuit to overcome those things, which were life denying. Christianity, God, idols, and false ideas were all life denying and life prohibiting concepts. Nietzsche recognized the human nature and need for a teleology, but how? In his pursuit for meaning and purpose he calls for the übermensch to do just that. Continue reading →
The knowledge of God, it is claimed, comes to us as a gift, and to indicate its distinctiveness by the word ‘revelation’ is simply to remain true to the phenomenological analysis of belief in God, for such belief testifies that it arises through God’s making himself known to us, rather than through our attaining to the knowledge of him.Of what kind is the knowledge of God, where that which is known towers above us, as it were, and it is as if we ourselves were known and brought into subjection?
The first case is our everyday relation to things, as objects of which we make use or have knowledge. They are at our disposal, and even by knowing them, we acquire a certain mastery over them; for instance, we can predict natural phenomena and be prepared for them.
The second case is our relation to other persons. This ‘I-thou’ relation, as Martin Buber has taught us to call it, is of a different order, for the other person is not my object and is not at my disposal. I know him in a different manner. The relation here is one between subjects. It is a mutual or reciprocal relation, founded on the same kind of being–personal being– on both sides Continue reading →
Darwinism: Descent with modification through unguided processes
Descent: “I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long ago.”
Modification: “The preservation of favorable individual differences of variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious (natural selection).”
Unguided processes: “There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. So I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of chance.” Continue reading →
There are three primary categories for virtue the Christian/theist will affirm. The first are the transcendental virtues: truth, beauty, and goodness. The second set is the theological virtues: faith, hope, and love/charity. Then there are the four cardinal virtues: prudence, courage, patience, and justice. It’s my belief that every Christian must practice epistemic humility. What is that? Well, epistemic humility, in the sense I’ll be using it, refers to an application of the four cardinal virtues in the area of epistemology (knowledge). Each of these virtues have a respective vice. For instance, the virtue of moderation would appear as a vice in addiction. (For more please visit Sententias.org.)
The virtue of epistemic prudence is know when and how to appropriate your knowledge to others. Have you ever noticed that person in class or in church that seems to be the ‘know-it-all,’ whether they actually are or not? Of course, it’s worse when they’re simply ignorant of what they’re talking about, but not only is this person annoying but there may be several issues rooted in the flaunting of knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with sharing you’re knowledge but, like I said, it’s how and when you share it. This isn’t always the case but there may be underlying reasons for why someone doesn’t practice epistemic prudence. Perhaps, the person really is ignorant and feels like he needs to compensate. This person will usually drag out the same point over and over and sometimes doesn’t really present a coherent verbiage of what he’s trying to say. Continue reading →
How far can science take us and at what point does philosophy and metaphysics take over? Here is the general process of science and philosophy.
METHOD. Science’s modus operandi is to observe the data while philosophy is examining the data and reasoning through it.
MATERIAL. Science’s materials are facts. There are certain data that provide empiricalfact to work with. Philosophy’s material are conceptual–concepts that are the basis for the rest of the process. Continue reading →
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed. (For more on this please visit Sententias.org.)
#1. Unbelievable? – Hosted by Justin Brierly with Premier Christian Radio. Unbelievable? is a UK-based public radio program, which airs every Saturday afternoon with an occasional podcast posting mid-week. Justin brings in several leading scholars in theological and philosophical matters and they debate and dialogue particular issues ranging from ethics, comparative religions, the existence of God, science, doctrinal differences, and current events.
Quality. The best thing Unbelievable? has going for it is its ability to bring in leading scholars. Such guests include William Lane Craig, PZ MYers, James White, Roger Penrose, and even Rob Bell (okay, maybe they aren’t always scholarly).
Accuracy. A benefit to have these types of dialogues is that it’s quite difficult to present, or get away with, straw man arguments. Each side presents their case and defense, which enables an accurate presentation of the facts and positions. You won’t simply hear one side of the conversation.
Criticisms. This is another benefit to having both sides of the conversation present for discussion. The contributors and guests are always polite and respectful (even PZ Myers was on appropriate behavior!). Justin does an excellent job in controlling and keeping the conversation on track. What is also attractive to the balance is that listeners can call in or email the program and offer criticisms and comments (and not all of them are always from the Christian perspective). Continue reading →
If everything God does is GOOD, and if God controls EVERYTHING, then it would be BAD had one less child been gassed in Auschwitz. -Greg Boyd’s Twitter Status
It was quite a while ago but when I read Dr. Boyd’s status I was very intrigued. I believe open theists deserve a seat at the table of discussion and despite my view that I think they’re wrong, their arguments are stronger than many give them credit for. Let’s look at this.
If everything God does is Good [and]
If God controls everything [by weak and strong actualization]
Then, it would be bad had one less child been gassed in Auschwitz.
It would have been good had one less child been gassed in Auschwitz.
Therefore, either not everything God does is good or God does not control everything.
God is good and everything he does is good.
Therefore, God does not control everything.
It seems like Boyd has posed an interesting dilemma (at least for the Molinist who affirms that God’s means of providence is not exclusively causal, but that he controls all things). To avoid a dilemma you must either deny a horn or add another premise. I would add the premise that God has good reasons for his control (control will encompass permission and causality, or, weak and strong actualization). Continue reading →
What ought Christians do with philosophy? Isn’t this contrary to theology and explicitly warned of in the Bible? This is particularly poignant in the letter to the Colossians 2.8.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementry principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
βλεπετε μη τις υμας εσται ο συλαγωγων δια της φιλοσοφιας και κενης απατης κατα την παραδοσιν των ανθρωπων κατα τα στοιχεια του κοσμου και ου κατα χριστον
Now, of course, for a better and full exegesis be sure to grasp the whole context of the letter. Paul is warning the Christians in Colossae of philosophy and being distracted by and importing inappropriate concepts into their Christian beliefs. The first key word to focus on here is φιλοσοφιας (root: φιλοσοφια), which is the Greek word for philosophy here. Philosophy literally means the love of wisdom. Continue reading →