philosophy

Objections to Christianity: Who Created God?

I’m going to borrow an illustration I heard John Bevere use once (which he probably borrowed from someone else — there is, after all, nothing new under the sun, is there?). ¬†I’ll be paraphrasing, of course ūüôā

Have you ever watched a particularly poignant, well-crafted movie? ¬†One that methodically and artfully sets you up with¬†an hour and fifteen minutes of pathos for that one heart-wrenching moment at the plot’s climactic moment? ¬†When that moment comes, your eyes start welling up, your breathing becomes a little shallower, you move to the edge of your seat — you feel the strong empathetic connection to the characters in the movie. ¬†You almost can’t help it. ¬†Unless you’re a sociopath — c’mon, would it kill you to show a little human emotion now and then… dad…?

Just kidding, my dad’s great. ¬†Anyway, imagine your roommate¬†walking in right when the big climactic moment occurs — he’s never seen the movie before, and so he’s missed out on all the exposition and buildup. ¬†He looks at the characters on the screen, looks over to you bawling your eyes out on the couch (mostly obscured¬†by your tissue-box fort), and scoffs, “What’s with you? ¬†It’s just a stupid movie.”

First of all, your roommate’s kind¬†of a jerk¬†and you should probably consider moving. ¬†(Then again, he does pay¬†the rent on time, and his mom is friends with your boss… I guess he’s not all that bad.) ¬†But, really, the illustrative detail is the difference in how the two of you view the movie in that moment: ¬†You have been taken on this hour-long journey preparing you for this scene; you connect with the characters, their stories touch you, you empathize with their plight and take on some of their pain upon yourself; your roommate, on the other hand, couldn’t give two figs¬†about the characters, doesn’t connect with the moment,¬†isn’t compelled in the least by the scene unfolding on the screen. ¬†Why? ¬†Because he’s missing the context of the scene. (more…)

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What is the meaning of life? – Part 2

In Part 1, I outlined my impression of the naturalist’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” ¬†In short, assuming the premise of naturalism, the best answer seems to be, “Whatever makes brings me pleasure.” ¬†Since anything that could be considered authoritative over or transcendent to our own sensations (morality, God, even civil law) is just an illusion, the only ultimate authority on what gives life meaning is the individual; thus,¬†hedonism (in the philosophic sense) is really all that is left to us under the premise of naturalism, and therefore¬†if life has any meaning whatsoever, we create it ourselves. ¬†(Bravo to John who turned me on to this post, where you can watch¬†Neil deGrasse Tyson’s naturalistic answer to the meaning of life question.)

Now, I shall move on to my commentary of this answer, and share one¬†of my objections to it: (more…)

What is the meaning of life? – Part 1

Twisted Inspiration made a profound (to say the least) comment on an entry of mine:

I am really interested to hear how you define ‚Äúmeaning‚ÄĚ, what makes it important, etc. (Not what‚Äôs YOUR life‚Äôs meaning, but what IS ‚Äúthe meaning of a life‚ÄĚ?).

The meaning of life? ¬†Piece of cake!¬† This shouldn’t take long ūüėČ (more…)

Theological Debate on Facebook

Happy Monday, everyone!

As a new blogger, I’m doing my best to look at my site with critical eyes often, and I have a suspicion that my posts might tend to be a bit too long, on average, to encourage and facilitate robust discussion — which, in itself, is a violation of one of my own guidelines, for I understand that people’s time is valuable, and “brevity is the soul of wit,” as Polonius wisely stated. ¬†(Come to think of it, he didn’t often take his own advice either — what a rat.)

On the other hand, with a topic such as this, sometimes lengthy explanations are necessary in order to provide a thorough portrait of my thought process. ¬†Nevertheless, I think I shall try, from now on, to limit such lengthy posts to once a week at most, and for the most part keep my entries succinct. ¬†Hopefully this will lead to more discussion and interaction, which is the chief purpose of this blog; for I want to hear what y’all have to say — I already know what¬†I sound like ūüėČ

In the spirit of such a resolution (is it too late to call it a New Year’s Resolution?), today I would like to put out a brief plug for the religious discussion¬†site on Facebook that actually is responsible for giving me hope that religion can be discussed with civility and mutual respect. ¬†It’s called Theological Debate, and being a closed group (to prevent activity therein from spamming your friends) you will need to put in a request to join if you wish to check it out.

It’s a small group, but the atmosphere of discussion is unlike anything I’ve seen before on other such sites, for all active members have grown to appreciate the demeanor of the group and thus each actively strives to maintain it. ¬†If you’re into theological discussion (which I hope you are, having found your way here), I recommend popping your head in and seeing if it’s a forum that appeals to you.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and have a great start to your week!

Some reheated Aristotle (maybe)

I’m going to try my hand at one of the classical arguments for the existence of God: the cosmological argument, or the first-cause argument. ¬†A lot of you have heard it before, I’m sure — it’s one of William Lane Craig‘s favorites, in any case; and as I don’t have an original thought in my head, I’m¬†pretty sure that anything I say here has been said by someone else before. ¬†That being said, here we go!

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