Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why I am not a Continental Philosopher

Why I am Not A Continental Philosopher (CP)

First, unlike CP's, I'll define terms. An analytic philosopher (AP) emphasize the following philosophical principles:

1. Define terms carefully.
2. Obscurity is not profundity
3. Logical operations are primary for philosophy, such as the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions, types and tokens, necessary and contingent, and, of course, the basic arguments forms--deductive, inductive, and abductive. One should not have to guess about these points; they should be clearly stated.

Second, the orgins of analytical philosophy probably trace to Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore. It is a neutral method and is not committed, a priori, to any one worldview. Russell was an atheist; Alvin Plantinga is a Christian. Both are analytic philosophers.

Third, many claims to the contrary, the method of AP does not rule out large-scale philosophical questions about God, meaning, philosophy of culture (I do that!) or even aesthetics. CPs often make this erroneous claim.

Fourth, while some APs de-emphasize the important of the history of philosophy, there is nothing in the approach of AP that necessitates this; that is, it is not part of the definition of AP. The history of a philosophical concept, such as substance, is very significant in making any sense of it rationally.

Fifth, philosophers who are pre-analytic, such as Pascal, are subject to analytical criticism and reconstruction. I did so in my book, On Pascal. It has even been done with Nietzsche and Kierkegaard (see the work of C. Stephen Evans)!

CPs typically do not define terms or types of arguments carefully and revel in obscurity and false dichotomies, such as "those analytic apologists like J.P. Moreland, Bill Craig, and Doug Groothuis emphasize logic, but not love and community" (Myron Penner). Bullshit.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Modern (not classical) Liberalism is the political philosophy that holds an unconstrained vision of human potential in this world. Thus, it takes human limitations (such as poverty, inequality, and lack of education) to be addressed largely through the auspices of the civil government, which function on the basis of coercion, not persuasion. To do this, it must consolidate power at the top, game as much information from the activities of its citizens as possible and lesson the power of free associations (Edmund Burke's "little platoons," Peter Berger's "mediating structures," or Abraham Kuyper's "spheres of government' under God). It must also avoid or reinterpret America's founding documents, since they stipulate a limited civil government (federalism). To sum up. liberalism is Utopian; it is the unsubstantiated vision of the anointed (the ones who see reality unconstrained by history or human nature). It is an ersatz and false religion of humanity. Economically, it pits "the rich" against "the poor," based on the false assumption that making money requires ripping off others. Thus, those who general jobs and services are penalized for success through progressive taxation (something advocated by Karl Marx). But this money extracted from "the rich" (the category is subjected and fluctuates) is not given directly to "the poor) the category is subjective and fluctuates), but to massive, inept bureaucracies, which are not governed by the profit motive and are accountable only to "commissions." They also have "the power of the sword" (coercion).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Photo: Mark your calendars for our upcoming Lewis Center event, which is both free and open to the public!

"Beyond the Never"

Philosopher Attends "Beyond the Never," A Metallica Film

Tonight, alone, in a sparsely attended showing, shoveling vast amounts of pop corn and Coke down my gullet, I say the Metallica movie. I was about five minutes late, having gotten lost on the way. That is normal for me.

The concert footage was outstanding. The film did not use the unbearable fast cuts and jump cuts that are so common, but it did give multiple angels on the band and the audience (who seemed to be worshiping more than listening).

The physicality of this band is remarkable. Their music, while load and intense, is not simple. Yet, they walk and run around the stage, which, in this case was in the round. Yet all the tunes were perfectly executed. Yet I wonder if "Cyanide" does not excuse suicide, which is morally wrong. James screams to the hysterical crowd at one point, "How does it feel to be alive?" The implication is that it is right to be alive, and that this group experience contributes to that. But, then, why do "Cyanide?"

Now consider the nearly unbearable part. There was a secondary story of a roadie who was sent to obtain some object for the band. Along the way, he encounters horrendous and unexplained violence. These scenes are interspersed with the band's performance. Since these pointless and violent interjections included extra sounds (bodies being burned, crushed, slashed, and the like), I had a clue to close my eyes or just peek at the screen at the screen to see if the boys had returned to the screen--where they belonged for the entire film.

The secondary story make so sense whatsoever. It was not only senseless violence, but inexplicable violence. It marred the film. Good night, Metallica (especially with that elaborate stage set up) is dramatic enough!

There it is: Philosopher goes Metallica.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

1. In Whose Afraid of Postmodernism, Jame K. A. Smith puts me in the same category as Os Guinness, DA Carson, Millard Erickson and other critics of postmodernism. Thank you!

2. In the End of Apologetics, Myron Penner puts me in the same (evil) apologetics category as J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig. Thank you!

3. In The Next Reformation, Carl Raschke likens my apologetic method (which he rejects; he has no apologetic) to the philosophical rigor of Bertrand Russell. Thank you!

I am honored to be a part of these hit lists. I will continue to defend Christianity as objectively true, compellingly rational, and pertinent to all of life.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jesus Christ

"Religion is wide, but truth is narrow. Truth captures reality in statements, and any statement that fails that task is erroneous. Error in religion is no small thing, and it can be a matter of eternal consequence if that error be egregious enough. The end of true religion must be truth, saving and flaming truth. According to Christianity, Jesus Christ is the eternal cornerstone of reality and truth incarnate (John 14:6). This is no idle claim, but is backed up by considerable philosophical and historical arguments. Christ is, therefore, the only source of undying liberation. To err at this point is catastrophic. While other religions contain elements of truth, they reject the most important truth of all: Christ crucified, resurrected and offered for the redemption of the cosmos".( Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Downers Grove:IVP, 2011. p. 598)


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Does anyone have an contracts at Red Rocks Community College for employment in teaching? I have the web page, but am looking for humans.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

On relevance in studies:

If one is in a creditable course of study, one should not bother with the question, "Is this relevant to the rest of my life?" Why not?

1. You do not know what the rest of your life will bring. Read Ecclesiastes on that.
2. You are a student (details), not a teacher. Perhaps the teacher (horrors!) knows better what is important in her discipline.
3. Perhaps the books (if books are still used in your course...) are worth reading. Even if they are not worth reading because they are good, you can practice your critical thinking skills on detecting falsehood, illogic, and plan bullshit.
4. Screening things out because of "irrelevance" will likely rob you of much of your education.
5. Even if the material does not directly relate to your vocation, the disciplines of learning will help you be a better person.
6. So there.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

My letter to The New York Times:

Jon Carannica is right: Let (the new) Miley Cyrus be Miley Cyrus, and let's ridicule the "hollow, declarations of cultural war from defenders of an innocent era that never was." Yes! "Pop as a whole...always needs flamboyant disrupters to survive," he writes. Consider Tony Bennett, whose recording of his 1964 performance was given a full-page add on the page next to Mr. Carannica's scolding. Mr. Bennett shocked with his tight, neon pants, eye-liner, sexual pantomime, and libidinally-laced lyrics--and all done with a wink of course. The same goes for Jim Croce, and Eric Clapton. Wait, maybe these three pop stars relied on...talent.