Tag Archives: philosophy

The New Pope’s Liberalism vs. Thomas Aquinas’s Leninism

Thomas Aquinas was the Leninist of his day; he was a Party man. For Aquinas, nothing should be done without reference to The Party. All focus should be on The Party. The Party is the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Reasons I’m an Antitheist

I’m an antitheist. I don’t think, on balance, that religion functions as a force for good in the 21st century. Seven reasons: Religion perpetuates women’s inequality. One element of religion that is quite bad, and that makes me an antitheist, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Bit of Advice for People Who Think They Ought to Have Others’ Approval–or God’s Approval–for What They Value

If you look around you and find that you’re the only person who values a particular thing, you need to have the self esteem to say, “It still has value for me.” And if you don’t value what others value–or what … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Camus in a Nutshell: God is Not Good, Nature is Not Good, and We are More Moral Than God or Nature

God didn’t prevent the Holocaust, but we would have. And God didn’t prevent the 2004 Christmas tsunami that killed over 100,000 people, but we would have. And Nature doesn’t care if death is the engine of evolution, but we do. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Confidence Theists, Confidence Atheists, and Bayes’ Rule

As an agnostic, I think that both theists and atheists have reasons, some of them good, for believing what they do. It’s not just thoughtlessness or blind faith that causes someone to declare for theism or atheism. My issue is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus, Original Sin, the Sufficient Reason for Suffering, and Thomas Aquinas

Jesus came and was crucified two thousand years ago. Wasn’t that supposed to quell God’s wrath against humanity? Jesus was supposed to have gone up to heaven in a cloud with the intention of being back quickly. He’s still not … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Human Nature vs. Human Institutions: Camille Paglia on Sex and Rape on Campus

Since abandoning her monthly Salon gig a few years back, Camille Paglia hasn’t had much of an Internet presence, but when, beyond her book writing, she does surface, she writes thought provoking things. Here’s a bit of what Paglia recently … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Thinks Your Thoughts, Weird Kangaroo?

Who are you, really? Neuroscientists tell us our gut microbiome consists of 100 trillion organism with different DNA from what we inherited from our parents, and that those microbes are connected to our brains via the vagus nerve. Thus those … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s God’s Sufficient Reason for the Evil in the World? And If You Can’t Think of Any, Should You Still Believe in God?

The principle of sufficient reason (PSR). God must have a sufficient reason for withdrawing and withholding his protection from the descendants of Adam for so tortuously long; for allowing them to encounter the full force of a psychopath’s or nature’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Foxy Sex vs. Hedgehog Sex: Free Will, Edward Feser, and Evolution

Thomist philosopher Edward Feser has a curious way of defining free will and what it’s for, writing in a recent blog post the following: “[O]n the conception of free will as ‘freedom for excellence,’ which is endorsed by Aquinas, the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s a Penis, and What’s It for? Thomas Aquinas vs. Ludwig Wittgenstein

What’s better: to see a thing as having both essential and accidental features, and placing it in a genus-species hierarchy (Thomas Aquinas’ view), or to drop hierarchy and essentialism in definition altogether, and just see a thing as sharing “family … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potency, Act, and the Withdrawal of Grace: Thomas Aquinas on Original Sin

Here’s Thomas Aquinas in Summa Contra Gentiles, Book IV, ch. 52: “[We Christians] affirm that man was, from the beginning, so fashioned that as long as his reason was subject to God, not only would his lower powers serve him without … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Berlinski defends God’s role in the Holocaust: “God did not protect his chosen people…[but] did…smite their enemies, with generations to come in mourning or obsessed by shame.”

Here’s David Berlinski defending God’s role in the Holocaust (from page 31 of his book, The Devil’s Delusion): “[T]he thousand year Reich…lies buried in the rubble of German cities smashed to smithereens,…[I]f God did not protect his chosen people precisely … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Charles Darwin vs. Thomas Aquinas: What Follows from Our Nature?

At his blog recently, Thomist philosopher Edward Feser wrote the following: “For Aquinas, what is good for us is necessarily good for us because it follows from our nature. As such, even God couldn’t change it, any more than he … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If God is Rational, Whence the Holocaust and Competing Goods (Such as the Pursuit of Beauty over Ethics)?

Thomist philosopher Edward Feser prefers intellectualism (reason leading the will) to voluntarism (the will leading reason). He thinks that neither desire nor imagination should lead our wills, and claims that God, as the supremely rational being, ought to be our example: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whatever Works: Pierce’s Abduction, Darwin’s Evolution, Entropy, Bayes’ Rule, and Rorty’s Pragmatism

I’ve recently been struck by the similarity between Charles Sanders Pierce’s notion of abduction (reasoning to the best hypothesis; “may the best hypothesis win”), Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution (survival of the fittest; “may the best organism win”), entropy (what … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Does It Mean To Be An Agnostic?

I’m an agnostic, which for me means the following: I take it that there is only one way the cosmos actually is, and I don’t know what that one way is. There are a gazillion logically possible ways it could … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

The Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Holocaust

Here’s the problem concerning the principle of sufficient reason. If one posits that God has a good and sufficient reason for having allowed the Holocaust, the follow-up question obviously becomes, “Well, what is it?” Any particular answer proves woefully inadequate, ludicrous … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Who Is William Blake, Really?

William Blake is a poet, not a metaphysician. When someone writes with aphorism, irony, and wild and flamboyant system building (as Blake and Nietzsche did), they are mocking essentialism; they’re showing that language is infinite; that there are a gazillion … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

What Love Is (A Definition)

What is love? I’d basically put it among the very broad family of “the better angels of our nature,” and in the genus of “seeking connection, harmony, and cooperation in a non-zero sum way.” As to the species of this … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments