Knowledge and Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga. Copyright 2015. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 126 pages.
Here I am going to give a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of Alvin Plantinga’s 2015 book Knowledge and Christian Belief. In this first post I will cover the first four chapters; the subsequent chapters will be covered in another post.
This book is meant as a layman’s version of Plantinga’s much longer and more technical 2000 book Warranted Christian Belief. and so it is possible that some of my criticisms are addressed in the more thorough treatise. Here I will only be taking the shorter book into consideration.
Continue reading “Book Review: Knowledge and Christian Belief (part 1)”
In the twentieth century, Jean-Paul Sartre famously said that existence precedes essence, which is the reverse order of what the Medieval philosophers believed. In this line of thinking, a thing first exists, and then due to its form of existing, it has essence bestowed upon it by observers. This is where the Existentialist idea of radical freedom came from. In the Medieval philosophy, you were your essence first, and it was God that bestowed upon you your existence. But that means your essence is immutable. In Existentialism, it is you that creates your essence to be what you want, and your essence is only determined by what you do, not by your intentions. What this idea ultimately concludes is that there is nothing special about an existing object apart from the meaning given to it by minds, or being-for-itself in Sartre’s parlance, denoting the objectness of the mind. But if the mind is an object, then what is it about the mind that makes it special, allowed to bestow meaning on the objects around it?
The following post is an excerpt from a book I’m writing that has to do with human consciousness and the human condition. In this section I discuss why materialism offers only an incomplete explanation for consciousness.
Continue reading “Material and Immaterial: Why Materialism is Incomplete”
This idea of a non-physical realm that transcends the physical has been a persistent one. What this even means will usually depend on who you ask. However, it usually has something to do with ethereal spirits working within arbitrary laws that have little or nothing to do with the physical laws we are familiar with. Sometimes it is the realm ghosts inhabit – the disembodied spirits of people who’ve died. Sometimes it is described more as a divine realm where angels and souls exist, somehow able to communicate actions into the physical realm when it pleases them. What spiritualism always has in common, though, is that it has everything to do with human beings.
The following post is an excerpt from a book I’m writing that has to do with human consciousness and the human condition. In this section I discuss why spiritualism is, at best, a hypothesis that should be rejected as an explanation for consciousness.
Continue reading “Material and Immaterial: Why Spiritualism is Untrue”
In Fear and Trembling Søren Kierkegaard asks us to look at the story from Genesis of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Kierkegaard wants us to understand that Abraham is heroic not in an abstract sense, but in that this level of faith is something we should all aspire to. It’s only at this level of faith – where one can expect the impossible – that one can truly love God, which is the definition of true happiness for humankind.
Continue reading “Fear and Trembling – Reinterpreting Kierkegaard’s Take on Abraham”
This Cato Institute 2019 poll has some telling results about the state of people’s feelings toward a meaningful existence. What does it mean to have a meaningful existence? Religion, of course, says that a meaningful existence can only happen through religion. Without religion, people seem to seek meaning through politics. Once politics is seen for what it really is – a soul-shaped cavity overflowing with fetid swamp water where dreams go to die – people are left with nothing but hollow materialistic consumerism. When that fails to satisfy the need for purpose, the meaning-wheel comes full circle and people seek a metaphysics to explain how the world works. The most popular of which currently is identity politics.
Continue reading “Meaning Without a Shared Narrative”
What is it that makes an organization what it is? Is it the sum of the constituent people? An idea? The problem of sports organizations is that they don’t have anything that persists through time – the 1985 Chicago Bears is not the same thing as the 2019 Chicago Bears.
Continue reading “The Mereological Issue With Sports”
This is a sort of half-baked theory I was playing around with in my head. Maybe someone else will know where to take it from here?
Continue reading “A Property Dualism Metaphysics”
Poststructuralism is a theory of semiotics (language and signs) that, broadly speaking, says that meaning is an effect of language, rather than a cause. In other words, what things mean to us is formed by language as opposed to our language having a 1-to-1 correspondence with reality. This theory, of course, takes the blank slate theory axiomatically. But what if we combine it with evolutionary psychology?
Continue reading “Poststructuralist Semiotics and Evolutionary Psychology”
I am currently reading David J. Chalmers’ 1996 book “The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory” which claims that, due to consciousness not being logically supervenient, there is no reductive explanation for consciousness. Thus Chalmers concludes that consciousness must be explained through a dualist paradigm. I have some issues with the argument.
Continue reading “Is Consciousness Logically Supervenient?”
Memes are not just the captioned images shared on Facebook and Twitter. The original conception of the term was to conceptualize the propagation of propositional and cultural information between human minds. But has human society reached a point where the natural selection of memes has stalled, thereby halting memetic evolution?
Continue reading “Has Memetic Evolution Halted?”
What follows is, as the title says, a revisit, revision, and expansion of an earlier post I made. I may continue doing this as new thoughts come to mind while I work through my thinking on the subject of Philosophy of Mind.
Continue reading “Categories of Understanding, Qualia, and the Operations of Intuition – Revisited, Revised, and Expanded”
Should I be responsible for things I did ten years ago? Or am I a different person now than I was then? And not just in a ‘personal growth’ way, but actually a different person.
Continue reading “Persistence of Self-Identity Through Time”