- Dr. V
The Fine Print: It will probably be helpful to move to the U.S. prior to submitting one's entry, since the contest is open to U.S. colleges and universities only. Whether one moves to the U.S. or not, the video contest should be philosophically interesting, so let's keep a lookout for the winning entry. (Dembski's book looks philosophically interesting, too.)
I have been reading the work of a theologian named John Milbank who is the founder of an recent theological movement called Radical Orthodoxy. This interview on CBC radio explains it. They present an interesting reading of the history of philosophy and its relation to theology, in particular the relationship between faith and reason. Enjoy!
- November 24, 2009
- Posted by Mark at 2:32 PM
(Announcement from the Providence website.) Faith and science are both interested in the origins of the world, but these different factions seem to disagree an awful lot. Could they ever work together?
At the upcoming Providence College Lectures, guest lecturer, Dr. Glen Klassen will present A Scientist Reflects on How God Makes the World. He will be exploring topics on how traditional ideas of creation are challenged by the scientific approach and will ask the question, “is there any middle ground between Creationism and Darwinism?”
Klassen taught “molecular evolution” for many years at the University of Manitoba and researched the evolution of the ribosomal gene cluster with the help of graduate students. He is now an adjunct professor of biology at Canadian Mennonite University and is a member of the Fort Garry Evangelical Mennonite Church. Over the years, Klassen has occasionally published and spoken in the area of faith and science.
A panel discussion will follow Klassen’s lectures featuring Providence College and Seminary President Gus Konkel. Konkel has also expressed a passion for science saying, “It is rational to ask the why question if intelligent design was part of the earth from the beginning. It makes even more sense if that intelligent design is personal, with a personal interest in other persons.”
The lectures will be on Thursday, November 19, beginning at 9:00 am in the Reimer Student Life Centre. Admission is free and no registration is required.
So I said I would link all of you to video so here it is. A big part of this documentary is concerned with Extra-terrestrial life. You see pretty quickly how Morris' ideas apply to these questions. Morris begins to discuss his ideas a little after 10:00 in the video. I suggest we continue this subject at the next philosophy meeting.
- I have also found a documentary on Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. I should put it up in the future.
- Also, a good book which discusses Morris' ideas is Why There Almost Certainly Is A God: Doubting Dawkins by Keith Ward. I read it this summer and thought it was one of the better critiques of Dawkins. The chapter of interest would be chapter 2, "Large Aeroplanes and God."
Here are some details:
1. The dinner was held at Dr. V's home in Steinbach. Excellent catering was provided by Carla (Dr. V's wife) and Thomas (Carla's and Dr. V's son, who that evening also had to go to the Steinbach Regional Secondary School to receive a Culinary Arts Award). (Tom was congratulated at the PFC dinner with three loud cheers from the Philosophy Foosballers.)
2. Joining the PFC event were Carla's parents from Medicine Hat, Alberta. (It was learned later from Carla's mother that Carla's mother and student Clayton Swan danced in the kitchen, but that's a story for another time.)
3. Joining the PFC event too was a special guest from Thunder Bay, Ontario: Elizabeth Busby! We're glad you made it, Elizabeth. To paraphrase Anselm (sort of), you are a Philosophy Foosballer than which it’s extremely difficult to conceive of one greater!
4. In total, 14 students/former students from Providence College attended the dinner. (Extra thanks go to Carla for the fine—and large—meal.)
5. After dinner, we engaged in several deeply interesting philosophical discussions, ranging from the nature and efficacy of argument, to the question of what it means to have a "common ground," to the question of the whether randomness and God's foreknowledge are logically consistent, to the question of how many earlobes Aubrey Dyck actually has. (Regarding the earlobe question, see photos below. Be sure to notice how far Mark Jensen has gotten by counting carefully on his pinky. Notice too the deep concentration shown by Marilyn Peters as she counts Aubrey's earlobes by hand. Yes, that's Marilyn's head on the TV tray table.)
6. After the philosophical discussions, numbers were drawn (in honour of Pythagoras?) and students were allowed, in an orderly fashion, to (a) enter the tiny hallway to Dr. V's sacred space (a.k.a. his basement office/cellar), (b) sift through a large pile of books (which no longer fit in Dr. V's office/cellar), and (c) take home some favourites.
7. Also after the philosophical discussions, and during the "book crawl," the Philosophy Foosballers broadened their horizons by playing some video games—high speed auto racing—and some hard-shooting Crokinole. Happily, nobody was injured. (Well, perhaps the egos of Jeremy Gerbrandt and Mark Gareau were slightly injured when they lost so miserably to the excellent team work of Clinton Enns and Dr. V.)
Again, the first ever Philosophy Foosball Club dinner was excellent—a wonderful success. Thanks to all who attended.
- Dr. V
Genuine freedom is not subjective arbitrariness. It is freedom in obedience. The freedom of subjective arbitrariness is delusion, for it delivers man up to his drives, to do in any moment what lust and passion dictate. This hollow freedom is in reality dependence on the lust and passion of the moment. Genuine freedom is freedom from the motivation of the moment; it is freedom which withstands the clamor and pressure of momentary motivations. It is possible only when conduct is determined by a motive which transcends the present moment, that is, by law. Freedom is obedience to a law of which the validity is recognized and accepted, which man recognizes as the law of his own being. This can be only be a law which has its origin and reason in the beyond. We may call it the law of spirit or, in Christian language, the law of God.
- Rudolf Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology, (New York: Charles Scribner's and Sons, 1958), 41.
The logical position against any claim of relativism to absoluteness is that "absolute relativism" is a self-contradictory term, an impossible combination of words. If one avoids this impossible combination of words, relativism itself becomes relative; therefore an element of absoluteness is not only a possibility but even a necessity, otherwise no assertion at all can be made.
But absolute relativism is also impossible practically. If I am asked to surrender totally to relativism I can say "But I live! I know what 'true' and 'false' mean, I do something I can describe as 'better' than something else, I venerate something which concerns me ultimately and which for me is holy." The question then is: How can one make such statements if relativism has the last word? In the different reality of man's encounter with reality there must be some absolutes that make meaningful life possible, of it would be like the chaos before creation, described in Genesis. Therefore I believe it may be a service to life itself to find these absolutes and to show their validity and their limits.
- Paul Tillich, My Search of Absolutes, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967), 65-66.Amen Paul!
Also, during this discussion I took the initiative to make a coverpage for the journal/collection. I initially thought of Anselm's maxim "Faith Seeking Understanding" was suitable but Dr. V had his own suggestion. So taking into account his suggestion I have made a rival cover page. Each will compete for supremacy, until a third and more excellent coverpage arises.
But seriously, I would like it if you foosballers gave suggestions of how to make the coverpage better. Or just vote on one of the two. Hope to see a plethora of excellent and stimulating philosophy papers in the fall. Happy studying!
My Initial Cover
Dr. V's Suggestion (I just realized the Latin spelling of philosophy is "philosophie")
- Evolution shows an eerie predictability, leading to the direct contradiction of the widely-held view that insists on evolution being governed by the contingencies of circumstance
- Eyes are not the only example of repeated evolutionary convergence on the same solution. There is evidence for fundamental equivalences of sensory perception and the implication that deeper in the nervous system there is only one mentality. Minds may be not only universal, but also the same.
- Evolutionary convergence can give us some very strong hints as to how any aliens will sense their environment, how they will move, how they will evolve agriculture, and intelligence.
- Humans have passed a threshold that means we now transcend our animal origins. But birds, whales and humans all converge in song, and far from being the pinnacle of Creation we may be mere juveniles.
- The regularities of the physical world, strongly indicate that there must be universal principles of mind. The evidence from evolutionary convergence, not least in terms of intelligence and music, is that the trajectories towards consciousness are embedded in a universe that in some ways is strangely familiar, where personal knowledge (to use Polanyi’s phrase) is valid.
- Any attempt to explain, entirely in naturalistic terms, the fact that universe can now understand itself seems doomed to failure. Not only is the Creation open-ended and endlessly fertile, suggesting that in the future science itself faces an infinity of understandings, but so too there is good evidence of realities orthogonal to every-day experiences. Rather than trudging across the arid landscapes skimpily sketched by the materialists, we need to accept the invitation and accompany the Artist that brought Creation into being.
You can read the entire lecture here.
The Philosophy Podcast
Philosophy: The Classics
Here is my bias: Plantinga is awesome. Enough said.
Unfortunately an article this short can't offer any convincing argument which would adequately persuade another of Wells' position. On the other hand, it does raise questions about the assumptions we have about Darwin's theory which could push us to further questioning, reading, talking to scientists, philosophers, etc. And an issue as controversial as the scientific status of ID and the evidential status of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural is likely to trigger hostile reactions on both sides. So we need to be critical and respectful.
Have fun and enjoy the article.
... and leave some comments!
If you want a full debate on the resurrection with Richard Carrier, see his debate with Michael Licona here. And if you like reading off a computer screen see Carrier debating Jack O'Connell on the resurrection here.
A debate between Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig versus Quentin Smith and Ricahrd Gale.
via Uncommon Descent.
The question for discussion is how does Rorty's view compare with the Christian Worldview? How does the Greek Worldview compare with the Christian Worldview? Can we synthesize Greek-Pragmatic concepts with the Christian Worldview? Or do they have to be rejected?
You will be surprised by some of the things Dennett says.
Click the title for the link to the article.
What do we think Philosophy Foosballers? Do religious experiences validate religious beliefs?
For Further Reading:
- "Without Evidence or Argument: A Defense of Reformed Epistemology" by Kelly James Clark
- "Voodoo Epistemology" by Keith DeRose, an analysis of the famous "Great Pumpkin Objection" to Reformed Epistemology.
William Lane Craig vs Christopher DiCarlo: Does God Matter?
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William Lane Craig vs TBA: Does God Exist?
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William Lane Craig vs Quentin Smith: Does God Exist?
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William Lane Craig vs TBA: Does God Exist?
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William Lane Craig vs Shabir Ally: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
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William Lane Craig vs Wes Morriston: Does God Exist?(Focus on Kalam Cosmo. Argument)
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William Lane Craig vs Richard Carrier: Are Moral Facts Evidence of God?
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William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens: Does God Exist?
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