Archive for May 14th, 2012

May 14th, 2012

Karamazov’s Theorem

by Max Andrews

In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (1821-1881), a story of four brothers in Russia is a grim description of the reality of what the world would look like if God were not to exist.  One brother, Ivan, an atheist, tells another brother that there are no objective truths, specifically that there are no moral absolutes.  Ivan’s brother then kills his father, an act that obtains no condemnation if God does not exist.

This can be understood as ☐(~Eg ⊃ ∀ϕ~Wϕ),[1] also known as Karamazov’s Theorem.  It is necessarily true that if God does not exist then any action cannot be wrong.  It may also be true if a conjunct of rightness is inserted into the theorem.  This ultimately leads to moral nihilism—a nonexistence of value.  Without God, everything is permitted.  Nothing can be praised and nothing can be condemned.  This world, as Dostoevsky understands it, is a world of nothingness.

May 14th, 2012

Scientific Nihilism

by Max Andrews

Given the natural order of universe and its cause and effect network, perhaps redemption and reconciliation from absurdity can be found in biology or physics.  For example, consider an adult salmon’s biologically given capacity to swim upstream and mate.  In this case the end at which the adult salmon’s activity aims is not, or anyway need not be, valuable, it is simply the end with which it was endowed by nature.[1]  The same may be true with human life.  The notion may not be too far-gone since many philosophers and scientists find their meaning, value, and purpose in nature.  Friedrich Nietzsche based his teleology and understanding of truth in biology.  If this universe [or multiverse] is all that exists it seems that this scientific driven teleology may not be sufficient.

Nobel prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg provided a self-comforting dialogue in The First Three Minutes suggesting that his own research in the field of physics has provided himself with meaning, value, and purpose.  Paradoxically, he believes that the more he learns about the universe, the lesser of an ultimate meaning it has.[2]

May 14th, 2012

The Image of the Invisible God–An Exegesis of Col. 1.15-17

by Max Andrews

I consider myself a philosopher and not a theologian or biblical scholar by any means.  I do have a bachelor’s degree in Religion–biblical studies so I do know how to exegete and perform proper hermeneutics.  With that said, here’s a philosopher’s exegesis of Colossians 1.15-17.

Colossians 1.15-17

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heaves and on the earth,visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Let’s look at εικων (eikon, a likeness, literally statue. A fig. representation—image, nominative singular feminine). This is where we get the word ‘icon.’ (The second Gr. text provided is Westcott/Hort with Diacritics 1853 and Codex Sinaiticus).