Archive for June 21st, 2012

June 21st, 2012

A Critique of the Inferential Reasoning in the Sherlock Holmes Short Story: “The Man with the Twisted Lip”

by Max Andrews

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story, “The Man With the Twisted Lip,” is an account of one of Holmes and Watson’s adventures.  The mystery would not have come to a solution as quickly as it did, and without certain inferences made by Holmes the truth would have only been revealed at a later time, possibly without the whole truth known.

The story began when Kate Whitney, a friend of Watson and his wife, came to them late Friday night inquiring for help to find her husband.  Her husband had a ridiculous opium addiction and so pursued further inquiry at a nearby opium den on Swandam Lane.  Once Watson arrives and turns Isa Whitney, Kate Whitney’s husband, over to her he discovers Holmes lurking in the background of the den in one of his disguises.  Holmes then invites Watson on the adventure of solving a mystery he had just begun to inquire.  The mystery before them was about a missing man, perhaps kidnapped or murdered, Mr. Neville St. Clair.  As the two began their journey to Mr. Neville St. Clair’s house to stay with Mrs. St. Clair during the duration of their investigation Holmes begins sharing the facts of the case with Watson.

June 21st, 2012

Theology Thursday: Friedrich Schleiermacher Part 1

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768 – 1834) on his concept of religion

More on his theology: Schleiermacher saw Christianity as “despised” because it was misunderstood in the following ways.

  • Christianity is misunderstood as assent to orthodox dogma
  • It is misunderstood as rationalism or natural theology
    • i.e. Getting to God by pure reason alone

Schleiermachers key concept of religion was “feeling of Absolute Dependence.”  Examine those feelings.  What do they tell you about God? “Oh, they tell me God is good and kind.” He’d say, “Good! Write that down.” Therefore, the nature of religion is not thinking.  The scientific approach was eliminated by Immanuel Kant.  Here Schleiermacher is attacking the historic Christian position that theology is a science.  Also, the religious nature is not ethics either.  Rather, it is feeling which works its way out in absolute dependence.