January 15th, 2016
I recently became interested in A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO adaptation Game of Thrones within the last year. While LOST will always have a sentimental and special place in my heart, I must concede that this is perhaps the most well-written show I’ve ever seen. LOST is still very well written and tops a close #2 on my list even though I think it is much more philosophical.
Tyler D. McNabb and I have coauthored a chapter for the forthcoming 2016 book The Ultimate Game of Thrones and Philosophy published by Open Court Press. The chapter title is “Belief and Trust in the Fog of War and Lies: The Case of Catelyn and Brienne”. Naturally, I’m not an epistemologist–that’s Tyler. I’m the metaphysician, which made Tyler lead but the contribution by both of us were balanced and equal.
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November 30th, 2015
Suppose you go back in time to 1941 Germany or anywhere occupied by the Nazis. You have the same memories and knowledge that you have now. You are capable of disabling or shutting down a concentration camp but the only way of successfully doing so requires the 5 Nazi soldiers and doctors must die. Do you kill the Nazis or let them murder the prisoners?
Remember, these soldiers are executing people regularly and these doctors are performing human tests and forced sterilisation at best. However, if you do kill the Nazis, it’s still likely that the prisoners will still die whether it’s because they die of exposure out on their own or they’re killed by others in the near future. It seems you have four choices:
- Kill the Nazis and save the prisoners
- Do nothing
- Help the Nazis
- Try to change the laws so the prisons are illegal (it may take decades)
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November 28th, 2015
For the better part of the last two years since the Islamic State (IS) has gained territory in Syria and Iraq, have had terrorist groups in Africa devote allegiance, and have had splinter cells throughout the Western World. One of the Paris attackers came through Greece on the migrant route and was given asylum in Serbia. One of the most repeated lines I see in social media and the so-called BBC is that IS is not Islamic.
(I say so-called BBC since they don’t call IS the Islamic State or predicate anything Islamic to them. Thus, I’ve chosen to refer to the so-called BBC as the so-called BBC simply because I don’t think it’s appropriate to predicate any British values to the so-called BBC machine!)
My position isn’t that relevant. I’ve had several people write me and ask me my thoughts on whether I think IS is Islamic or a perversion. My position is closer to IS warping Islamic teachings but not grossly. I think the difference between true Islam and IS is notable but minor. I wouldn’t want IS to be considered the face of Islam just as I wouldn’t want pagan Christianity like that found in Central America to be the face of Christendom.
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November 14th, 2015
Within hours, dare I say minutes, of the 13 November terror attacks in Paris I saw so many images and messages with varying hashtags saying that we should pray for Paris. But what does that even mean to most people?
It seems like a few different things may be happening:
- People of prayer are genuinely praying for and requesting prayer for victims’ families, survivors, aid, security, national well-being, the political atmosphere, justice, humanity, and so on.
- People of prayer send out prayer requests but don’t actually pray themselves.
- Prayer is a euphemism for sympathy and thoughts (i.e. “I’m thinking of you”).
- Prayer means, well, something else(?).
Qu’est-ce que la prière? Minimally, prayer is communication with a personal being that has the ability to introduce new causes into a system. Prayer may be intercessory. Prayer may be admonishing. Prayer may be confession. It may be many things. I think the most modest model of prayer was outlined by Thomas Aquinas.
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August 11th, 2014
I keep getting flack for posting headlines and stories about police brutality and the impending police State in America. Some people think they’re negative. Okay. I think they’re informative–means to an end to learn more about our rights, liberties, and means to protect ourselves from abuse and hold those in authority accountable.
Eavesdropping Ep7: What I Think About Police
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May 26th, 2014
Original story from HealthLeader…
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 56.7 million people — or 18.7 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population — had a disability in 2010. “Perhaps as many as half of them have disabilities that are not readily evident to the casual observer. There’s a huge population of people with hidden or invisible disabilities,” says Lex Frieden, who was instrumental in conceiving and drafting the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
A professor of biomedical informatics and physical medicine and rehabilitation at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)School of Biomedical Informatics, Frieden recently completed a term as a member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Standard Rules of Disability.
“People get angry when they see other people get out of their cars in restricted parking places and they don’t appear to have disabilities,” Frieden says. “But you might be surprised at what types of disabilities are very serious that cause people to be restricted in terms of their mobility.”
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April 22nd, 2014
I love Liberty University. I want to get that out from the beginning so readers will have an initial filter by which to understand my concern. My concern is that Liberty is spiraling down a bad path [and has been]. The straw that broke the camel’s back is Liberty’s new affiliation with Benny Hinn. Yeah, that Benny Hinn, the heretic and prosperity gospel preacher…
[ANY UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM]
However, Liberty denies partnering with Benny Hinn: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=116272
In my opinion, the update at the bottom about transferring the name to the unaccredited biblical studies institute is unsatisfactory for me as well. Ties should be cut completely. Hang up the phone and remind Hinn that there’s nothing there for him (see my phone conversation with a rep. below.)
Unfortunately, truth is hidden in a knot of semantics and, dare I say, lies. Some alumni and others have done their research:
I spent seven years at Liberty–four for my undergrad degree and three for my grad degree. During my time there I also worked as an employee for the university and I know how things work over there. I used to be a defender of Liberty on things like this–claiming the alleged facts were incorrect, the person has some agenda, etc. but the evidence became overwhelming. I know what language the university speaks…
I cannot speak in the language of financial contributions, I’ll never have a building named after me, but I can speak in the language of reputation. Liberty has the potential to put out many scholars to world-class universities for terminal degrees (me being one of them–I’m completing my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland).
From what I understand from a present employee, the administration has made efforts to improve the scholastic status of the university–to compete in academia like it should. However, partnering with a heretic does not make Champions for Christ… I could speculate as to why LU would partner with this heretical millionaire but that’s a drop in the bucket of LU’s net $1 billion net worth in assets.
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April 19th, 2014
UPDATE 21 APRIL 2014: I just received an email (to be disclosed later) from Johnnie Moore saying that they have never and are not partnering with Benny Hinn. I don’t know if he’s playing some type of semantic game but I also asked him, as one last request, to explain or reconcile the contradictions [below]. I called Benny Hinn Ministries and spoke with a kind gentleman and confirmed that they are in the works with partnering with Liberty University. I got the whole conversation on recorded audio and will be released soon. Liberty, Johnnie, Ron Godwin… STOP LYING!
I love Liberty University. I want to get that out from the very beginning so readers will have an initial filter by which to understand my concern. My concern is that Liberty is spiraling down a bad path [and has been]. The straw that broke the camel’s back is Liberty’s new affiliation with Benny Hinn. Yeah, that Benny Hinn, the heretic…
Liberty denies partnering with Benny Hinn: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=116272
But this is easily falsifiable. Here are a few sites where alumni and others have done research:
I’ve started making emails and phone calls (all of which have been and are being recorded) to go through the proper channels to get questions answered. Once I’ve exhausted all I can do [from Scotland!] then I’ll share all my emails and recorded phone conversations.
I worked for the university for several years and earned a BS and an MA. I cannot speak in the language of financial contributions, I’ll never have a building named after me, but I can speak in the language of reputation. Liberty has the potential to put out many scholars to world class universities for terminal degrees (me being one of them).
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October 28th, 2013
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.
Aside from my ‘official’ list I have my own podcast: Eavesdropping: Eavesdropping provides a conversational, informal podcast that is sometimes a monologue or dialogue with guests concerning various topics including philosophy, theology, science, contemporary events, and random meanderings of a philosopher. The primary focuses are philosophy of science, multiverse scenarios, and Molinism.
#1. Unbelievable? – Hosted by Justin Brierly with Premier Christian Radio. Unbelievable? is a UK-based public radio program, which airs every Saturday afternoon with an occasional podcast posting mid-week. Justin brings in several leading scholars in theological and philosophical matters and they debate and dialogue particular issues ranging from ethics, comparative religions, the existence of God, science, doctrinal differences, and current events.
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