May 13th, 2013
Thomas F. Torrance (1913 – 2007) – the developer of scientific theology
Thomas Torrance was a professor of Christian Dogmatics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was heavily influenced by Karl Barth and contemporary science. He translated Barth’s Dogmatics from German to English. (Which is quite voluminous–thirteen volumes, six million words). He was also a recipient of the Templeton Prize for the advancement of religion.
In reality all entities are ontologically connected or interrelated in the field in which they are found. If this is true then the relation is the most significant thing to know regarding an object. Thus, to know entities as they actually are what they are in their relation “webs”. Thomas Torrance termed this as onto-relations, which points more to the entity or reality, as it is what it is as a result of its constitutive relations.
The methodology of the epistemological realist concerns propositions of which are a posteriori, or “thinking after,” the objective disclosure of reality. Thus, epistemology follows from ontology. False thinking or methodology (particularly in scientific knowledge) has brought about a failure to recognize the intelligibility actually present in nature and the kinship in the human knowing capacity to the objective rationality to be known.
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March 30th, 2013
The following is a guest blog post by Shaun Smith. Shaun is completing his MA in Philosophy and attended the debate.
Thursday night at Liberty University there was a debate over the existence of God. This debate was meant to liberate all thinkers from every walk of life. Theist, Atheist, and Agnostics alike were going to usher forth the new age, with perfected reasons, a scope towards utopia, and a… said no one ever. Max Andrews of Liberty University brought forth compelling arguments, including the infamous ontological argument. Dan Linford, of Virginia Tech, came with a few scattered thoughts, and a selected amount of tactics to try and move the conversation into, well, nothing really. Though, Linford I think had a few great points that he really could have sponged out for the audience. Listen, it isn’t about a winner or loser, its about reasoning together and furthering the discussion. However, I found that there were a few issues that did not bring out that initial goal.
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January 28th, 2013
Do you know of any viable philosophical-theological conceptualizations of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity which capture the fullness of the doctrine whilst not lapsing into the heresies of either Modalism, Tritheism or, of course, any form of Unitarianism? Thank you for all you do.
- B. P. Burnett.
Thanks for your question! I chose this one for this week because I happen to use the Trinity as an example in my philosophy class when teaching logic, which I’m currently teaching. So, this is rather good timing!
To give a recollection for those who may not be familiar with the Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and important heresies I’ve provided a simple chart:
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January 19th, 2013
A logical order of argument for why the author of the fourth Gospel, John, was written by John the apostle.
- The author identified himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (21:20, 24), a prominent figure in the Johannine narrative (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20).
- The author used the first person in 1:14, “we have seen his glory,” revealing that he was an eyewitness to the accounts contained in his Gospel.
- The “we” of 1:14 refers to the same people as does 2:11, Jesus’ disciples. Thus the writer was an apostle, an eyewitness, and a disciple of Jesus.
- Since the author never referred to himself by name, he cannot be any of the named disciples at the Last Supper: Judas Iscariot (13:2, 26–27), Peter (13:6–9), Thomas (14:5), Philip (14:8–9), or Judas the son of James (14:22).
- The disciple that Jesus loved is also one of the seven mentioned in the last chapter: “Simon Peter, Thomas (called ‘Twin’), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two other of his disciples” (21:2; see 21:7).
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October 4th, 2012
The following is the abstract and a link to the paper written by Thomas Talbott.
I argue that, contrary to the opinion of Wes Morriston, William Rowe, and others, a supremely perfect God, if one should exist, would be the freest of all beings and would represent the clearest example of what it means to act freely. I suggest further that, if we regard human freedom as a reflection of God’s ideal freedom, we can avoid some of the pitfalls in both the standard libertarian and the standard compatibilist accounts of freewill.
My purpose in this paper is to set forth a theory of agency that makes no appeal to mysterious notions of agent causation. But lest I be misunderstood at the very outset, I should perhaps clarify the point that my emphasis here is on the term “mysterious” and not on the expression “agent causation.” I shall begin with what seems to me the best possible example of agent causation: the sense in which a supremely perfect God, if one should ex- ist, would initiate or originate his own actions. I shall not, however, simply adopt without modification the standard understanding of agent causa- tion, assuming there to be such an understanding.
Please continue reading…
October 2nd, 2012
Alvin Plantinga’s notion of warrant (justification) is a form of externalism (reliablism).
[A] belief has warrant only if it is produced by cognitive faculties that are functioning properly in an appropriate environment. Plantinga’s notion of proper function, moreover, implies the existence of a design plan, and a belief’s having warrant requires that the segment of the design plan governing the production of the belief is aimed at truth. In addition, the design plan must be a good one in the sense that the objective probability of the belief’s being true (given that it’s produced in accordance with the design plan) must be high.
However, Plantinga does not avoid the Gettier problem. The Gettier problem challenges the notion that knowledge is a justified true belief. In short, the problem is about accidental knowledge ([K], if there is such a thing) and having a belief that is true while your reason for justification is false.
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July 18th, 2012
Many of you who follow my blog are in academia or, at least, interested in such academic issues. Michael Hyatt has an excellent post and a humorous video to depict what he means. As a public speaker myself I regularly teach and lecutre to philosophy classes consisting of 25-250 students (250 is the regular size I teach). I know every bit of what this video shows. Some of them, of course, I have done myself and I can’t help but laugh.
June 19th, 2012
The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that if any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than zero then that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well. There are four exceptions to the theorem.*
1. First Exception: Initial Contraction (Havg<0) … (The average rate of the Hubble expansion is less than zero)
- Main Problem: Another problem this raises is that this requires acausal fine-tuning. Any attempt to explain the fine-tuning apart from a fine-tuner is left bereft of any explanation.
2. Second Exception: Asymptotically static (Havg=O)
- Main Problem: The exception is that it does not allow for an expanding or evolutionary universe. This model cannot be true. The best evidence and empirical observations indicate that the universe is not static; rather, it is expanding and evolving. This might have been a great model under Newton but not since Einstein’s field equation concerning the energy-momentum of the universe.
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May 23rd, 2012
Indonesian beads are considered by many to have the most variety and beauty of any beads in the world. The reasoning behind this opinion has to do with the ornate designs and patterns that adorn the beads and their composition from resilient and strong metals. This durability means that the beads can weather wear and tear, no matter how often they are worn or for how long. Indonesian beads come in solid colors that reflect the variety of the rainbow. These colors are vibrant and eye-catching to reflect whatever jewelry creation you aspire to.
Indonesian beads have many features that make them highly recommended but none more so than their ability to take color. As a matter of fact, many of the Indonesian beads are colored to be bright and shining. Even Indonesian beads that are not meant to be bright, such as white and black, can be infused with gold or silver to accent the beads, creating startling, elegant looks. It is this versatility that makes these a popular choice among appreciators of jewelry and sought after by those who create it.
Indonesian beads are also known for their wide range of features that make the beads unique from one to the other. This variety in appearance and textures can make for unique creations when they are mixed and matched together. An innovative jeweler can let their imagination run away when creating with these beads. Custom made for individuals who want to grab attention when wearing their jewelry, Indonesian beads are lively and hip. Jewelry creators will find that there are limitless possibilities with these one-of-a-kind beads. Given their unique nature, vibrancy and style, Indonesian beads can be used in necklaces, earrings and bracelets. No matter what you elect to create and/or wear with these beads, they are sure to accentuate your personal style choices.
May 2nd, 2012
What would happened if we denied that the speed of light has been a constant [approximately] 300,000 km/s? Well, Einstein’s E=mc2 states that energy is proportional to the mass of an object multiplied by the speed of light squared. If c decays then that would imply that there has been a change in the quantity of energy in the universe. This creates a problem for thermodynamics. Thermodynamics would not be the only problem; many other constants would need to change as well to preserve the stability of a life-permitting cosmos such as Planck’s constant . Suddenly the problem is not only with c because that would in turn change all of physics. All of this would be done to circumvent an old universe suggested by a constant speed of light.
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