May 13th, 2014

Virtues are Bygone and Vices Have Triumphed

by Max Andrews

In light of recent circumstances I thought it all too prudent to re-post a previous post on the seven deadly sins. These sins originated by spiritual vice and a lack of spiritual virtue. Personally, I see too many people, even in the church…, who hold to vice over virtue and don’t seek truth for truth’s sake. Truth for truth’s sake is God’s sake. All truth is God’s truth. Too many people are content with injustice and dishonesty.

As for me, where there is truth, there I will be. Should you find me absent you’ll find me repenting my way back to truth. Should I stand alone against the myriads in the battlefield… if I know truth is on my side I would stand my ground for the sake of virtue, truth, justice, and that which is right.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–No more–and by a sleep to say we end. The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–

(I wonder how many people will know the reference above without looking it up and know what this person is actually talking about…)

Most of us are quite familiar with the seven deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Luxury/Lust, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth. However, these are much more profound then they seem to be at face value and they go much, much deeper, penetrating the depths of our soul to bring about a conviction and guidance needed during some of the darkest times of our lives. This brings us to John of the Cross…

John of the Cross (1542-1591) was committed to Catholic reform and was imprisoned, or put in confinement, by those who opposed the reform. During this time he wrote his most famous work, The Dark Night of the Soul. The concept of the dark night is key to one’s spiritual journey. It’s not when one is experiencing joy and light but rather sorrow and darkness.

May 12th, 2014

Desire and when the evidence goes where you don’t want it to go

by Max Andrews

I would consider my epistemic position to be a moderate evidentialist. (This is just a brief outline).  There is a sense of deontology to it in that one ought to base their beliefs corresponding to the evidence; however, there is a sense in which one may hold a belief without sufficient evidence and still be rational.  The source of truth is the objective prime reality and our knowledge should correspond to the truth of reality.  My epistemology yields my theology in the sense of scientific theology.  What I know about reality is what I know about God.[1]

Excursus: One thing I’ve noticed about being an evidentialist is that we all have desires and wants and wills. The problem [or psychological down side] with this is that sometimes I want X to be true but I find out that X is not true or that the probability or likelihood of X is stronger in favor of ~X. I don’t think this is a problem for evidentialism as a system.

Cont.: I’ve had this several times in my pursuit for truth. If I had to be as succinct as possible about why I’m an evidentialist it’s because the truth leaves a trail. That trail could be empirical, intuition [a priori knowledge as well], and other forms. Also, theologically, God desires us to pursue truth… if we cannot draw valid and sound conclusions from the data before us then we live in an intrinsically irrational world, incapable of being known. Likewise, evidentialism is self-affirming. The evidence for evidentialism is likely to be a methodology that leads to the truth. It is akin to coherentism (See this paper). 

May 5th, 2014

Fickleness of Life

by Max Andrews

“Here’s the real question—do you have the courage to take your finger out of the dam and blow the whole thing up, instead?”

May 3rd, 2014

Liberty University Continues Its Downward Spiral: Promoting the Mormon Gospel

by Max Andrews

Recently, Liberty University had its last convocation, which had Glenn Beck as the speaker. Let me define a few things first. Convocation is not necessarily a church or chapel service. Convocation usually involves a guest speaker intended to promote an idea [of missiology, apologetics, theology, bibliology, history, politics ::sigh::]. Convocation isn’t a church service and whoever thinks it is should, please point out to me the church government for Convocation…

(Here’s the clip of Glen Beck’s speech… listen to the whole thing.)

With that being said, Glenn Beck… I’m not going to talk about his politics but this is about his theology. Liberty has recently slipped up with Benny Hinn affiliations… Yes, that Benny Hinn. But, the slippery slope for Liberty isn’t a straight cliff but it’s a very, very gradual one that won’t get noticed. (I have a particular executive or two in mind…)

May 3rd, 2014

Philosophical Fragments Botches the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

Philosophical Fragments is a blog with Patheos and there was a guest post (don’t hold it against he actual blog owner, it’s a guest) named Mark Goldblatt (I’m not certain that’s the author but notice his employer and notice what he’s writing on… I’m just saying…) titled “Bad Epistemology.” Let me begin by telling you what I really think… I think this post is full of bad science, bad philosophy, bad semantics, quibbling over spilled milk, and botches the multiverse is an embarrassingly bad way. Aaaand, yes, there are some good things and I won’t forget to highlight them either.

If you want to argue against the multiverse [or quantum issues], fine, but do so in an informed and more educated manner than this.

Goldblatt begins his epic rant by discussing contemporary science’s search and desire to discover the truth about the cosmos and the origin of life. Quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson from the reinstatement of Cosmos:

“If you take the universe all the way back to the Big Bang, well, the entire universe was really small. So now you take the shotgun wedding – quantum physics and general relativity. In that shotgun wedding, if you follow through with all the predictions quantum physics gives you, it allows multiple bubbles to form – one of which is our universe. These are sorts of fluctuations in the quantum foam. Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particles coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It’s whole universes coming into and out of existence.”

April 26th, 2014

Ebook: The Problem of Existence on Sale for Lowest Price

by Max Andrews

The Problem of Existence Amazon CoverMy recent ebook is now on sale for it’s lowest price at $2.99. Because of the size and volume of content it won’t let me sell it for any cheaper. I’ve begun a recent interest in mental health: depression, anxiety, bipolar, anger, etc. and this is a combination of my work in existentialism for those who are or know someone struggling. I just want the material out there regardless of price.

If you believe you have a special circumstance, please email me: mlandrews[at]sententias[d0t]com. I’m more than willing to correspond and hear your story.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Problem-Existence-Existential-Reflections-ebook/dp/B00IN4CQPM/ref=cm_rdp_product_img

This book is for those who are hurting, suffering, and in pain. This can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. This book is also for those who are going through the pain with another person—the friend, the parent, the spouse, the sibling… My grandfather has survived several heart attacks, different cancers, and so many health problems. My grandmother said that she, as his wife, suffers with him. He doesn’t go through it alone. 

This isn’t one of those books that’ll read, “You can do it!” or “You’re stronger than this!” In fact, I’m going to argue that you (all of us) are weak and you can’t do this thing called life, which entails much suffering for many of us, by yourself. You alone have meaning, purpose, and value. Do we, really? If we do have this intrinsic meaning, purpose, and value, then whence it came? Can a world without God still provide meaning, value, and purpose?

April 22nd, 2014

Liberty University, Benny Hinn, and Contradictory Claims

by Max Andrews

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.

April 20th, 2014

A Review of Calvary: A Glimpse at the Human Condition

by Max Andrews

This film was highly anticipated, by me at least. One thing I noticed is that, even though it was mid afternoon, I was probably the youngest person in the cinema. It’s easy to respond to that by thinking that most people are at work–true. (I work at home by the way you judgmental …) But, I think this film is certainly intended to be for the more mature and seasoned of folk.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2234003/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.49.16 PM

April 20th, 2014

Brain effects from marijuana… Well, we didn’t see that coming!

by Max Andrews

I’m a conservative libertarian. I’m socially conservative and I believe in a limited government. I’m more of an idealist than a pragmatist. When it comes to the issue of medical [or even non-medicinal] substances I believe it should be privatized. I think the only role government should have in such circumstances is that when I purchase something for a headache that I’m actually getting what I’m intending to buy; that is, if I wan aspirin it should be illegal to sell rat poison as aspirin.

Okay, marijuana. I’ve never done marijuana. I don’t know know the feeling. However, I think there are governments with different and inconsistent standards. Not too long ago I had a conversation with someone who worked for a rehab and he said that if alcohol were introduced to the market today it would be illegal. From my research, admittedly, I haven’t devoted much to it but I consider myself informed, alcohol is much worse than marijuana.

It’s an issue of privacy, moderation, and personal responsibility. It’s not the government’s place in all cases. (An exception would be taking a poisonous substance for the sake of committing suicide–intentional or unintentional–for example.) The Washington Post came out with an article from the National Survey of Drug Use indicating that marijuana use affects the brain… It’s okay if you let out a big sigh. I did. This is a bit old.

April 19th, 2014

Concerns for Liberty University… It’s not Looking Good

by Max Andrews

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:

Liberty_university

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).