December 26th, 2014

Pain and Suffering: When We Are Most Like God

by Max Andrews

I was once at Cracker Barrel with someone, a favorite of mine.  We sat down and we started talking about family and the issue of pain, suffering, and evil sneaked its way into our discussion.  Evil, pain, and suffering are  very serious issues that I do not take lightly.  I lectured on the problem of evil a couple of years ago to one of my philosophy classes I assist/teach.  I have the hardest time talking about pain and suffering and teaching it was difficult for me as well.  I spent the first 40 minutes emphasizing how important the issue is ranging from its permeation into culture such as the movie I Am Legend film (Will Smith’s character denies God’s existence because of the evil), September 11th, and to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.  I thought about our response to pain and suffering and then it dawned on me… a response of compassion, sympathy, and real spiritual anguish over such pain and suffering is when we are most like God.

December 21st, 2014

Why Conservatives Should Care More About Police and Government Overreach

by Max Andrews

Let me be clear from the very beginning. I appreciate the police. I know our world needs laws so a society may harmoniously function (ideally). A world without law and a world without police would be a world like The Purge. There are legitimate arguments behind sophisticated anarchist arguments but as someone who affirms the total depravity of man, it’s just not going to happen. Likewise, one can still have respect and high regard for police and government officials and offices while still being concerned about government overreach, brutality, and abuses, and demand [as a Democratic Republic–America] that these things change for the better.

So, the tenets you need to understand before reading:

  1. I’m not anti-police.
  2. I’m not an anarchist.

I don’t need to cite all the police misconduct cases out there but there are trigger happy cops willing to shoot unthreatening mentally handicapped people (here, and here [associate of Rosa Parks executed], even planning ahead of time but didn’t get in trouble for it, their patrol car caught the audio of the overkill of a mentally unstable homeless man in NM), and even call over dogs to get their attention and then fatally shoot the dog (without consequence for the officer).

December 15th, 2014

VIDEO: The Thomisitic Abductive Cosmological Argument (TACA)

by Max Andrews

November 19-21 was this year’s annual Evangelical Philosophical Society’s conference. I coauthored a paper with Dave Beck of Liberty University. This is the third year in a row I’ve had a paper accepted for presentation at EPS.

Title:  “A New and Abductive Thomistic Cosmological Argument”

Abstract:  Due to advances in cosmology and theoretical physics the origin of the universe is being relentlessly debated. Nevertheless, whether there is one universe or even an infinite plurality of universes, Thomas Aquinas’ argument for the existence of a first cause from contingency circumvents the debate of temporal beginnings to the universe; such as those that are embedded within the kalam cosmological argument. Tensed, tenseless, dynamic, static, endurantist, and perdurantist theories of time will be irrelevant or be peripheral at best. Physical science as a system will always require further explanation, not mere description, and that explanation will always have to appeal to something outside of itself. This is true for any philosophical and/or theological explanation of science. In this paper we will attempt a consilience of Thomas’ argument from contingency and modern cosmology to show that regardless of whether the universe had a temporal beginning, or what the nature of that beginning might have been, it would still be best explained by a first uncaused cause. We will defend Thomas’ notion of radical contingency and argue against a necessitation understanding of Thomas that is often misattributed to him. This metaphysic will be used as a plausible and defensible abductive cosmological argument, which will appeal to the radical contingency of constituents of the universe, and thus take the form of an argument to the best explanation.

November 30th, 2014

New Molinism eBook to be Released

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 1.28.12 PMMy second eBook in a series called “The Spread of Molinism”, is now coming out with Volume 2, The Philosophy, Theology, and Science of Molinism. This will assume that you’ve read and have mastered the basics of Molinism I presented in Volume 1, An Introduction to Molinism: Scripture, Reason, and All that God has Ordered.

This book is substantially longer and more in depth. For example, in my Word document, my first book was 54 pages single spaced. This book is approximately 100 pages single spaced (size 10 font). Below is a sample preface with the outline. I don’t have a release date set for it just yet but it will be sometime before Christmas. It would certainly make for a great Christmas gift to parents, siblings, or others interested in the debate–by gifting both volumes!

I will keep everyone informed on the progress.

November 28th, 2014

A Classroom Discussion on Morality at Glasgow University

by Max Andrews

On 26 November, Tyler Dalton McNabb invited me as a guest for a Q&A discussion concerning the moral argument and objective morality for his philosophy class at Glasgow University.

I briefly introduced my ontological moral argument and he presented his epistemic moral argument. My argument, in the end, argues that this world conjoined with a perfectly moral person makes a fuller case and provides the better explanation of the full range of moral facts in need of explanation. Such an explanation describes a world that has the texture, depth, and thickness it does and is able to exist in the first place because it was imbued with value and meaning by this morally perfect person. It must be a person because a person, a mind, is the only thing that can issue imperatives. A combination of persons, or a social-theory, doesn’t work because persons are equal in imperative actions. Thus, there must be a person that has the authority to issue such denotic imperatives and ground these moral facts.

October 31st, 2014

10 Things That Annoy Philosophers

by Max Andrews

If you want to get under the skin of a philosopher there are a few ways to irk us. There’s more that just the annoyance of telling someone you’re a philosopher and they respond, “Oh, I took a psychology course in university!” Yes, that type of misunderstanding warrants the philosopher’s incredulous stare… just as these will:

10. “So, how will you make money? What do you do?”

Okay, so I’m not an engineer. I’m not a research chemist for a Fortune 500 corporation and I may not be able to work most blue collar tasks… However, I, and other philosophers, think (but there’s more!). For the philosopher, the act of philosophizing is not a mere intellectual exercise that could exist solely in consciousness. To the contrary, philosophy is a procedure and inquiry to the self, a “discovery and self-liberation.” The intellectual and cognitive acts of philosophy are participatory in their inquiry of the world. This would be very similar to the understanding that Socrates is the philosopher. He not only taught and philosophized, but he understood that the very act of philosophizing was an act of engagement with the world and it was a way of life.

9. The university administration putting philosophy in the periphery

Philosophy departments aren’t typically the big money-makers at university–typically. However, the university system needs to understand that the philosophy faculty, the philosophy students, and the discipline of philosophy in general is an investment rather than a moneymaker. I’ve seen firsthand that a university can divest in the philosophy department. Academia, the provost, the administrators, et al, need to view philosophy as the foundation by which a university is built and sustained.

October 6th, 2014

Google Hangout – “God and the Multiverse” Oct. 11

by Max Andrews

This week on Oct. 11 I will be doing a public talk via Google + Hangout with the Christian Apologists in Calgary, Canada. The topic of my talk will be on God and the multiverse. This promo video will outline what I’ll be speaking on. There will also be a Q&A afterwards.

No matter where you are in the world you can tune in and watch/listen to the lecture here.

https://plus.google.com/events/cu9arl5kbjsd7pb6s2g8fgqdblc

It starts 7pm MST, which is 2am my time. The talk, including the Q&A interaction, will last about an hour and a half.

October 2nd, 2014

Confessions of a Stranger – Now on Sale!

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 7.44.23 AMConfessions of a Stranger is a glimpse into the heart and mind of someone’s diary or journal. It will read like journal entries. For anyone who has ever kept a journal then it’ll be easy to understand that the narrator can be sporadic in thought just as each day meets us with blessings and curses. Some days will be overwhelmed with joy while others bring an affliction.

Link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O2Y2CV0

While reading these journal entries sometimes you may feel lost or confused. If you do then you’re doing just fine. Keep reading. You’ll learn about the author’s life, his friends, and his family. He wants the good life. Aristotle taught that the purpose of life was to be happy. Happiness properly defined is fulfilling one’s purpose, telos, in life. As you’ll read, you’ll see that the author desperately desires happiness and if you were to be living with him during the writing of these entries you would probably never know how he really felt and what he really believed. This is a glimpse into the darkest depths of his heart and mind as he fights others and himself to obtain that happiness.

Though the entries and number of entries are not voluminous, you will read about the Stranger’s struggles of pain, suffering, social problems, familial problems, doubt, and, perhaps, most importantly, his struggle with God–in particular God’s love and existence.

Sometimes the scars that people have aren’t visible…

October 1st, 2014

Confessions of a Stranger Preview

by Max Andrews

Confessions of a Stranger is a glimpse into the heart and mind of someone’s diary or journal. It will read like journal entries. For anyone who has ever kept a journal then it’ll be easy to understand that the narrator can be sporadic in thought just as each day meets us with blessings and curses. Some days will be overwhelmed with joy while others bring an affliction.

While reading these journal entries sometimes you may feel lost or confused. If you do then you’re doing just fine. Keep reading. You’ll learn about the author’s life, his friends, and his family. He wants the good life. Aristotle taught that the purpose of life was to be happy. Happiness properly defined is fulfilling one’s purpose, telos, in life. As you’ll read, you’ll see that the author desperately desires happiness and if you were to be living with him during the writing of these entries you would probably never know how he really felt and what he really believed. This is a glimpse into the darkest depths of his heart and mind as he fights others and himself to obtain that happiness.

September 17th, 2014

Norman Geisler: A Call to Retire and Argue Amicably

by Max Andrews

On 16 SepteScreen Shot 2014-09-17 at 10.49.26 AMmber 2014 Mike Licona had to take action on his website that is so minuscule it speaks to the voluminous aggression towards him. What happened? Licona removed public calendar.

(For a brief excursus and history of The Geisler Controversy please visit the directory.)

That’s not typically a big deal. I don’t even have a public calendar (but then again, I don’t need to have one). However, what’s so remarkable is the cause for Licona to do this. I hope you’ve had your coffee for the day and you’re in a good mood because the reason it was removed may have you a bit… frustrated. On Licona’s website he posted this explanation along with his private email he sent directly to Geisler.