December 7th, 2015
I had recently received a message from a young gentleman named Erik who sent me the following message:
As an undergrad in philosophy the question of God almost always came up during class. During those times I took a lot of pleasure in using the problem of evil to dismiss the idea of the Christian God.
That was when I was an Atheist. Months later I reconverted to Christianity, but for a while up until yesterday I never understood the problem of evil…which really does come down to the problem of pain. I never really could understand why God allowed for suffering, until yesterday.
I had been praying for the past couple of months for God to reveal Himself to me. I would pray for hours, tears running down my face because I never would get an answer. I was depressed, I had fallen into nihilism because I didn’t feel like anyone cared about me…
I got into a pretty bad car wreck the other day. I should’ve been killed based off of what the Officer said, but I had been able to swerve and avoid colliding head on with a telephone pole. I had fallen asleep, and woke up just in time for me to swerve out of the way. Only the rear of my car was destroyed, but if I hadn’t woken up in time I wouldn’t be here typing this.
When the car finally came to a stop I was able to crawl out and call for help. When I was in the hospital I began to receive calls and visits from friends, family, and complete strangers. Never before had I received such an outpouring of love…
It was then that I realized that God had used this instance of evil to bring about a greater good. Even though I screwed up, God was there.
Through this instance of evil God answered my two prayers. He revealed Himself to me through the miracle of surviving, and he answered my prayers on not feeling like anyone cared for me… through the amount of love I received. I’m telling you this mainly because of your book on suffering. I read about your own personal struggles and how they have brought about changes to your character. Through this instance God has changed mine in a way that I would’ve never thought possible.
So now I understand why there’s suffering in the world. I would’ve never understood it until I as an individual went through it. Now I know God cares for me and exists, now I know that I am loved and have friends and family. All through this instance of pain, and personally I would go through it again each and every time because what it has done for me. Once again, thank you for your book, because it did help bring about more understanding.
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December 31st, 2014
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE AND NIHILISM
To attribute nihilism to Friedrich Nietzsche’s works would be a complete misunderstanding of his teleology. Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra is a calling and desire for the übermensch to create a transvaluation of values. To categorize Nietzsche as a nihilist would be a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of his work.
When referring to nihilism there must be an understanding of all that the word entails. Nihilism refers to nothingness and is a denial of all worldviews. There are apparent problems with being consistent in rendering a nihilist understanding. Referring to everything having no meaning renders a meaning of nothingness. There is no objectivity, knowledge, truth, or virtue. There is a claim of paradigm independent referents. For the advancement of understanding Nietzsche’s teleology this self-referential incoherence must be set to the periphery. To discard Nietzsche so quickly in such a manner would be to misunderstand his teleological claims.
Nietzsche’s paradigm for truth was based on biological development. This, by all admission, was a relativistic understanding and rendition of truth; it was a social construct. This was in response to the proclamation that “God is dead.” In the fifth chapter of Twilight of the Idols Nietzsche deduces the implications of stripping God from Christianity [in reference to morality].
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April 26th, 2014
My 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.
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?
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March 12th, 2014
As promised with the sales of the The Problem of Existence the first fifty sold and to send me their receipt were entered to win a $25 gift card. The winner is Austin McNair! (Keep reading, even if you didn’t win or didn’t enter…)
You can view the drawing from [Seattle!] hat: http://instagram.com/p/ldXxIyFi9y/
I was very encouraged by so many people sharing the book and purchasing the book. I know some people may have needed it for themselves and I know some people are reading it to help others, which is so important. It shows that there are people who want to learn about these problems that others are facing in life. It’s not all about the sales. It’s about sharing the knowledge and loving others. I was particularly encouraged by one of the submissions by Michael Chardavoyne:
“The Problem of Existence” A book that reaches the mind and the heart at the same time. I find myself pulled in page by page as if it was meant for me to digest in the core of who I am and my perspective of those around me. If we are intrinsically valuable and there is a Creator life has meaning. If not where does meaning and purpose come from?
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February 26th, 2014
UPDATE (3 March): This Saturday, March 6, I will be doing the drawing for the first few that have submitted their receipts of purchase to receive a $25 gift card. There are only a few more slots available to please be sure to send me your receipt!
The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering is now available for purchase at Amazon for $3.99. The first fifty people to purchase the e-book will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. All you need to do is take a screenshot of your purchase receipt and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Below are the links for The Problem of Existence’s availability in the Amazon marketplace around the world (prices adjusted for national currencies):
Purchase The Problem of Existence in the American Amazon market
The French Amazon market
The Brazilian Amazon Market
The Indian Amazon Market
The Spanish Amazon Market
The Canadian Amazon Market
The British Amazon Market
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February 20th, 2014
On Feb. 26 my first e-book, The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering, will be available for Kindle download for $3.99. I’ve been working on this project for over a year and I’ve recently delving back in to finishing it. Essentially, the book is for those who are suffering or in pain and for those who may know someone who is going through hardship and suffering. We find ourselves thrusted into existence and we observe so much absurdity around us. This is the problem of existence. It’s the why questions.
Regular readers over the years will recognize a lot of the content. I’ve compiled everything in what will, hopefully, be an easy read formatted in an understandable way. Some of it is story telling and other parts are serious philosophy and theology. This e-book is a bit different than my normal topics related to science and philosophy. I found that while composing and editing it I was really just speaking to myself. Like the psalmist does so often, “Why are you cast down, O soul?” Sometimes we need to preach to ourselves and this is really just a glimpse of my heart.
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December 22nd, 2012
I understand very few, if anyone, would consider Dostoevsky to be a theologian; however, his philosophy has a tremendous impact on existential theology.
In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, a story of four brothers in Russia is a grim description of the reality of what the world would look like if God were not to exist. One brother, Ivan, an atheist, tells another brother that there are no objective truths, specifically that there are no moral absolutes. Ivan’s brother then kills his father, an act that obtains no condemnation if God does not exist.
This can be understood as ☐(~Eg ⊃ ∀ϕ~Wϕ), also known as Karamazov’s Theorem. It is necessarily true that if God does not exist then any action cannot be wrong. It may also be true if a conjunct of rightness is inserted into the theorem. This ultimately leads to moral nihilism—a nonexistence of value. Without God, everything is permitted. Nothing can be praised and nothing can be condemned. This world, as Dostoevsky understands it, is a world of nothingness.
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