From, whence, then, could arise the solitary and strange conceit that the Almighty, who had millions of worlds equally dependent on his protection, should quit the care of all the rest, and come to die in our world because, they say, one man and one woman had eaten an apple. –Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
In the previous article, we saw how geometry set the standard for knowledge in the world of ancient Greek philosophy, and how Christian theology emerged out of an effort to harmonize the very different traditions of Greek and Hebraic thought. Plato’s theory of the forms is perhaps his most famous contribution to philosophy, and requires no extensive discussion. But, as Continue Reading …
“Let no one ignorant of geometry enter.” –Said to have been inscribed above the doorway of Plato’s Academy
Why does happiness so often present itself as a problem?
“Serious scholarship in the history of science has revealed so extraordinarily rich and complex a relationship between science and religion that general theses are difficult to sustain. The real lesson turns out to be complexity.” –Jonathan Hedley Broke
“Batman is haunted by his dark past yet perseveres in fighting crime.” We know that Batman is a fictional character, but nonetheless talk about him as if he were a real person. But is Batman real or not? Instead of accusing him of non-existence, or granting him reality as an abstract object, could we not instead regard fictional characters as software running on the hardware of our brains?
“I need the binocular approach of science and religion if I am to do any sort of justice to the deep and rich reality of the world in which we live.”
–John Polkinghorne (Physicist, Anglican Priest)
The Romantic film-philosophy of Cavell, Mulhall, Sinnerbrink, and Smith completes the triangulation of values among the ethical, cognitive, and aesthetic: in the same way that film links Smith’s innovations in the disciplines of aesthetics, philosophy, and culture, authenticity links the ethical, cognitive, and aesthetic values of film.
“Surely if liberalism has a single desperate weakness it is an inadequacy of imagination: liberalism is always being surprised.” –Lionel Trilling
“God is also glorified in astronomy through my work.” –Johannes Kepler
What’s “mother!” all about? Here are a few attempts to answer that question in a single sentence.
“The Goal of Science is understanding lawful relations among natural phenomena. Religion is a way of life within a larger framework of meaning.”–Ian Barbour
“Your father was a computer engineer; your mother was a concert pianist, and when the spaceship lands, they make music together on the computer.”
“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.” –Richard Dawkins
King Laius died at the Cleft Way, where he got in the way of an emigrant to Thebes who happened also to be his son. The prophecy was that Oedipus would be the death of Laius, and it was in the name of avoiding this fate that father and son worked together to seal it. Yet what truly made Oedipus Continue Reading …
In the second installment of a two-part series, Nicholas Joll examines a view that morality is impossible and explores the opportunities offered by possible worlds.
What are science, religion, and secularism? How have they interacted, historically, and what are the major issues in contemporary reflection on them? A new series explores these questions through the works of the scientists, theologians, and philosophers who have shaped the dialogue over the last century and a half.
In the first installment of a two-part series, Nicholas Joll tries to convince us that, for one thing, fire is not hot and, for another, that sincerity is impossible.
Scalar consequentialism is an ethical theory that has us always choose the better option. That’s very much the way that today’s computer chess programs play. There’s a lot to learn from the study of their games against human chess players who use a different approach.
“Tradition must be defended,” says the political conservative, “it is the source of our highest and truest values.” Many traditional beliefs and practices may indeed have much to recommend them, but they also have a dark side.